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9.6.1 General

a. Means of escape

(1) Aboveground factory floors


One exit staircase is permitted to serve an aboveground factory floor provided:

(a) the habitable height of the floor does not exceed 15m;

(b) the floor does not be located above 4th storey; and

(c) the AFA of the floor does not exceed 200m².

(2) Mezzanine floor


One open staircase is allowed to serve a mezzanine floor(s) within an aboveground factory floor provided:

(a) the aggregate AFA of the mezzanine floor(s) per factory unit does not exceed 60m²;

(b) the open staircase has a width of at least 1m and be constructed of non-combustible materials;

(c) the maximum travel distance measured from remote point on the mezzanine floor(s) to the exits complies with Table 2.2A;

(d) the elements of structure of the mezzanine floor(s) are of at least 1-hr fire resistance rating construction;

(e) the habitable height of mezzanine floor does not exceed 24m; and

(f) the mezzanine floor is only be used for store and/or ancillary office.

b. Structural fire precautions


Fire compartmentation between individual tenancy units within a terraced or flatted factory building shall be provided. The entire enclosure of each of these units shall be fire compartmented with walls and floors of at least 1-hr fire resistance rating.

9.6.2 Petroleum service stations

a. General

(1) Any site chosen shall be sufficiently spacious for it to be designed to minimise unauthorised access, i.e. it shall be away from areas of high human traffic and the entrances/exits of other buildings.

(2) The boundary line of petroleum service stations shall be at least 50m from any residential building, or 90m from any place of public assembly.

(3) The route for tank vehicles leading to petroleum service stations shall not pass through or be near to places of public assembly, as stated in Cl.9.6.2a.(2).

(4) A service station shall be stand-alone, and dispensing of petrol shall be restricted to the ground level only (see Diagram 9.6.2a.(4)).

(5) Convenience stores integrated with the petroleum service station shall be at most 150m2.

b. Storage and tank requirements

(1) Tanks for all classes of petroleum in a petroleum service station shall be installed underground.

(2) All underground tanks shall have a water capacity of not more than 30kl each.

c. Tank requirements

The tank shall be designed, constructed, installed and tested to meet any of the following:

(1) British Standards (BS 2594): Carbon Steel Welded Horizontal Cylindrical Storage Tanks, or

(2) Underwriters Laboratories (UL 58): Steel Underground Tanks for Flammable and Combustible Liquids, or

(3) Standards Association of Australia (1962): Steel Tanks for the Storage of Flammable and Combustible Liquids, or

(4) NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, or

(5) other equivalent standards.

d. Underground tanks and access pits

All underground tanks installations shall comply with the following requirements:

(1) the road surface above the underground tanks shall be of reinforced concrete of the thickness necessary to support itself and any superimposed loads, but not less than 150mm;

(2) the depth from the road surface to the top of the tank shall be not less than 450mm; and

(3) each access pit shall be fitted with a cover that is watertight or raised above the level of the surrounding ground to prevent the entry of surface water, and be strong enough to withstand any superimposed loads. The strength of such a cover shall not be inferior to those of 5mm low carbon steel.

e. Separation from property boundaries and building foundations

The distance of the underground tank to any property boundaries and foundations shall be not less than 2.5m and 1m respectively (see Diagram 9.6.2a.(4)).

f. Corrosion protection

Any underground tank and its associated piping shall be protected from corrosion by one or more of the following methods:

(1) protective coating or wrappings, or

(2) cathodic protection, or

(3) corrosion-resistant materials of construction.

g. Venting

Each tank shall incorporate a vent to atmosphere for the vapour space above the liquid to allow vapours to vent to the atmosphere.

h. Vent capacity

The size of any vent shall be such that pressure or vacuums resulting from filling, emptying or atmospheric temperature change, will not cause stresses in excess of the maximum design stress for the tank. The vent shall have a minimum internal diameter of 38mm.

i. Vent piping

Any vent piping between the tank vent connection and the discharge point shall comply with the following requirements (see Diagram 9.6.2i):

(1) the vent pipes shall fall consistently back to the tank at a slope not less than 1 in 40;

(2) a vent pipe shall not pass through building foundations, but can be embedded in concrete, which is part of other types of building construction. A vent shall not be run within a cavity wall but can pass through a cavity wall or through masonry which incorporates cavities, provided that it is in a sleeve which will prevent vapour gaining access to the cavities; and

(3) a vent pipe can be either embedded in a concrete slab or laid in the earth. If the vent pipe is laid in the earth, it shall be:

(a) located not less than 300mm below ground level;

(b) surrounded by clean washed sand, or provided with equivalent corrosion protection;

(c) suitably protected if the area is subject to vehicular traffic;

(d) the vent pipe and its terminal shall be located or protected so that they are not liable to damage resulting from normal activities;

(e) the vent pipe shall be vapour-tight throughout its length; and

(f) all underground tanks or compartments in a tank shall have a separate individual vent pipe.

j. Vent outlet location

The discharge point of a vent shall comply with the following requirements:

(1) the location, direction and velocity of discharge shall be such that venting vapour will not cause danger to the surroundings;

(2) the vent discharge point shall be not less than 2m from any boundary or opening of a building, e.g. windows, doors, ventilators, air conditioners and forced air intakes (see Diagram 9.6.2a.(4)); and

(3) the vent shall discharge into open air and vent discharge point shall be located not less than 4m above ground level (see Diagram 9.6.2i).

k. Vent terminal

(1) The discharge end of a vent shall be protected from the ingress of foreign material by a protective cage of fitting and shall discharge only vertically upward in order to disperse vapours.

