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CHAPTER 5

Features of Fire Protection

Chapter 5 has been expanded from the 1997 edition to in- ( 1999 edition), is the reference document used throughout
clude fire-resistant assemblies, fire doors and fire windows, this Code to define specific types of building construction.
interior finishes, and furnishings, contents, decorations, and NFPA 914, Recommended Practice for Fire Protection in
treated finishes. Historic Structures (1994 edition), Appendix D "Guideline
on Fire Ratings of Archaic Materials and Assemblies," can
assist with determining the fire resistance ratings of materials
used in older construction.
5-1 General Chapter 3 of NFPA 220 is extracted here for the conve-
nience of the user. This material also appears in Chapter I0.
This chapter shall apply to new, existing, permanent, or
temporary buildings. Types of Construction
Type I (443 or 332). Type I construction shall be that
type in which the structural members, including walls,
columns, beams, girders, trusses, arches, floors, and
5-2 Construction roofs, are of approved noncombustible or limited-
Where required by this Code, a type of building construction combustible materials and shall have fire resistance
shall comply with NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building ratings not less than those specified in Table 3-l.
Construction. Type II (222, lii, or 000). Type II construction shall
be that type not qualifying as Type I construction in
Paragraph -.1.6 of each occupancy chapter in NFPA 101 , which the structural members, including walls,
Life Safety Code (2000 edition), regulates the types of columns, beams, girders, trusses, arches, floors, and
construction for the following occupancies: roofs, are of approved noncombustible or limited-
combustible materials and shall have fire resistance
(1) New and existing assembly occupancies
ratings not less than those specified in Table 3-1.
(2) New and existing health care occupancies
(3) New and existing ambulatory health care facilities Type III (211 or 200). Type III construction shall be
(4) New and existing detention and correctional occupanc- that type in which exterior walls and structural
ies members that are portions of exterior walls are of
(5) New and existing large residential board and care facili- approved noncombustible or limited-combustible
ties materials, and interior structural members, including
walls, columns, beams, girders, trusses, arches, floors,
(6) New and existing residential building to house a residen-
and roofs, are entirely or partially of wood of smaller
tial board and care occupancy
dimensions than required for Type IV construction or
(7) New and existing day-care occupancies
of approved noncombustible, limited-combustible, or
The Life Safety Code also requires other construction fea- other approved combustible materials. In addition,
tures, such as protection of vertical openings and protection structural members shall have fire resistance ratings
of hazards. Other referenced codes and standards may also not less than those specified in Table 3-1.
require specific construction types or features. Type IV (2HH). Type IV constnJction shall be that
NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction type in which exterior and interior walls and structural

113
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114 Chapter 5 Features of Fire Protection

Table 3-1 Fire-Resistance Ratings (in Hours) for Type I Through Type V Construction [from NFPA 220]

Type I Type II Type Ill Type IV TypeV


443 332 222 111 000

Exterior Bearing Walls


Supporting more than one 4 3 2 0'
floor, columns, or other
bearing walls
Supporting one floor only 4 3 2 0'
Supporting a roof only 4 3 1 0'

Interior Bearing Walls


Supporting more than one 4 3 2 0
floor, columns, or other
bearing walls
Supporting one floor only 3 2 2 0
Supporting roofs only 3 2 1 0

Columns
Supporting more than one 4 3 2 0
floor, columns, or other
bearing walls
Supporting one floor only 3 2 2 0
Supporting roofs only 3 2 1 0
Beams, Girders, Trusses,
and Arches
Supporting more than one 4 3 2 0
floor, columns, or other
bearing walls
Supporting one floor only 3 2 2 0
Supporting roofs only 3 2 0

Floor Construction 3 2 2 0

Roof Construction 2 1% 0

Exterior Nonbearlng Walls 0' 0' 0' 0' 0'

Note: Shaded areas represent those members that shall be permitted to be of approved combustible material.
'Requirements for fire resistance of exterior walls, the provision of spandrel wall sections, and the limitation or protection of wall openings are not
related to construction type. They need to be specified in other standards and codes, where appropriate, and may be required in addition to the requirements
of NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction, for the construction type.
2 "H" indicates heavy timber members; see NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction, for requirements.
Exterior nonbearing walls meeting the conditions of acceptance of NFPA 285, Standard Method of Test for the Evaluation of Flammability Characteristics
of Exterior Non-Load-Bearing Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components Using the Intermediate-Scale, Multistory Test Apparatus
[1998 edition], shall be permitted to be used.
Source: Table 3-1 from NFPA 220, 1999.

