Comments On NBC (Part 4: Fire And Life Safety)

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Document No. :: IITK-GSDMA-Fire02-V1.0Final Report :: C - Fire CodesIITK-GSDMA Project on Building CodesComments on NBC(Part 4: Fire and Life Safety)byG.B.MenonFire Adviser, Govt. of India {Retd.} CochinEx-Chairman CED-22 Fire Fighting Sectional CommitteeBureau of Indian Standards.J.N.VakilAsst.General Manager{Retd},TAC/GIC,AhmedabadEx-Chairman CED-36 Fire Safety Sectional CommitteeBureau of Indian Standards.

This document has been developed under the project on BuildingCodes sponsored by Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority,Gandhinagar at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and notnecessarily of the GSDMA, the World Bank, IIT Kanpur, or the Bureauof Indian Standards. Comments and feedbacks may please be forwarded to:Prof. Sudhir K Jain, Dept. of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur, Kanpur208016, email:

Communications withBureau of Indian standards

Comments on Draft NBC4Comments on NBC Part 4 (Part A)Comments on Draft NBC(Part 4: Fire and Life Safety)(As forwarded to BIS on 24 September, 2003)ContentsForewordIITK-GSDMA-Fire02-V1.0(i) The division of the text into sections like FIREPREVENTION and LIFE SAFETY as attempted inthe draft code is not rational and sustainable, asexplained later under FOREWORD.(ii) A section on REFERENCES (as given in earlierRevision 07 September 1997) has to be added.(iii) List of standards on pages 134-140 should be given anew heading Annex. F(iv) Contents page will have to be revised as under:Foreword1. Scope2. References3. Terminology4. Classification of buildings based on occupancy5. Fire zones6. Types of constructions7. General requirements of all individual occupancies8. Means of exit requirements (general)9. Fire protection requirements (general)10. Occupancy wise requirementsAnnex. A – Calorific values of common materials andtypical values of load densitiesAnnex B. – Fire hazard classification of industrial andnon-industrial occupanciesAnnex C. – Fire protection requirements for high risebuildings (15 m or above in height)Annex. D – Considerations for venting in industrialbuildingsAnnex E. – Guidelines for drill and evacuationprocedures for high-rise buildingsAnnex F. – List of standardsHalon Alternative Steering Committee CED 22P may beapproached for updating the Halon alternativeportion of the foreword.Fire Prevention and Life Safety form integrated andinter-related components of building design andconstruction which cannot be segregated intodifferent classifications or divisions.To bring subjects like Classification of Buildings, Fire3

Comments on Draft NBC4Page4-b) 1)Page4-b) 2)Page4-b) 3)After scope2.1 note2.22.6 note2.182.202.21 4th line2.242.262.28 2nd line2.32 1st line2.35 1st line2.39 2nd line2.39- Note33.1.1IITK-GSDMA-Fire02-V1.0Zones, Types of Construction and even GeneralRequirements for all individual occupancies underthe heading Fire Prevention is not rational.Items 3.1 3.2 3.3 and 3.4 of draft standard are thereforesuggested to be given separate Section no’s 4,5,6,and 7 and Section on life safety is suggested to berenamed Means of Exit Requirements (general) inthe suggestions under heading CONTENTS aboveMain Clause and Sub clause numbers would need to beamended accordingly if above suggestion isaccepted.Idea of creating a sub division A6 for Starred Hotelsshould be dropped.Heritage and Archaeological monuments, because oftheir national/international importance and theirirreplaceable high value of the structures andcontents deserve to be considered as a separateoccupancy class by themselves under group K.Add word (stations) after word (Railway).Add-2 References - Pl refer Indian standards listed atAnnex FAdd word (points) after word (call)Replace word (or) by word (and) in 3rd line.Delete word (due) in 1st line.Delete words (criteria of)Delete words (or any access) in 3rd line.5th line- Replace word (of) by word (on)Add word (the) between words (and) and (like).Word (on) in the 2nd line should be replaced by word(of)Word (levelling) in the 2nd line should be replaced byword (level in).Start a separate sentence from word (for).Delete words (but acceptable only)Correct the spelling of (travelled)Add word (of not less than 100mm internal diameter)between words (mains) and (with).Replace word 4(2) by word Annex F (2)This should read (CLASSIFICATION OF BUILDINGSBASED ON OCCUPANCY) and 3 should be amended as4 (ref- contents)Include new group K - Heritage and ArchaeologicalmonumentsNote below 3.1.1 should be deleted. Instead following 2notes should be added.4

