BCAB #1051 - Self-Service Storage Buildings, Sentence

March 3, 1989

BCAB #1051

Re: Self-Service Storage Buildings, Sentence

With reference to your letter of January 31, 1989 regarding application of the Building Code to the above complex. In addition to your letter we have a submission from the authority having jurisdiction, plus other correspondence and minutes of meetings.

The following draws on the submissions from both parties.

  • We do not consider the buildings to be unusual structures, as referred to in Sentence, but we do regard the type of usage as one not envisaged by the Code and necessitating different procedures. Under the circumstances we consider an F2 occupancy to be appropriate for general purposes. We agree that the lockers are not suites, and the access corridors are not therefore public corridors, as the term is used in the Code.
  • While we agree that the individual lockers will not contain an occupant load, we also agree with the statement that control of the locker contents will be extremely difficult, even with a resident manager; it certainly is beyond what could reasonably be expected from a fire inspector.
  • While the occupant load for each building may be low, due to the fact that storage is unoccupied, adequate safety must be provided for those occupants.

In light of the above you may wish to reconsider your position in reference to the fire safety of the buildings, in view of their intended use. In your reconsideration we suggest that you address carefully the hazards involved by smoke, to persons within the building, should there be a fire within an individual locker. It would seem essential for such a hazard to be readily locatable, a warning system provided to advise occupants of its existence, and protection for the corridors to assist safe evacuation.

J.C. Currie, Chairman