BCAB #1535 - Sentence, Scissor Stairs, Fire Separation Continuity

April 23, 2001

BCAB #1535

Re: Sentence, Scissor Stairs, Fire Separation Continuity

Project Description

The subject building is a 6 storey non combustible structure over an underground parking structure. The storage garage and first storey are sprinklered; the upper five storeys are not. The building is classified as Group D, except for the underground storage garage.

Two standpipes providing fire hose connections run vertically through the exit stair shafts. The exit stairs are configured as scissors stairs, therefore each pipe runs alternatively through one exit fire compartment to the other.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence states that fire separations separating contiguous scissor stairs from each other shall not be pierced by piping, or any other openings that affect the continuity of the separation.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that a cast iron pipe standpipe, filled with water, smoke sealed and fire stopped with a 1 hour rating, does not adversely affect the continuity of the concrete stair landings (i.e. fire separations) that they penetrate.

Building Official's Position

The Building Official does not consider it acceptable for standpipes to be located in scissors stairs where the fire separation between each exit stair is penetrated by a standpipe.

Appeal Board Decision #1535

It is the determination of the Board that a standpipe is not permitted to penetrate the fire separation that separates contiguous scissor stairs from each other.

However the Code permits the penetration of a fire separation that is not common to contiguous stairs. As NFPA 14 requires standpipe(s) to be protected by a degree of fire resistance equal to that required for the enclosed exit stairway, the standpipe(s) could be located in separate fire rated shaft(s) within, or outside, the exit enclosure(s).

George Humphrey, Chair