Comments on Draft NBC43.1.2a)3.1.2f)3.1.3 1st linePage 12 subdivision D6Page 13 1st line3.1.5(c) last line3.1.6 2nd line3.1.7 1st line3.1.8 para3Page 15paragraph last line3. last line3.1.14 2nd line3.2 Fire Zones3.2.1 2nd line3. and 1: In the case of Industrial/ Non industrialcomplexes, where a number of buildings arelocated, the individual requirement of each buildingshall be governed by its own occupancyclassification as given above.Note 2: The requirement of fire fighting installations asgiven in Table 23 shall however, not be applicable inthe case of industrial/ non- industrial complexes,which, shall be governed by respective IndianStandards.Add word (or cooking) between words (dining) and(facilities).Delete words (but without cooking facility)DeleteInsert (any other training institute) after (college.)Delete words (elevated or underground).Add word (etc) between words (equipment) and (and).Delete words (and heritage and archaeologicalmonuments)Reference to 3.1.1 is incorrect.Delete words - (and part of buildings covered by 3.1.1)Delete words (or part of a building).After sub division G3- Add words (determined on thebasis of) between words (be) and (the) in the 1st line.Replace word (re:) in place of word (including).Add word (highly) between words (involve) and(combustible) in 3rd line.Replace word (used) in place of (issued)Replace word (on) in place of (for) in 4th line andcomplete the sentence with word (processing)Start the next sentence with words (These include)Delete words (For the storage, handling and processingof any) in the 7th line.Place words (other than liquids) in brackets.Replace word (old) in place of (new)Add word (structural) before word (character) to make itmore specific.This should be a separate section (section 5)Add word (and life) after word (fire)Add word (high) between words (having) and (hazard)in 1st line.Word (used) in 2nd line should read (uses).These can occur only in theory. Can be deleted.5

Comments on Draft NBC43. 2nd line3.2.7 para2Delete word (and) in 3rd line.Replace word 4(3) by word Annexe F (3)Add word (or) between words (cubicles) and(partitioning) in 4th line.3.3This should be a separate section (section 6)3.3.2Replace word (by) with word (using) in 4th line.Table1 Col2Word (bearing) should read (load bearing) and word(non-bearing) should read (non- load bearing.) underS.No.1 at all three places.Table1 SNo.9 Col2 Word (bearing walls, bearing partitions) should read(load bearing walls, partitions)Table1 SNo.2 Col3 Replace word (to) by word (from) at all 3 places.Table2and Differentiation in fire resistance between wall withTable3.plaster and one without plaster should be removedunless proved otherwise by laboratory tests.Table5 Col 3Heading should read Minimum thickness (mm) ofprotection for a fire resistance up to 1 hr.Also delete cols for 1.5 hrs and 2 hrs.Table7 Col- 2Heading should read Minimum thickness (mm) ofprotection for a fire resistance up to 1 hr.Also delete cols for 1.5 hrs, 2 hrs, 3hrs and 4 hrs.Table 8Items 1 to 7 should be removed unless proved otherwiseby laboratory tests. Wood straw etc are never known togive 4 hrs fire resistance.Tables 12 /13Heading should read (Reinforced Concrete Floors)Table 14 and2 hrs 3hrs and 4 hrs fire resistance figures for items 1,2Table 15and 3 should be deleted unless proved otherwise boards and gypsum plaster are never known togive 4 hrs fire resistance.3.3.3Delete words (along with suppression system). Insteadadd (as given in Tables 14 and 15)3.4This should be a separate section (section 7) in 2nd line should read 6.1to6. 3rd lineReplace word (reasonable) by word (minimum)3.4.2 4th lineAdd at the end (in exceptional cases).Add a new Para3.4.4For fire protection requirements of high-rise buildings,Annexe C may be referred.This should readPage 35 Note4dStaircase room and lift rooms above the topmost storey;architectural features, chimneys and elevated tanks ofdimensions as permissible under the code. The area ofthe lift shaft shall be taken only for one floor. with values given in table 1(8)-2 hr shouldIITK-GSDMA-Fire02-V1.06

