For those who missed it in the DIA proposed changes to the evacuation of building regulations (see the HOFFE thread for link), this one has been sneaked in for fire fighting water supplies:
Lower-level offences (these do not have equivalent criminal offences under the FENZ Act) …
• Failing to comply with the standards for water supply volume and pressure in the Code of Practice; and
What exactly does this mean?
Will FENZ prosecute Watercare or its equivalent in other cities if they do not maintain water pressure and flow to PAS4509 - a non mandatory standard?
Is every building owner going to have to have an Olympic swimming pool for fire fighting water supplies, especially if there is no town main?
How does this tie in for the Building Act for protection of property. Is it going to vary by building type - a high rise or hospital (where the fire crew can be expected to enter for rescue and fire fighting) vs an industrial building , especially a building more than 15m from the boundary?
Cliff Barnett looked at NZ fire fighting water supplies many years ago and the NZ requirements were much higher than elsewhere in the world. In fact, with a big industrial building, the projected water demand is higher than the number of fire appliances available to deliver it on a recent project.
This is new and is not carried over from other Acts which are superseded. Currently the only reference in law I know of for fire fighting water supplies is the Local Government Act, where if the Council puts in a town main, they have to put hydrants on it. It does not require that a town main be put in, or as I recall, require any particular system performance.
I had a lengthy discussion with one of the policy people at the DIA about the document. A couple of items of importance:
The first part of the document is a discussion about the revision of the FSEBR.
The second part, associated with penalties, is NOT part of the FSEBR discussion, but is (I understand) a stand alone discussion. This is where the draconian information about regulatory compliance with the fire service code of practice for water supplies comes in.
The second item is that PAS 4509 is up for review, and to quote from the FENZ Act, Subpart 3, section 73:
73 Duty to develop, consult on, recommend the approval of, and publish and
notify code of practice for firefighting water supplies
(1) For the purposes of section 72, FENZ must develop, consult on, recommend
the approval of, and publish an approved code of practice for firefighting water
supplies (code of practice) in accordance with this section.
(2) FENZ must develop a code of practice in consultation with—
(a) local advisory committees; and
(b) any local authority, association of local authorities, or any other appropriate
authorities or organisations.
(3) After developing a code of practice in accordance with subsection (2), FENZ
must submit the code of practice to the Minister for approval.
The important thing is that FENZ MUST consult with other appropriate authorities or organisations during the development process, not at the end of the process. I suggest that SFPE needs to be really on top of this, as the penalties section of the discussion document infers that all existing and new commercial and industrial sites will be subject to FENZ review of their fire fighting water supply, and subject to fines if not considered to be appropriate.
If I can assist, only too pleased.
I can see nothing that allows for a risk assessment to be undertaken, including a cost/benefit analysis, that will
I do agree that some aspects of SNZ/PAS 4509 around FW7 are quite onerous, however the current “do nothing” attitude when it comes to NZBC compliance, and “FFW should have been covered in the Resource Consent” is not helpful and potentially has implications for us as designers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Section 39 has responsibilities for us as designers which include having to design for “any reasonably foreseeable activity” (such as …maintenance or repair)…
I would hazard a guess that it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a court would consider a fire-fighting operation might be considered to fall under “maintenance or repair” and that fires are a reasonably foreseeable event. For example if you are designing a cool-store it is reasonably foreseeable that it could be involved in a large/major fire given the history of cool-store fires in NZ, so, even though the NZBC might not make any specific requirements for the provision of FFW to the site it is likely that we do have a responsibility to ensure that adequate FFW is provided.
Currently that measure is SNZ/PAS 4509.