members that are portions of such walls are of be of heavy timber construction provided the 2-hour
approved noncombustible or limited-combustible rating as required by Table 3-1 [of NFPA 220] is
materials. Other interior structural members, including maintained and such walls contain no combustible
columns, beams, girders, trusses, arches, floors, and concealed spaces.
roofs, shall be of solid or laminated wood without
concealed spaces and shall comply with the provisions Exception No. 2: 1nterior columns, arches, beams,
of 3-4.2 through 3-4.6 [of NFPA 220]. In addition, girders, and trusses of approved materials other than
structural members shall have fire resistance ratings wood shall be permitted, provided they are protected to
not less than those specified in Table 3-1. provide a fire resistance rating ofnot less than 1 hour.

Exception No. 1: Exterior walls greater than 30 ft Exception No. 3: Certain concealed spaces shall be
(9.1 m) from the property line shall be permitted to permitted by the exception to 3-4.4 [of NFPA 220].

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5-3 Fire-Resistant Assemblies 115

Wood columns supporting floor loads shall be not less ( 102 mm) in width, set close together on edge, spiked
than 8 in. (203 mm) in any dimension; wood columns at intervals of 18 in. (457 mm), and covered with
supporting roof loads only shall be not less than 6 in. 1 in. (25 mm) tongue-and-groove flooring, laid cross-
(152 mm) in the smallest dimension and not less than wise or diagonally to the plank, or with Y2 in.
8 in. (203 mm) in depth. (12.7 mm) plywood.
Wood beams and girders supporting floor loads Roof decks shall be constructed of spline or tongue-
shall be not less than 6 in. (152 mm) in width and and-groove plank not less than 2 in. (51 mm) in thick-
not less than I 0 in. (254 mm) in depth; wood beams ness; or of laminated planks not less than 3 in. (76
and girders and other roof framing supporting roof mm) in width, set close together on edge, and laid as
loads only shall be not less than 4 in. (102 mm) in required for floors; or of I Ys in. (28.6 mm) thick
width and not less than 6 in. (152 mm) in depth. interior plywood (exterior glue); or of approved non-
Framed or glued laminated arches that spring from combustible or limited-combustible materials of
grade or the floor line and timber trusses that support equivalent fire durability.
floor loads shall be not less than 8 in. (203 mm) in Type V (111 or 000). Type V construction shall be
width or depth. Framed or glued laminated arches for that type in which exterior walls, bearing walls,
roof construction that spring from grade or the floor columns, beams, girders, trusses, arches, floors, and
line and do not support floor loads shall have members roofs are entirely or partially of wood or other
not less than 6 in. ( 152 mm) in width and not less approved combustible material smaller than material
than 8 in. (203 mm) in depth for the lower half of the required for Type IV construction. In addition,
member height and not less than 6 in. (152 mm) in structural members shall have fire resistance ratings
depth for the upper half of the member height. Framed not less than those specified in Table 3-1 [of NFPA
or glued laminated arches for roof construction that 220].
spring from the top of walls or wall abutments and
timber trusses that do not support floor loads shall Table 5.1 provides a cross-reference between the NFPA 220
have members not less than 4 in. (1 02 mm) in width building construction types and the four model building code
and not less than 6 in. (152 mm) in depth. construction classifications.
Exception: Spaced members shall be permitted to be
composed of two or more pieces not less than 3 in.
(76 mm) in thickness where blocked solidly throughout
their intervening spaces or where such spaces are 5-3 Fire-Resistant Assemblies
tightly closed by a continuous wood cover plate not
The design and construction of fire walls and fire barrier
less than 2 in. (51 mm) in thickness, secured to the
walls that are required to separate buildings or subdivide a
underside of the members.
building to prevent the spread of fire shall comply with this
Splice plates shall be not less than 3 in. (76 mm) in section and NFPA 221, Standard for Fire Walls and Fire
thickness. Barrier Walls.
Floors shall be constructed of spline or tongue-and-
groove plank not less than 3 in. (76 mm) in thickness NFPA 221, Standard for Fire Walls and Fire Barrier Walls
that is covered with 1 in. (25 mm) tongue-and-groove (2000 edition), prescribes minimum requirements for fire
flooring, laid crosswise or diagonally to the plank, walls and fire barrier walls for use in providing safety to
or with \12 in. (12.7 mm) plywood; or they shall be life and protection of property from fire. These requirements
constructed of laminated planks not less than 4 in. are to apply to walls that are required to separate buildings

