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Legend: Explanations & Illustrations Rationale Note Revision history Print

CLAUSE 3.9 PROTECTION OF OPENINGS

3.9.1 Application

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The provisions of this Clause concern the protection of openings permitted in elements of structure or other forms of fire resisting construction, which are required to act as a barrier to fire and smoke.

3.9.2 Fire doors

Fire doors for protection of openings shall comply with all of the following:

a. Fire doors shall have the appropriate fire resistance as required by relevant parts of the Code. A two-leaf doors can be used if the door achieves the required level of fire resistance.

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b. All fire doors shall be fitted with an automatic self-closing device which is capable of closing the door from any angle and against any latch fitted to the door. The omission of a self-closing device to the bolted door leaf of a two-leaf door is acceptable if the door is the entrance door to a residential unit under PG II.

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c. Where a self-closing device would be considered a hindrance to the normal use of the building, fire doors can be held open as follows:

(1) by a fusible link, or

(2) by electromagnetic or electromechanical devices which can be activated via smoke detector and/or the building alarm system.

d. Any hinge on which a fire door is hung shall be of the approved type, complying with SS 332.

e. Any fire door fitted in an opening which is provided as a means of escape:

(1) shall be capable of being opened manually, without the use of key, tool, special knowledge or effort for operation from the inside of the building;

(2) shall not be held open by any means other than by an electromagnetic or electromechanical device which can be activated via smoke detector and/or the building alarm system, except in the case of fire doors opening into pressurised exit staircases; and

(3) shall open in the direction of exit travel in accordance with Cl.2.3.9.

f. Fire doors, where required, shall be constructed and installed to comply with specifications stipulated under SS 332.

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3.9.3 Pipes

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a. Pipes passing through a separating wall, compartment wall or compartment floor shall be kept as small as possible and be fire-stopped around the pipe. The nominal diameter of the pipe shall not be more than the respective dimension given in Table 3.9A. These pipe penetrations are permitted only for conveying non-hazardous & non-combustible substances such as air, water, etc., and approved fire-stopping material shall be applied around the pipe penetration. The clear spacing between pipes shall be at minimum 50mm or half the diameter of the largest pipe, whichever is larger.

b. The following pipes of nominal diameter larger than 150mm, subject to the conditions listed under Cl.3.9.3c. below, are permitted to penetrate through a separating wall, compartment wall or compartment floor:

(1) emergency standby diesel generator steel exhaust pipes connected directly to the external space;

(2) pipes of non-combustible material (such as cast iron or steel) with pipe wall thickness of at least 5mm, and melting point of at least 1200ºC; and

(3) thermal insulated pipes with pipe wall thickness of at least 5mm and combustible insulation in compliance with Cl.7.1.2c.(1). The metal sheath for insulation material shall be at least 0.6mm thick galvanised steel with the melting point, including pipe support, of at least 1200ºC.

R Rationale - Clause 3.9.3b

Other than the maximum sizes allowed under Table 3.9A, larger pipes such as chilled water pipes can also be permitted to penetrate through a separating wall, compartment wall or compartment floor. This is because the conditions stipulated in Cl.3.9.3c. will help to minimise the risk of fire spreading across different compartments.

c. The following conditions shall be complied with for penetration of pipes stipulated under Cl.3.9.3b.:

(1) For non-sprinkler-protected area, pipe supports within 3m from the pipe penetration shall be strengthened such that the tensile stress generated on the supports shall not exceed 10N/mm2 and will not be softened or fracture when exposed to temperature of 750ºC. For sprinkler-protected area, the pipe supports and pipe penetrations shall be protected by the sprinkler system;

(2) Combustible materials or services (e.g. pipe or ductwork) are not permitted to be placed within 1m before and after the penetration [except for those thermal insulated pipes constructed under Cl.3.9.3b.(3). For the purpose of this sub-clause, fire-rated materials are deemed as non-combustible; and

(3) The penetration shall not pass through fire-rated wall/floor of exit staircase, fire lift lobby, smoke-stop lobby, electrical switch room, transformer room, generator room, battery room and fan room serving fire protection system, fire pump room, FCC, fuel tank room, and areas handling hazardous materials. Except for exit staircase, the penetration of pipes through the abovementioned rooms/spaces is permitted if the pipes are fully enclosed by fire-rated enclosure with the same fire-rating as the fire-rated walls/floors it passes through.

d. In addition to Cl.3.9.3a., fuel and vent pipes for emergency standby diesel generators and fuel tanks located outside the room they served shall be enclosed in construction having at least 2-hr fire resistance rating. They shall not be located in intakes/fresh air vent shafts.

e. Routing of gas pipes in basements

(1) All gas pipes that are routed in basement shall be API pipes with welded joints. These joints shall be 100% radiography checked in accordance with SS 608. The gas pipes are not required to be fire-rated if they are running outside essential areas such as an exit staircases, smoke-stop or fire lift lobby, fire pump room, generator room, FCC, etc.. If gas pipes run pass through an essential area, they are required to be encased in masonry.

(2) For mechanically ventilated basement, the gas pipes shall be provided with pipe sleeves to vent the gas pipes. One end of the sleeve shall be exposed to the external space in accordance with SS 608.

(3) For naturally ventilated basement that complies with Cl.6.4.1d.(2)(b)(ii), the provision of pipe sleeve is not required.

3.9.4 Ventilation ducts

A ventilation duct which passes directly through a compartment wall or compartment floor shall comply with the following:

a. Where the ventilation duct does not form a protected shaft or is not contained within a protecting structure,

(1) the duct shall be fitted with a fire damper where it passes through the compartment wall or compartment floor; and

(2) the opening for the duct shall be kept as small as practicable and any gap around the fire damper shall be fire-stopped.

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b. Where the ventilation duct forms a protected shaft or is contained within a protecting structure, the duct shall be:

(1) fitted with fire dampers at the inlets to the shaft and outlets from it; and

(2) constructed and lined with materials in accordance with the requirements in Chapter 7.

c. The installation of ventilation ducts and fire dampers shall comply with the requirements in Chapter 7.

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3.9.5 Flues

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Ducts encasing one or more flue pipes which pass through a compartment wall or compartment floor shall be of non-combustible construction, having fire resistance of not less than half the minimum period of fire resistance required for the compartment wall or compartment floor through which it passes, except for kitchen flue pipes when the fire resistance shall be as required for the compartment wall or compartment floor.

3.9.6 Services passing through FCC, fire pump room, emergency generator room and smoke control fans room

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Air ducts, sanitary pipes, gas pipes, electrical conduits/cable tray and other services that are likely to permit the passage of flame or smoke in the event of a fire shall not be permitted to pass through any of the following spaces:

a. FCCs

b. Fire pump rooms

c. Emergency generator rooms

d. Smoke control fans rooms

except where such services are required for the operation of the equipment in these areas.

3.9.7 Services running inside and/or passing through fire lift lobby and smoke-stop lobby

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Air ducts, sanitary pipes, gas pipes, electrical conduits/cable tray, and other services, excluding lifts shall not be permitted to run inside and/or pass through:

a. fire lift lobbies, or

b. smoke-stop lobbies.

unless all these services are protected with a 1-hr fire resistance rating enclosure, or separated with a 1-hr fire resistance ceiling from the said lobby. If these services are required for the operation of the above lobbies, they need not be separately protected. However, this requirement need not complied with if the smoke-free approach is through an external corridor.

3.9.8 Gas pipes running inside an internal corridor/lobby

Gas pipes running inside an internal corridor/lobby without fire resistance enclosure shall be encased with a pipe duct/sleeve vented to an external space.