• Bhadani QS and Construction Mgmt Institute

INDIAN BUILDING CODE SUMMARY FOR ALL CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS AND ENGINEERS

SALIENT FEATURES FIRE & LIFE SAFETY


Introduction

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.


Building Materials


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.


Staircase Enclosures

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.


Lift Enclosures

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

hours.

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

hour rating.

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.


Fire Lifts


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.


Basements

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.


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