Table 5.1 Cross-Reference of Building Construction Types

NFPA 220 1(443) 1(332) 11(222) 11(111) II(OOO) III(211) III(200) IV(2HH) V(111) V(OOO)
8/N8C 1A 18 2A 28 2C 3A 38 4 SA 58
18C lA 18 IlA liB lilA 1118 IV VA VB
SBC II IV 1 hr IV unp V 1 hr V unp Ill Vl1 hr VI unp
UBC ! FR II FR II 1 hr II P\1
II 1'1
Ill -1
Ill I
L-.. ..
Ill
Ill t.l
Ill 1'1
1\l LJT
IV n I V 1 hr VN

B/NBC-BOCA/National Building Code, Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc., 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills,
IL 60478-5795
IBC - International Building Code, International Code Council, 5203 Leesburg Pike, Suite 708, Falls Church, VA 22041
SBC~Standard Building Code, Southern Building Code Congiess lnteinational, Inc., sao Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL 35213-1206
USC-Uniform Building Code, International Conference of Building Code Officials, 5360 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, CA 90601-2298

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116 Chapter 5 Features of Fire Protection

or subdivide a building to prevent the spread of fire. This Elevators and Escalators, or CAN 3-B44, Safety Code for
Code and referenced codes and standards may contain re- Elevators.
quirements that specify that a fire wall or fire barrier wall
NFPA 82, Standard on Incinerators and Waste and Linen
be installed. NFPA 221 provides the requirements necessary
Handling Systems and Equipment (1999 edition), addresses
to evaluate the design and construction of those walls.
fire doors on incinerators and waste handling systems. NFPA
232, Standard for the Protection of Records (2000 edition),
addresses fire doors for record rooms and vaults.

5-4 Fire Doors and Windows 5-4.4 This section shall not apply to fire-resistant glazing
materials and horizontally sliding accordion or folding as-
5-4.1 The installation and maintenance of assemblies and semblies fabricated for use as walls and tested as wall assem-
devices used to protect openings in walls, floors, and ceilings
blies in accordance with NFPA 251, Stantklrd Methods of
against the spread of fire and smoke within, into, or out
Tests of Fire Endurance of Building Construction and Mate-
of buildings shall comply with this section and NFPA 80,
rials. The authority having jurisdiction shall be consulted for
Standard for Fire Doors and Fire Windows.
the design and installation of such materials and assemblies.
(80:1-1.4)
New installations of fire doors and fire windows should be
as prescribed in NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Fire There are currently doors and windows that have been tested
Windows (1999 edition). Chapter 15 of NFPA 80 covers the and listed by NFPA 251, Standard Methods of Tests of Fire
care and maintenance of fire doors and fire windows. Endurance of Building Construction and Materials (1999
Where a door or window opening is no longer in use, edition), as a wall assembly. When evaluating doors, win-
the opening is to be filled with construction equivalent to dows, fire doors, and fire windows, the listing obtained from
that of the wall. Many times, doors are no longer used as the testing laboratory should be carefully reviewed to ensure
doors and become walls. Many times, an office (or similar compliance with the applicable requirements.
space) may have two doors installed for convenience; over
time one of the doors is no longer needed or used and has
items placed in front of the door to prevent its use. When
the door is no longer a door and has materials placed against 5-5 Interior Finish
or in close proximity to the door, the effectiveness and rating
Interior finish in buildings and structures shall meet the
of that fire-resistive barrier are reduced. The fire testing
requirements of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, and this Code.
requirements differ for a wall and a door and care should
be taken when a fire door or a fire window is no longer Historically, many fire fatalities have been attributed to the
used as a door or window. quick spread of fire. Often the fire spread occurs along
the expanses of exposed wall and ceiling coverings and via
the contents of the building. Chapter 10 of NFPA 101 regu-
5-4.2 The fire performance evaluation of these assemblies lates some of these features.
shall be in accordance with NFPA 251, Standard Methods Chapter 10 ofNFPA 101 establishes basic requirements
of Tests of Fire Endurance of Building Construction and for interior wall, ceiling, and floor finish and for furnishings
Materials, for horizontal access doors; NFPA 252, Standard and contents. The chapter specifies a menu of protection
Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies, for fire doors options that are mandated to varying degrees by specific
and shutters; and NFPA 257, Stantklrd on Fire Test for occupancy chapters. However, some of the requirements of
Window and Glass Block Assemblies, for fire windows and this chapter apply to all occupancies.
glass block. Section 10.2 of NFPA 101 provides requirements for
interior finish, which includes wall, ceiling, and floor fin-
5-4.3* This section shall not apply to incinerator doors, ishes. The concept behind the requirements is to slow the
record room doors, and vault doors. flame spread across these finish surfaces to allow additional
time for occupants to relocate within, or evacuate from, a
A-5-4.3 For requirements on the installation of incinerator building. The fire characteristics of interior finish can play
doors, record room doors, and vault doors, see NFPA 82, a dramatic role in life safety when a fire occurs.
Stantklrd on Incinerators and Waste and Linen Handling Section 10.3 of NFPA 101 addresses the contents and
Systems and Equipment, and NFPA 232, Standard for the furnishings in a building. Very few occupancy chapters man-
Protection of Records. For requirements on the installation date the use of the provisions of this section of NFPA 101.
of hoistway doors for elevators and dumbwaiters, see the The occupancies for which the regulation of furnishings and
applicable sections of ASME/ANSI A17.1, Safety Code for contents is part of the overall life safety scheme involve