Comments on Draft NBC43.4.8.3 5th 2nd line3.4.17.1(b) 4th lineTable 20 - Col 3Table 20Table 21Table22IITK-GSDMA-Fire02-V1.0read 1 hr.Add word (of) between words (resistance) and (not)Word (the) in the third line should be replaced by words(an internal).Note below table 1st line-Word (and) is required between(smoke) and (fumes)Word (susceptible to) in 2nd line should be replaced bywords (available for.)Word (may) in first line should be replaced by word(shall).Replace word (effect) by word (affect)2nd sentence should be reworded as follows:Such finishes tend to spread the fire and serious dangerto life may result even though the structural elementsmay be adequately fire resistant. It is therefore essentialto take adequate precautions to minimise spread offlame on such walls, façade of building and ceilingsurfaces.This should be renumbered line- Ref to should be changed to (types) in 5th line should be replaced by word(materials) and in 2nd line should read and3.4.16.3.Reference to and should read (included) in last line should be replaced by word(permitted)Heading should read (Requirements for means of Exit)Add at the end:The term Exit implies a means of escape or exit used forevacuation of occupants in case of fire or any otheremergency.Word (exist) should be replaced by word (exit)Add words (normally) between words (not) and (be)Add words (accordance with) between words (in) and(good).iv) Assembly (D) a)0.6 (see Note 1) should read 0.6 (see note 2)Note1 third line-75 m2 should read 0.75 m2.In heading, add reference to clause 4.4.1 alsoTravel distance for educational occupancies of types 3and 4 construction should be reduced from 22.5m to15m.7

Comments on Draft NBC44. line34.7.4 1st line4.7.4 line24. f)4.9.10 m)4.10.3 table4. Note4.13.1 1st line4. 4th line4.17a) 2nd line4.184.18 1st line4.18 last line4.18.2IITK-GSDMA-Fire02-V1.0Note2- 1st line-words (will reckon) should read (shall be)Last line should read –construction of types 3 and 4 isnot permitted for basements.Reference to 7.1 to 7.9 should read as 6.1 to 6.9.Add after 1st sentence:For areas exceeding 2000 m2, for every additional 1500m2 area, an additional staircase shall be provided.Start a separate sentence with word (Overhead)Start a separate sentence with word (A landing)Start a separate sentence with word (The level)Add (Inclination of stairs should not exceed 60 degreesto the horizontal.)Word (lift) in 2nd line should read (lifts)Second sentence should read: (The second staircaseleading to basement level should be separated at groundlevel enclosures.)Heading under column 3 should read: Emergencyoperation (stage 2 of 2-stage system or single stagesystem)Add word (with) after word (comply)1st line- Word (sprinkled) should read (sprinklered)2nd sentence (The refuge area railings) Should beshifted below b)Add word (additional) between words (one) and(refuge)Word (sprinkled) should read (sprinklered)Delete words (except buildings)7.1-7.9 should read 6.1-6.9.This should be amended to read:The slope of a ramp shall not exceed 1 in 12. (Delete 2ndsentence)Delete words (and wherever use is such as to involvedanger of slipping.).Word (non-slipping) should read (non-slippery).1st sentence should read as follows:Where applicable fully automated fire lifts, havingminimum capacity of 8 passengers, with emergencyswitch on ground floor shall be providedAdd words ‘lux’ after 0.025Word (as) should read (that).Fire detection and warning should come under FireProtection Requirements (General), New Section 9Word (that) should read (where).Word ‘to’ should be deleted.This sub clause should be shifted below section 68

