BCAB #1579 - Water Supply for Fire Fighting, Sentence (Appendix A-3)

February 19, 2003

BCAB #1579

Re: Water Supply for Fire Fighting, Sentence (Appendix A-3)

Project Description

The building in question is a retail lumber and hardware supply store approximately 9300m2 in building area. The building is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system (NFPA 13). There will be outdoor uncovered storage of building supply materials including lumber, plywood, etc. near the building.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence requires an adequate water supply for fire fighting be provided for every building. This Sentence also refers to Appendix A-3 for further explanation.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant contends that by providing the water supply required for the automatic sprinkler system, the requirements of Sentence are met. This is supported by a statement in the Appendix indicating "NFPA 13 and referenced sprinkler standards should be used to establish water supplies for sprinklered buildings."

Building Official's Position

The Building Official (and local fire department) are concerned that should a fire originate from the exterior storage area and spread to the building, the automatic sprinkler system would be overwhelmed and there would be inadequate water to protect the building. The fire department is also concerned there would be inadequate water for protecting adjacent exposures. The Building Official notes that within some of the reference standards identified in the Appendix, there are differential requirements for water supply dependent upon whether the building is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system. For those buildings equipped with a sprinkler system, the water supply requirements may be greater than that required for only the sprinkler system.

Appeal Board Decision #1579

The Board cannot determine the capabilities of the local fire department to provide fire protection to this site.

The determination as to the adequacy of a water supply for fire fighting purposes rests with the municipality. As indicated in Appendix A3, this determination should be based on the municipal fire fighting capabilities and site specific circumstances.

George Humphrey, Chair