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5-5 Interior Finish 117

occupants who are nonambulatory, who are otherwise re- carpeting on the walls and ceilings of elevator lobbies con-
strained or detained, or who are asleep. Contrast this applica- tributed to horizontal fire spread on the floor of origin and
tion with the provisions for interior finish that are mandated vertical spread involving 22 floors. Eight people died in this
by all of the occupancy chapters. fire. (NFPA Fire Journal 1982)
Interior finish has been a significant factor in rapid In a 1978 Holiday Inn fire that killed 10 people, "light-
flame spread in many of the deadliest U.S. fires of recent weight plywood paneling in stairway did not meet Life Safety
decades. The following are a few examples of such fires. Code, was involved early in fire, and produced rapid growth
In June 1989, five people died on the floor of origin of and spread." In a 1979 Holiday Inn fire that also killed I 0
an "intense, rapidly developing fire on the sixth floor of an people, "carpeting and some wall covering in corridors had
office building" in Atlanta, Georgia. (Isner 1990) In this excessively high flame-spread properties." (Hall 1989)
fire, ". . . the fire spread was so fast that the blaze in the In a 1972 Springfield, Illinois, convalescent nursing
corridor had burned itself out by the time fire fighters entered home fire that killed 10 of the 41 patients, "the wood-panel
the sixth floor about seven minutes after the initial alarm finish accelerated fire spread . . . . Combustible interior
. . . . This is not the first time that multiple layers of wall finish-especially interior finish such as the wood paneling
coverings have been identified as a contributing factor in a in this facility-should not be allowed where infirm people
fire . . . . It is evident that this condition existed in the are housed . . . . The paneling on the stairway had
Atlanta building, that the materials in those layers contrib- completely burned away, permitting fire spread into the first
uted to the total load in the corridor, and that it is likely floor through holes in the plaster." (Watrous 1972)
they contributed to the rate of fire spread." Regarding the 1970 Pioneer International Hotel fire,
Regarding the 1986 DuPont Plaza Hotel fire (see Exhibit where 28 died:
5.1 ), where 96 people died: "Under the NFPA Life Safety Under the NFPA Life Safety Code, interior finish in
Code, interior finish in all ballrooms, including the room of all ballrooms, including the room of origin, corridors
origin, should have been Class A or Class B. The wall finish and stairs were carpeted (100 percent acrylic), with
of the room of origin contributed to the rapid fire growth." two layers of padding under carpet in corridors and
(Klem 1987) carpeting extending 22 inches up the walls. Above
In the 1981 Las Vegas Hilton Hotel fire, combustible the carpeted areas of the wall were sections of wood,

Exhibit 5. 1 DuPont Plaza Hotel fire, in which rapid fire growth was, in part, due to wall finish
in room of origin. (Exhibit 10.1 from Life Safety Code Handbook, 2000)

