For those who weren’t aware of it, since it was launched without fanfare (or consultation), Auckland Council has a new policy on passive fire protection - 1825 - passive fire policy
I suggest every one reads it, as there are some good parts long overdue, and also significant issues for engineers including:
- The illegal requirements for specification that products must be listed on the commercial FPANZ register, even if they meet the deemed to comply standards, contrary to the building act.
- A PS4 is required from fire engineers defacto although you can call it whatever you want. Fire designers who can’t do inspections or may not be experts in passive fire inspections aren’t mentioned.
- Requirement 3rd party inspections. There is no guidance for who is suitable or acceptable or even limitations such as ISO17020 accreditation or insurance. I suggest ISO17020 accreditation, suitable qualifications and experience and auditing from IANZ as per fire alarm and sprinkler inspectors should be a minimum if you or a Council are to have reasonable grounds to rely on them,especially given the poor quality passive fire stopping issues endemic in the industry. You don’t want to have to rely on the same skill set for your inspections… Several million dollars of insurance is a must as well, although that is of limited value if the inspection company is rinsed down the track to continue with a different name when you need them but you need to back to back your insurance with theirs if you are relying on them.
Guidance on a minimum number of items to be checked is given and note that these checks are intrusive. It is not stated, but they appear to be from the ASTM standard for passive fire inspections (ASTM E2393-10A-2015 - inspection of Installed Fire Resistive Joint Systems and perimeter fire barriers and ASTM 2174 - On-Site Inspection of Installed Firestops). Note that as an engineer, this may not be enough on a risk basis if things get rough to give you reasonable grounds against a false pass in some cases. Look at ISO2859 series (especially part 4 and supporting documents) as one guide for a statistical basis. They are heavy reading and can be hard to apply in practice.