Comments on Draft NBC4General55. 3rd line5.1.2Fig1 below 5.1.2Fig2 below 5.1.2Table 23IITK-GSDMA-Fire02-V1.0preferably as the 1st paragraphAdd a new clause:Periodical inspection and maintenance of lifts andescalators shall be carried out every 6 months.Repairs of the faults if any must be carried out in 24 hrs.Thisshouldread:(FIREPROTECTIONREQUIREMENTS: GENERAL)Line1 - Add words (FIRE AND LIFE SAFETYHAZARDS) between word (use) and word (and).Word (system) should read (systems).Reference to 4(18) is not correct. It should be 4 (19)Non return valve should be shown on source (tank) sideof sluice valve to facilitate its maintenanceNon return valves should be shown on source (pump)side of sluice valves to facilitate their maintenanceTables 23 and 24 should go under section OCCUPANCYWISE REQUIREMENTS at the beginning of the sectionwith an introductory clause.Fire extinguishers requirements under column 3 may bedeleted as this provision has already been mentionedunder 5.1.2.Requirement of sprinkler systems for basements of areaexceeding 200 sq. m for (A) (a) (1) and (b) (1) appeartoo stringent and unrealistic and hence may bedeleted.A (a) 1 (i) – Terrace tank of 5000 litres (that too without apump) is unnecessary and may be deleted.A (a) 1 (ii) – Column 15 – the pump capacity for terracetank should be 450 l p.m.In the whole table except in two instances, E (1) and F(A) 1 (ii) dry risers are shown as NR (not required).In these cases wet risers may be provided, and in thetable, column 5 may be deleted.A (b) (3)& (4) – column 15 for terrace pump shows NR –This is wrong and has to be corrected as- 450 (900) see note 4)- in both casesA (c) (1) (ii) – yard hydrants are required.NR entries under column 15 on page 58 should becorrected as 450 (900) for Terrace Tanks up to 5000 Lcapacity and 900 for tank capacities exceeding 5000L, so as to allow ready use of hose reels, wet risersetc., before the main pump over the U/G tank canstartA (c) (1) (iii) column 13 – Terrace tank capacity iswrongly shown as 100,000. It may be corrected to10,000.9

Comments on Draft NBC4A (c) (1) (iii)-Reference to Note 11 should be deletedunder columns 9 and 11A (d) – Starred hotels – may be deletedB 1 (i) – requirements are not necessary under columns 9,13 and 15 when all other columns are showing NRC (a) 1 (ii) – yard hydrants are requiredC (a) 1 (iv) – terrace tank pump of 450 (900) is required.For C (a) (2) and (3)- terrace tank pump of 900 isrequiredC (b) 1 may be deleted.Requirements of C (b) 2 may be made applicable to allbuildings up to 15 m in height. In column 15, terracetank pump of 450 (900) is required(D) There is no need to show requirements separately forbelow 10 m and between 10m and 15 m.(D) 1) may be deleted.Requirements of (D) 2) may be made applicable to allbuildings up to 15m in height. NR indicated againstcolumn 15 should be corrected to 450(900).(E) There is no need to show requirements separately forbelow 10 m and between 10m and 15 m.(E) 1)– may be deleted.Requirements of (E) 2) may be made applicable to allbuildings up to 15m in height. NR indicated againstcolumn 15 should be corrected to 450(900).F (a) 1 (i), (ii), (iii) & 2 – Wet risers (column 6) should beprovided. Same remarks hold good for automaticfire alarm system alsoFor F (a) 1(i) and F a) 1(iii), Terrace tank pump of450(900) is required.For F (a) 1(ii), F (a) 2, and Fa) 3,Terrace tank pump of 900is required.G (a) 1 (iv) – Yard hydrants col (8) and U/G tank col (12)of not less than 20,000 litres are required.Capacities of underground storage tanks (col12) and thatof fire pump col (14) need to be revised upwards incase of following.Ga) 1(v)- 1620 LPM and 100,000 litres.Gb) 1(ii), (iii) and (iv) and H1 (i), (ii) and 3)- 2250LPMand 270,000 litres.(G) c)1) (ii)(iii)(iv)and(v)and J1(i)and(ii)-2820LPm and675,000 litres.G (b) 1 (ii) – Yard hydrants col (8) and terrace tank pumpcol (15) of 450 are requiredG (b) 1(iii) & (iv) – Terrace tank pumps of 450 are to beprovided under col (15)IITK-GSDMA-Fire02-V1.010