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118 Chapter 5 Features of Fire Protection

wallpaper, and plastic-laminated plywood. Interior A-5-7.2 Exception. An architectural, exposed, suspended-
finish contributed to fire. (Hall 1989) grid acoustical tile ceiling with penetrations for sprinklers,
ducted HVAC supply and return air diffusers, speakers, and
recessed light fixtures is capable of limiting the transfer of
smoke. (101:A.8.2.4.2)
5-6 Furnishings, Contents, Decorations, and
The concept of limiting the transfer of smoke from one side
Treated Finishes of a smoke partition to the other is different from the concept
Furnishings, contents, decorations, and treated finishes in of preventing any and all smoke from transferring to the
buildings and structures shall meet the requirements ofNFPA other side of a partition. A smoke partition should be thought
101, Life Safety Code, and this Code. of as a barrier that reasonably limits, but does not prevent,
smoke transfer. There are suspended ceiling systems and
Section 10.3 of NFPA 101 provides a detailed menu of monolithic surfaced ceilings that provide resistance to smoke
provisions that are applicable to contents and furnishings transfer that is approximately equal to the traditional, non-
(for example, draperies, upholstered furniture, and mat- rated corridor wall or partition. The exception to 5-7.2 per-
tresses) that can be adopted singly, in various combinations, mits smoke partitions to terminate tightly against the
or in their entirety in accordance with an occupancy's indi- underside of such ceilings. The list of acceptable penetrating
vidual operating features requirements. These requirements items (for example, speakers, recessed light fixtures, and
typically appear in Section -.7 of an occupancy chapter of ducted HVAC air diffusers) makes it clear that a smoke
NFPA 101. For example, the provisions for detention and partition does not prevent all smoke transfer; rather, it limits
correctional occupancies (22.7.4 and 23.7.4 of NFPA 101) the transfer of smoke to an acceptable life safety level.
make extensive, mandatory use of all provisions outlined in
the Section 10.3 menu. Provisions for residential board and
5-7.3* Doors
care occupancies (32.7.5, 33.7.5, A.32.7.5, and A.33.7.5 of
NFPA 101) make partial mandatory and partial advisory use A-5-7.3 Gasketing of doors should not be necessary as the
of the menu items contained in Section 10.3. clearances in NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Fire
Windows, effectively achieve resistance to the passage of
smoke if the doors are relatively tight fitting.

5-7 Smoke Partitions 5-7.3.1 Doors in smoke partitions shall comply with 5-7.3.2
through 5-1.3.5.(101:8.2.4.3.1)
5-7.1 Where required elsewhere in this Code or NFPA 101,
smoke partitions shall be provided to limit the transfer of 5-7.3.2 Doors shall comply with the provisions of 7.2.1 of
smoke. (101:8.2.4.1) NFPA 101. (101:8.2.4.3.2)

Chapter 8 of NFPA 101 does not require the installation of 5-7.3.3 Doors shall not include louvers. (101:8.2.4.3.3)
smoke partitions but provides detailed criteria for smoke
partitions required by other sections ofNFPA 101. A smoke 5-7.3.4* Door clearances shall be in accordance with NFPA
partition is a continuous membrane designed to form a bar- 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Fire Windows.
rier to limit the transfer of smoke. (See the definition of the (101:8.2.4.3.4)
term smoke partition in 3.3.185 of NFPA 101.)
A-5-7.3.4 Gasketing of doors should not be necessary, as
the clearances in NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and
5-7.2 Smoke partitions shall extend from the floor to the Fire Windows, effectively achieve resistance to the passage
underside of the floor or roof deck above, through any con- of smoke if the door is relatively tight fitting.
cealed spaces, such as those above suspended ceilings, and (1 01: A.8.2.4.3.4)
through interstitial structural and mechanical spaces.
NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Fire Windows (1999
Exception:* Smoke partitions shall be permitted to termi- edition), permits clearances of Ys in. (3.2 mm) between the
nate at the underside of a monolithic or suspended ceiling door frame and the top and sides of the door. For swinging
system where the following conditions are met: doors with builder's hardware, NFPA 80 permits the follow-
ing c!eara..TJ.ces:
(a) The ceiling system forms a continuous membrane.
(b) A smoketight joint is provided between the top of the (1) %in. (9.5 mm) between the bottom of the door and a
smoke partition and the bottom of the suspended ceiling. raised noncombustible sill
(c) The space above the ceiling is not used as a plenum. (2) %in. (19.1 mm) between the bottom of the door and
(101:8.2.4.2) the floor where no sill exists

