BCAB #1730 - Emergency Power for Fire Pump, Clause (2012 BCBC)

Last updated on March 24, 2016

May 16, 2013

BCAB #1730

Re: Emergency Power for Fire Pump, Clause (2012 BCBC)

Project Description

The project in question involves renovations and an addition to an existing sawmill (Group F Div 2) where two existing dryers are being replaced by one new dryer. The building is sprinklered in accordance with Sentence and a fire pump is required to provide adequate water for the sprinklers.

Reason for Appeal

Clause requires that “an emergency power supply capable of operating under a full load for not less than 2 h shall be provided by an emergency generator for a water supply for firefighting in conformance with Article, if the supply is dependent on electrical power supplied to the building.”

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that due to the configuration of the water supply system for the dryer building sprinklers the electric fire pump is not “dependent on electrical power supplied to the building” and an emergency power supply is not required. The fire pump is housed in a sprinklered building remote from the dryer building and the electrical substation and switch room supplying power to the pump and the dryer building are in another remote building. Thus the electrical supply for the fire pump is not dependent on the electrical power supplied to the dryer building.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that an emergency power supply of at least 2 hours is required for a fire pump which will keep supplying water for the sprinkler system for the purpose of fire fighting. This emergency power supply is designed so that in the event of fire or failure of the normal power supply, there is an immediate transfer of emergency power from an emergency generator in order to facilitate uninterrupted fire fighting.

Appeal Board Decision #1730

It is the determination of the Board that power supplied by an emergency generator is required in the event that the electrical power from the utility is interrupted. The electric fire pump is required to operate for up to 2 hours without the normal electrical supply. 

George Humphrey, Chair