Rescinded [2010-04-01] - Fire Protection Standard for Design and Construction - Chapter 3-2

This standard establishes a satisfactory level of fire safety to be incorporated into the design and construction of Government of Canada property to minimize risks to life and property and to protect and conserve the Government's financial position.
Date modified: 1992-02-01

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1. General

1.1 Purpose

This standard establishes a satisfactory level of fire safety to be incorporated into the design and construction of Government of Canada property to minimize risks to life and property and to protect and conserve the Government's financial position.

1.2 Application

This standard applies to all:

  1. departments and agencies listed in Schedules A and B of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) with the exception of the Department of National Defence;
  2. branches designated as departments for the purposes of the FAA; and
  3. those departments and other portions of the Public Service as defined in Part I of Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act.

This chapter replaces chapter 7-2 of PMM Volume 12.

1.3 Scope

This standard describes the procedures to be followed by departments and agencies in incorporating fire protection engineering requirements into:

  1. the design, construction and occupancy of new buildings or structures;
  2. the alteration, extension, reconstruction, demolition, removal, relocation, and occupancy of existing buildings or structures; and
  3. the design and installation of fixed fire protection systems such as automatic sprinkler systems, standpipe and hose systems, fire hydrants, and fire alarm systems.

(See appendix B)

1.4 Administration

  1. The Fire Commission of Canada or his authorized representative is responsible for the administration and enforcement of this standard.
  2. This standard is not to be interpreted as permitting practices specifically prohibited by provincial, municipal, or other federal legislation.

1.5 Definitions

In this standard, Government of Canada property means real or personal property under the administration and control of a federal government department or agency, including property leased to the government.

1.6 Abbreviations

In this standard:

  1. FC means Fire Commissioner of Canada or the authorized representative of the Fire Commissioner of Canada;
  2. NBC means the latest edition of the National Building Code of Canada; and
  3. NFC means the latest edition of the National Fire Code of Canada.

2. Standards and requirements

2.1 New construction

  1. New buildings and structures shall conform, at a minimum, to the following requirements:
    1. the National Building Code of Canada; and
    2. FC standards.
  2. In the case of situations not covered by the codes and standards stipulated in (a), the FC may refer to other nationally-recognized codes and standards to determine the fire protection engineering requirements.

2.2 Additions, alterations, and changes of occupancy

  1. The requirements of subsection 2.1 apply to additions and alterations to existing buildings and structures, and to changes of occupancy, except as provided in (b).
  2. When strict application of the requirements of subsection 2.1 would involve a costly retrofit, those requirements that are not considered essential to life safety may be determined on the basis of a risk and cost benefit analysis.

Note: The FC should be consulted to determine the extent to which the NBC applies with respect to upgrading buildings to remove unacceptable fire hazards.

2.3 Existing buildings

  1. Existing buildings and structures shall conform to:
    1. the National Fire Code (NFC) of Canada; and
    2. FC standards, as far as is reasonably practicable.

Note: The FC should be consulted to determine the extent to which FC standards apply to existing buildings.

2.4 Construction and demolition operations

  1. Fire safety at construction and demolition sites shall conform to:
    1. Part 8 of the National Building Code of Canada; and
    2. FC standard "Standard for Construction Operations".
  2. Before construction or demolition begins, an acceptable fire safety plan shall be prepared for the site in accordance with the appropriate Sections of Part 2 of the NFC.

3. Procedures

3.1 General

  1. A department or agency proposing to acquire or lease a building or to design, build, or alter a building, structure, or fire protection system shall have the plans and specifications reviewed by the FC if the project falls within the following categories:
    1. new construction;
    2. additions and alterations to existing property when such additions and alterations affect any fire protective features of building design (see appendix B);
    3. the installation or alteration of any fire protection system (see appendix B); or
    4. proposals to acquire or lease accommodation exceeding a total of 600 m or intended for an occupant load in excess of 50 persons.
  2. Projects other than those described in (a) shall conform to the standards prescribed in Section 2 but need not be submitted to the FC for review unless specifically requested by the FC.

3.2 Submissions to FC

  1. Preliminary plans for projects described in Article 3.1(a) shall be submitted to the FC for review and comment on fire protection requirements.

    Note: The definition of "preliminary" may vary with the cost and complexity of a project. Ordinarily, it should mean when working drawings are begun, and not later than when they are 33% complete. However, on major projects the FC should be consulted during the development of the project brief and/or conceptual design stage.

  2. Final plans and specifications for projects described in Article 3.1(a) shall be submitted to the FC for review before tenders are called.
  3. Shop drawings and calculations for fire detection and suppression systems shall be submitted to the FC for review before the systems are installed or altered.