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5-7 Smoke Partitions 119

Table 5.2 Interior Finish Classification Limitations

Occupancy Exits Access to Exits Other Spaces

Assembly-New
>300 occupant load A A orB A orB
,.,;300 occupant load A A orB A, B, or C
Assembly-Existing
>300 occupant load A A orB A orB
,.,;300 occupant load A A orB A, B, or C
Educational-New A A orB A or 8, C on low partitionst
Educational-Existing A A orB A, B, or C
Day-Care Centers-New A A A orB
I or II I or II NR
Day-Care Centers-Existing A orB A orB A orB
Group Day-Care Homes-New A orB A orB A, B, or C
Group Day-Care Homes-Existing A or 8 A,B,orC A,B,orC
Family Day-Care Homes A orB A,B,orC A,B,orC
Health Care-New (sprinklers mandatory) A orB A orB, A orB,
C on lower portion C in small individual roomst
of corridor wallt
Health Care-Existing A orB A orB A orB
Detention and Correctional-New At At A,B,orC
I I
Detention and Correctional-Existing A or Bt A or Bt A,B,orC
I or II I or II
1- and 2-Family Dwellings, Lodging or Rooming Houses A,B,orC A, B, or C A,B,orC
Hotels and Dormitories-New A A orB A,B,orC
I or II I or II
Hotels and Dormitories-Existing A orB A orB A, 8, or C
I or lit I or lit
Apartment Buildings-New A A or 8 A, B, or C
I or lit I or lit
Apartment Buildings-Existing A orB A orB A, 8, or C
I or lit I or lit
Residential, Board and Care-(See Chapters 32 and 33
of NFPA 101.)
Mercantile-New A orB A orB A orB
Mercantile-Existing Class A or Class B A orB A orB Ceilings-A or B,
walls-A, B, or C
Mercantile-Existing Class C A, B, or C A,B,orC A,B,orC
Business and Ambulatory Health Care-New A orB A orB A,B,orC
I or II I or II
Business and Ambulatory Health Care-Existing A orB A orB A, B, or C
Industrial A orB A, B, or C A, B, or C
Storage A orB A, B, or C A,B,orC

NR: No requirement.
Notes:
1. Class A interior wall and ceiling finish-flame spread 0-25. (new) smoke developed 0-450.
2. Class 8 interior wall and ceiling finish-flame spread 26-75, (new) smoke developed 0-450.
3. Class C interior wall and ceiling finish-flame spread 76-200, (new) smoke developed 0-450.
4. Class I interior floor finish-<:ritical radiant flux, not less than 0.45 W/cm 2
5. Class II interior floor finish--<:ritical radiant flux, not less than 0.22 W/cm 2 but less than 0.45 W/cm 2
6. Automatic sprinklers-where a complete standard system of automatic sprinklers is installed, interior wall and ceiling finish with flame spread rating
not exceeding Class C is permitted to be used in any location where Class 8 is required and with rating of Class 8 in any location where Class
A is required; similarly, Class II interior floor finish is permitted to be used in any location where Class I is required, and no critical radiant flux rating
is required where Class II is required. These provisions do not apply to new health care facilities.
7. Exposed portions of stiuctuial membeiS complying with the requirements ior heav-y tin-1ber construction are permitted.
tSee correspond'1ng chapters for details.
Source: Table A.1 0.2.2 from Life Safety Cod~ Handbook; 2000.

NFPA Fire Prevention Code Handbook 2000

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120 Chapter 5 Features of Fire Protection

(3) % in. (15.9 mm) between the bottom of the door and fer of smoke. Dampers in air transfer openings shall close
rigid floor tile upon detection of smoke by approved smoke detectors in-
(4) !h in. (12.7 mm) between the bottom of the door and stalled in accordance with NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm
floor coverings such as carpet Code. (101:8.2.4.4.3)
With the allowed clearances, some smoke will pass to
A-5-7.4.3 An air transfer opening as defined in NFPA 90A,
the opposite side of a closed door. It is important to remember
that the intent of the smoke partition is not to prevent all Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Venti-
smoke transfer but, rather, to limit the transfer of smoke to lating Systems, is an opening designed to allow the move-
an acceptable life safety level. ment of environmental air between two contiguous spaces.
(101:A.8.2.4.4.3)