Comments on Draft NBC4Notes below(Table 23)5.1.6Page66 Fig3A5.1.7 AutomaticspksTable 24Table 24 Col2Table 24, Col 35.1.10 para15.2IITK-GSDMA-Fire02-V1.0G (c) 1 (ii) & (iii) – Wet risers should be providedG (c) 1 (iv) & (v) – Terrace tanks of 10000 and pumps of900 should be providedH 1 (ii) & (iii) – Manual fire alarm call points should beprovidedH1 (i) (ii) and (iii)– Under column 15 terrace tank pumpsof 900 are required.1(i)-Terrace tank of 25000 col (13) and terrace tank pumpof 900 col (15) is required.It is better to give height restrictions under eachoccupancy classification and not at the end.3rd line- Replace word (mains) by word (means.)Fire pumps having negative suction are not to bepreferred .In any case those with two suction pipestaking suctions from two different compartmentsshould never be allowed, as they can always createsuction problems due to air locks.Domestic pump with its suction pipe should also beshown in the figure to bring out clearly how thereservation of firewater is to be achieved.Note1 should be shifted at top of the clause.2nd paragraph should start as follows:In any case automatic sprinklers shall be installed in:Size of the rising mains /risers need be only 100 mmwith single outlet in case of 1(v).The entire table 24 except 1(v) 14 and 15 should comeunder Annex C for High-rise buildings.1) Residential buildings (A)Sub items ii and iii should be interchanged to matchwith group definitions given elsewhere:ii) One or two family private dwellingsiii) DormitoriesItems 8 and 9 should read as follows:8) All buildings classified under 1)(A)(i) to (iv)9) All buildings classified under 1)(A)(V) above withshopping area exceeding 500 m2.Add word (are) between words (height) and (Not) innote below the table.One or two family private dwellings – height should berestricted to 15 m in line with note 1 below table 23Replace words (some other identified substitutes) bywords (Halon substitutes.)nd2 line-Reference to 4(22) may need a change. IS:6382:1984 is now being superseded by a newstandard for co2 systemsLine1- Replace word (that) by word (where).11

Comments on Draft NBC45.2.1 4th line5.36-occupancywiserequirements. a) c) 2nd line6. 1st line6.2.5.3 3rd line6.2.6.1 and Word ‘to’ to be deleted.Add word (analogue) after word (addressable,).Standards for fire extinguishers mentioned in 4(23) areyet to be published.4.18.2 should be brought under this.Also Tables 23 and 24 should be brought under this asthey pertain to occupancy wise requirements of fireprotection measures.Para1-Delete words (and not more than one of whichmay be a window).This applies to A4 occupancies also. (Please refer we expecting people to jump from upper floorwindows?Last line- Replace word (chairs) by word (stairs)4th line- Replace word (may) by word (can)Line 1 – Delete (except those mentioned in deals with (hotels) and not (dormitories).Line 1- Delete words (Any building not more than twostories in height with no basement or), because thiscontradicts with the last sentence, which talks about

Gandhinagar at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of the GSDMA, the World Bank, IIT Kanpur, or the Bureau of Indian Standards. Comments and feedbacks may please be forwarded to: Prof. Sudhir K Jain, Dept. of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, email: Communications with Bureau .

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