INDIAN BUILDING CODE SUMMARY FOR ALL CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS AND ENGINEERS
SALIENT FEATURES FIRE & LIFE SAFETY
In the field of property management it is of utmost importance to know government rules & regulations governing high-rise buildings from the fire safety & fire fighting point of view.
• Suitable provisions should be made in all multi-storied, high-rise buildings depending on the occupancy & height of the building & should be in accordance to the provisions of part IV Fire Protection of the NBC of India.
• In addition to these provisions, the property manager or security in- charge shall make arrangements for extra equipment required, if
felt necessary, and shall review it periodically to ensure the property always comply with the mandatory requirements.
• Any additions and omissions as per amendments prescribed from time to time of the National Building Code of India are to be adhered to.
All load-bearing elements of construction for which the required fire resistance is one hour or more should be of non-combustible material.
Interior finish material (wall panelling, floor coverings etc.) must have rating for flame spread &
smoke developed not exceeding very low flame spread limit & should be in accordance with IS: 1642
(class I) provisions.
Ceiling linking shall be non-combustible or of plasterboard.
• Stairways & corridors should not contain any combustible material.
• Structural supports & load bearing walls should be 3 hours Fire resistant, transoms & ceiling not less than 2 hours.
• Walls/partitions separating corridors form floor used for any purpose other than circulation should be Fire resistant not less than 1 hr. These should not have openings other than doors or delivery hatches, which should be at least ½ hour Fire resistant.
• Firewalls dividing the building to prevent Fire spread should be at least 2 hours Fire resistant.
• Facades excluding doors & windows should be of non-combustible material & the distance between the top of the opening on the lower floor & the still of that on the floor above it should be at least 0. 9 meters so that the Fire would have to travel the distance between floors.
Internal enclosing walls of the staircase shall be of brick or RCC with a Fire resistance of 2 hours & shall be reachable via a ventilated lobby through self-closing door rated not less than 2 hours & shall not have glazed or glass bricks.
The door should be single swing type opening in the direction of escape & should be fitted with check section door closures (panic bars).
• The staircase shall be ventilated to on the external wall of the building at each landing or mid landing, which should not be a part of common corridor.
• Permanent vent at the top equal to 5% of cross sectional area of the enclosure & openable sashes at landings with area not less than 0. 5-sq.m. on external wall shall be provided. The top of the shaft shall be 1m. above the surrounding roof.
• The internal walls of the staircase should not have glazed or glass bricks.
• If the staircase cannot be ventilated, electrically operated blowers should maintain a positive pressure of 5-mm water gauge.
• Pressuring mechanism should operate automatically when Fire alarm operates; this can also be operated manually if required.
• Walls enclosing lift shafts should be 2 hours Fire rated.
Shafts should have permanent vent at the top not less than 1800 mm (0.2sq.m.) in clear area.
• Lift machine rooms should be preferably above the shaft & be separated from the enclosing walls of the shaft.
• Landing doors should open into a ventilated or pressurised corridor/lobby & should be 1 hour Fire rated.
• The number of lifts in one lift bank should not be more than 4.
• The shaft of the Fire lift shall be separated from the bank by brick or RCC wall whose Fire rating should be 2
• If the shaft & the lobby are in the core of the building a positive pressure not less than 2.5 mm & not more than 3 mm on water gauge for lobby & not less than 5 mm in the shaft should be maintained by electrically operated blowers which should operate automatically whenever Fire alarm operates. The mechanism should also have facility to operate manually.
• Exit from the lobby, if located in the core of the building, shall be through a self-closing smoke stop door of ½
• Machinery other than that of the lift shall be installed in the lift machine room.
• Lifts should not normally communicate with the basement, however one of them may be permitted provided the lobby is pressurised & separated from rest of the basement by a smoke actuated Fire resistant door of 2 hours rating. The door should hold open by an Electro-magnetic device or linked with a smoke detector.
• To enable Fire services personnel reach top floor with minimum delay, one or more lifts should be available exclusively in an emergency for such personnel.
The lifts should have a floor area not less than 1.4 sq.m. With a minimum dimension of 1.2 m. &
loading capacity should not belessthan545 Kgs.(8 person)with automatic closing
• The Fire lift should operate by a simple toggle or two-button switch situated at entrance level in a glass cover box placed adjacent to the lift. When the switch is operated, all call points will become inoperative & the lift will be on car or priority control device & will return back to normal once the switch is off.
• The words “FIRE LIFT” should be conspicuously displayed in fluorescent paint on each floor.
• All basements shall be separately ventilated.
• Vents with cross sectional area not less than 2.5% of the floor should be spread evenly around the perimeter of the basements.
• A system of air inlets & outlets at the basement floor level & smoke outlets at the basement ceiling level must be provided.
• Inlets & outlets should terminate at ground level with breakable stall boards or pavement lights & should be in a position easily accessible to “FIRE BRIGADE” personnel for rescue purpose & should be clearly marked “SMOKE OUTLET” or “AIR INLET” near the opening.
• Staircase of basements should be enclosed type having Fire resistance of not less than 2 hours.• Staircase should be situated at the periphery of the basements & open on the ground level in open air.
• The staircases should be so provided that all occupants without having travelled more than 18.50
meters could access it.
A single intake duct may serve all basements, but each basement & compartments thereof shall have separate smoke outlet ducts.
• Mechanical smoke extractor for the smoke venting system should be provided from the lower basement level & should actuate with the heat sensitive detectors or sprinklers installed.
• The system should also have an arrangement of starting it manually but at temperature not less than 55 degrees C.
• Kitchen & pantry working on gas fuel should not be permitted in the basements.
• Departmental stores & shops are also not permitted in the basements unless specifically designed for the purpose.