Maintaining passive fire protection systems
The Department has recently written to all managers of building consent authorities (BCAs) about passive fire protection (PFP). This was part of the response to recommendations in the Fire Protection Association report Determining Barriers to Industry Delivery of Fire Safe Buildings in New Zealand .
Both passive and active fire protection are important to the fire safety performance of a building. PFP must be inspected and maintained if it is a specified system and appears on a compliance schedule.
An August 2008 Codewords article described the inclusion of PFP systems on compliance schedules
As best practice for new building consents, the Department recommends PFP that forms part of the means of escape be identified on plans included with a draft compliance schedule. The final plan of PFP can then be included with the issued compliance schedule following the issue of the code compliance certificate.
BCAs can assist with this practice by writing to independent qualified persons (IQPs) and building owners close to the time of the building warrant of fitness anniversary to remind them about the importance of PFP.
Information that BCAs can provide to IQPs and building owners was included with the recent correspondence to BCA managers.
If changes to a compliance schedule are necessary, these should be applied for using Form 11 (application for amendment to compliance schedule). This will provide a phased-in approach to amending compliance schedules.
If a building has defective PFP, then the defect should be corrected by maintenance and repair so the building can comply with the Building Code and Building Act 2004.
Further information and guidance is available in the Compliance Schedule Handbook. Another good resource is the Building Owners Building Warrant of Fitness Manual
If you would like to clarify any aspect of passive fire protection or discuss the report’s findings, please contact Nick Saunders on 0800 242 243. Peter Sparrow can also assist with queries about compliance schedules, and can be contacted on the same phone number.