SFPE Discussions

Outside parking or VP firecell?

Carparking (Risk Group VP) shall be separate firecells.
Vehicles parked outside a building with part of the vehicle under a canopy. How far must the covering extend to make it a VP firecell?

I’ve considered 2m deep with the sides completely open to be OUTSIDE.

If it is deeper, longer (5 vehicle or more) and closed on one or both ends, it is INSIDE.

What does the SFPE community do to decide?

Is there a VP firecell in front of the restaurant in this photo?

Compare the results of a model of a fire with the situation shown and a model of a fire with vehicle external to the facade line and I think you will find your answer. Hot layer vs no hot layer. How would the effect of a fire affect the building occupants in each of the two cases? A vehicle fire within the building line - broken glazing - smoke within the building vs a vehicle fire outside of the building line - some nice toasty radiation through intact glazing on a cold winters day.

Agreed, considering the science is the engineering way, but what would a lawyer say when interpreting the written words in C/AS2?

Look at the definition of a firecell, ie …enclosed…and follow the trail starting at 5.6.8

Ah yes … If a fire engineer plays code lawyer he or she should have the engineering to back it up. That is because the law has such an expectation. So if we play code lawyers and it doesn’t stack up, our heads will be well and truly in the noose.
If a lawyer, on the other hand, plays code lawyers, then they may get away scot free. That is because there is no expectation that a lawyer would know what they are talking about - they have no qualification or expertise in this field.

I don’t think playing with words will change the outcome. If you are going to use such an approach I would suggest you make sure that the person attributed to authoring the fire report does not come from a fire engineering background.

You can either call it plating with words or using the definition as was intended. Your call.

I don’t want to drag this out but if there is a car fire in the situation shown ie within the building line then the effects of fire will likely extend into the building.
I do not believe the writers of the acceptable solution intend for a car fire to extend from spaces within the building line into other risk group spaces. I ask what is the difference between a room with 100 % glazing on 1 face and a room with 1 face open? In a fire, we design for the glazing to facture and disappear at least at flashover (C/VM2 makes an artificial requirement for the glazing to disappear when a fire becomes ventilation limited). In terms of the effect of a fire on the enclosing separations there may not be much difference between a firecell with a glazed face and a firecell with an open face. I believe that hiding behind the words in C/AS2 that imply the a room, that is open on one face, is not a firecell will not protect you. Every fire engineer should know about the effects of fire in such a space and the likely insult on the other surrounding separations.
A car fire could and most likely would spread into the building interior. Misapplying words in C/AS2 won’t change that.

For proof that a lawyer isnt familiar with NZBC C1-6, refer determination 2018-028 and the district court appeal overturning MBIE’s determination by PNCC about keyed locking devices in the direction of escape from a toilet. No one brought to the attention of the Judge that the locks referred to in the determination may have been installed during the 10 years between Jan 2002 and April 2012 when there was a limit of application in the Building Code clause C2.3.3(b) allowing doors on escape routes to be locked for security reasons in certain situations. If they had, the outcome for the country may have been different.