3.3 Plans, specifications and calculations

  1. The FC shall be given enough information to demonstrate that the proposed work will conform to this standard and to determine whether or not it may affect adjacent property.
  2. Plans shall be drawn to scale and shall indicate the nature and extent of the work or proposed occupancy in enough detail to establish that, when completed, the work and the proposed occupancy will conform to this standard.
  3. Site plans shall show:
    1. by distances from property lines, the location of the proposed building;
    2. similar distances that locate every other adjacent existing building on the property;
    3. existing and finished ground levels to an established datum at, or adjacent to, the site; and
    4. the access routes for fire fighting.
  4. The information submitted to the FC for review shall include the following:
    1. name of the department or agency;
    2. building location, including street address;
    3. point of compass;
    4. floor plans;
    5. construction and occupancy of building;
    6. building height (in storeys) and building area;
    7. size and location of street water mains and water supply connection(s);
    8. capacity of water supply (volume, flow rate and pressures);
    9. fire walls, fire doors, unprotected vertical openings, and blind spaces;
    10. the degree of fire separation of storeys, shafts and special rooms or areas, including the location and rating of closures in fire separations;
    11. the source for the information on fire-resistance ratings of the elements of construction;
    12. location of exits;
    13. fire detection, suppression and alarm systems; and
    14. emergency lighting systems.

3.4 Inspection, testing and commissioning

  1. Departments and agencies (or their authorized agents) shall conduct site inspections during construction to ensure compliance with the design documents and the standards prescribed in Section 2.
  2. Departments and agencies (or their authorized agents) shall ensure that all fire protection systems are operationally effective, reliable, and installed in accordance with the applicable codes and standards by:
    1. conducting a complete inspection of each system;
    2. identifying and correcting any deficiencies; and
    3. conducting commissioning tests as specified in the design documents and the appropriate reference standards prescribed in Section 2.
  3. The FC may conduct site inspections and witness tests of systems to verify compliance with the requirements of this standard. Departments and agencies shall ensure that the FC is given reasonable notice of appropriate times for the inspection and testing of fire protection features and systems.
  4. Prior to use and occupancy, written notice shall be given to the FC of:
    1. the completion of all required exits, fire separations, and closures;
    2. the completion of all fire protection systems including standpipe, sprinkler, fire alarm, and emergency lighting systems; and
    3. the satisfactory completion of commissioning tests for all fire protection systems.

Note: See FC standard "Construction Operations" for conditions of occupancy of unfinished buildings.

Appendix A - Reference publications

This standard refers to the following codes and standards which are not found in this volume:

Fire Commissioner of Canada standards

Construction operations
Welding and cutting
Computer systems
Record storage
Piers and wharves
General storage
Sprinkler systems

These standards can presently be obtained from the Fire Commissioner of Canada, Operations Program, Labour Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0J2 or from regional offices of Labour Canada. As they are revised, they will be issued in this volume.

Treasury Board publication

Treasury Board Manual
Materiel, Services and Risk Management volume
Fire Protection, Investigation and Reporting (Part III, chapter 5)

This volume may be purchased from the Canada Communication Group - Publishing, 45 Sacré-Coeur Blvd., Hull, Québec, K1A 0S9.

National Research Council of Canada publications

National Building Code of Canada
National Fire Code of Canada

These codes can be purchased from the Secretary, Associate Committee on the National Building Code, National Research Council, Ottawa, K1A 0R6.

Appendix B - Fire protective features of design

In the context of this standard, fire protection systems and fire protective features of design include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. means of egress for all occupants in case of fire;
  2. appropriate fire resistance necessary for structures of a designated occupancy and fire test ratings for the structural assemblies;
  3. restrictions on fire spread by appropriate design, construction, arrangement and use of building or structure, and materials;
  4. installation requirements for heating, ventilating, air conditioning, lighting and power equipment;
  5. safeguards to minimize and control the risk of fire or explosion involving hazardous materials, processes, or operations;
  6. requirements for the storage and use of flammable and combustible liquids, gases and solids;
  7. the design of water supplies for fire protection, the pressure and flow at which they are to be delivered and the proper sizing, arrangement, installation, testing and maintenance of piping, both aboveground and underground including valves, hydrants, reservoirs, tanks, pumps and their related controls;
  8. the application, design, installation, testing and maintenance of manual and automatic fire suppression systems, equipment and devices, including sprinkler systems, standpipe and hose systems, dry chemical systems, foam systems, C02 systems, Halon systems, and fire extinguishers;
  9. the application, design, installation, testing and maintenance of fire alarm systems, including those with voice communication capability and systems for the detection of fire;
  10. the application of lightning protection systems;
  11. the design, installation, testing and maintenance of emergency electric power systems; and
  12. measures to minimize the loss or damages subsequent to fire.
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