5-7.3.5 Doors shall be self-closing or automatic-closing in If ductwork runs to a smoke partition, pierces the partition,
accordance with 7.2.1.8 of NFPA JOI. (101:8.2.4.3.5) and continues its run on the other side of the partition, no
transfer opening exists. Given that no transfer opening is
5-7.4 Penetrations and Miscellaneous Openings in present, there is no requirement for a smoke leakage-rated
Smoke Partitions. damper. If such ducted HVAC systems without dampers are
to spread smoke, spread will occur via migration, because
5-7.4.1 Pipes, conduits, bus ducts, cables, wires, air ducts,
the provisions of NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation
pneumatic tubes and ducts, and similar building service
of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems (1999 edition),
equipment that pass through smoke partitions shall be pro-
require the automatic shutdown of most of the fans that
tected as follows:
would otherwise push and pull smoke through the ductwork.
(1) The space between the penetrating item and the smoke
partition shall meet one of the following conditions:
a. It shall be filled with a material that is capable of
limiting the transfer of smoke. References Cited in Commentary
b. It shall be protected by an approved device that is Isner, Michael, "Five Die in High-Rise Office Building
designed for the specific purpose. Fire," Fire Journal, July/August 1990.
(2) Where the penetrating item uses a sleeve to penetrate Hall, Jr., John, "Report Prepared for the House Subcommit-
the smoke partition, the sleeve shall be solidly set in tee on Science, Research, and Technology on H.R. 94,
the smoke partition, and the space between the item and The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1989," NFPA,
the sleeve shall meet one of the following conditions: March 2, 1989.
a. It shall be filled with a material that is capable of Klem, Thomas, "Investigation Report on the DuPont Plaza
limiting the transfer of smoke. Hotel Fire," NFPA, 1987.
b. It shall be protectt<d by an approved device that is Life Safety Code Handbook, 2000 edition.
designed for the specific purpose. Moulton, R. S., "Emergency Lighting for Fire Safety,"
(3) Where designs take transmission of vibrations into con- NFPA Quarterly, October 1956.
sideration, any vibration isolation shall meet one of the NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Fire Windows, 1999
following conditions: edition.
a. It shall be made on either side of the smoke parti- NFPA 82, Standard on Incinerators and Waste and Linen
tions. Handling Systems and Equipment, 1999 edition.
b. It shall be made by an approved device that is de- NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation ofAir-Conditioning
signed for the specific purpose. (101:8.2.4.4.1) and Ventilating Systems, 1999 edition.
NFPA IOI, Life Safety Code, 2000 edition.
5-7.4.2 Openings located at points where smoke partitions NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction,
meet the outside walls, other smoke partitions, smoke barri- 1999 edition.
ers, or fire barriers of a building shall meet one of the NFPA 221, Standard for Fire Walls and Fire Barrier Walls,
following conditions: 2000 edition.
(1) They shall be filled with a material that is capable of NFPA 232, Standard for the Protection of Records, 2000
limiting the transfer of smoke. edition.
(2) They shall be made by an approved device that is de- NFPA 251, Standard Methods of Tests of Fire Endurance
signed for the specific purpose. (101:8.2.4.4.2) of Building Construction and Materials, 1999 edition.
NFPA 285, Standard Method of Test for the Evaluation
5-7 .4.3* Air transfer openings in smoke partitions shall be of Flammability Characteristics of Exterior Non-Load-
provided with approved dampers designed to limit the trans- Bearing Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Com-

2000 NFPA Fire Prevention Code Handbook

Copyright by the National Fire Protection Association


Thu Feb 25 00:35:32 2010
II 6474446 0592835 T27 11.

References 121

ponents Using the Intermediate-Scale, Multistory Test NFPA, "Investigation Report on the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel
Apparatus, 1998 edition. Fire," Fire Journal 76, no. 1 (January 1982): 52-63.
NFPA 914, Recommended Practice for Fire Protection in Norton, Allison, "When Security Provisions Threaten Fire
Historic Structures, 1994 edition. Safety," Fire Journal, November/December 1988.

NFPA Fire Prevention Code Handbook 2000

Copyright by the National Fire Protection Association


Thu Feb 25 00:35:33 2010