(2) A vent provision shall be connected to a vapour recovery or collection system, as similarly provided for at the filling mentioned in Cl.9.6.2l.

l. Filling connection

The filling connection to a storage tank, which is filled from a tank vehicle, shall incorporate a vapour-tight connection. A cap or cover with lock shall be provided for the filling point. A vapour recovery system shall be provided to prevent accumulation or abnormal discharge of vapour during refilling.

m. Location of filling point

The location of the filling point for any storage tank intended to be filled from a tank vehicle shall comply with the following requirements (see Diagram 9.6.2a.(4)):

(1) the length of any hose required to connect a tank vehicle to the filling point shall not exceed 5m;

(2) the filling point shall be protected from accidental or physical damage. Guardrails or any necessary measures shall be installed to prevent damage by collision;

(3) the filling point for any tank containing Class I, Class II or Class III petroleum shall be in open air at least 3m from any building opening or boundary. If a distance of 3m cannot be complied with, a vapour barrier made of material of at least 2-hr fire resistance rating shall be installed and shall not be less than 500mm above the centre of the filling point inlet. The vapour barrier shall be at least 1m from the boundary line. The distance measured in a horizontal plane around the end of any vapour barrier shall be 3m from the centre of the outermost filling point inlet to the building and boundary (See Diagram 9.6.2a.(4) for details);

(4) the edge of the tank vehicle designated parking area for refilling shall be at least 3m from any building opening or boundary; and

(5) the filling point for the underground tank shall be located in such a way that tank vehicles have unobstructed entry and egress from the service station.

n. Piping design suitability

The design, fabrication, assembly, test and inspection of piping shall be suitable for the expected working pressure temperatures and structural stresses and shall comply with relevant local (where available) or international standards.

o. Piping material suitability

Any material used in the construction or installation of piping shall be suitable for the conditions of use, and in particular:

(1) it shall be compatible with the particular petroleum or any other component with which it may be in contact;

(2) it shall be resistant to any heat (during operations) to which it may be exposed; and

(3) it shall be corrosion-resistant.

p. Piping flexible tube

Flexible tubing, piping or hose can be used only on condition that:

(1) the use of such tubing is unavoidable because of the need to provide for movement or to reduce the effect of vibration; and

(2) the tubing is of flexible metallic, metal-reinforced, armoured or other construction suitable for the working pressure, temperature and the liquid being handled.

q. Piping design and construction

The following general design considerations shall be taken into account when designing or installing any piping:

(1) the layout shall take into account the needs for all operating accesses and shall ensure that fire engine accessways are not impeded;

(2) supports and fitting of the pipework shall be secure and the piping shall be not unduly exposed to mechanical damage;

(3) wherever necessary, provision shall be made for the expansion or contraction of the piping and its contents;

(4) any buried piping shall be protected from superimposed loads, ground settlement, etc.;

(5) any necessary electrical bonding and earthing shall be provided; and

(6) piping shall be painted and/or marked in a manner sufficient to facilitate identification of its contents.

r. Pump drive

Any motor or engine that drives a pump for use with any classes of petroleum shall be of the type specifically approved for such use.

s. Fuel dispensing system

(1) Dispensing units at a service station shall be located in the open air where they will be adequately ventilated. These shall be located such that all parts of the vehicle being served will be on the premises of the service station, and shall be sited not less than 6m away from any building, public roadway or boundary (see Diagram 9.6.2a.(4)).

(2) A clearly identified and easily accessible switch or circuit breaker (a centralised Emergency Shut-Off Device) shall be provided at a location remote from the dispensing devices, including remote pumping systems, to shut off the power to all dispensing devices in the event of an emergency, and shall not be less than 6m or more than 15m from the dispenser. A sign incorporating the wordings “EMERGENCY CUT-OFF” shall be provided in the vicinity of the cut-off switch (see Diagram 9.6.2s.(2)). A similar device shall be provided in close vicinity to the console area/cashier as stipulated in Cl.9.6.2u.(1).

(3) Petroleum shall be transferred from underground tanks by means of fixed pumps designed and equipped to allow control of the flow and to prevent leakage or accidental discharge.

(4) A control shall be provided such that the pump will operate only when a dispensing nozzle is removed from its bracket or normal position with respect to the dispensing unit and the lever on this dispensing unit is manually activated. This control shall also stop the pump when all nozzles have been returned, either to their bracket or to the normal non-dispensing position.

(5) The dispensing unit and its piping shall be mounted on a concrete island. Each island shall rise not less than 150mm above the surrounding ground level and shall extend not less than 300mm on both sides of the dispensing units and at least 500mm from the dispensing unit to the edge of the base measured longitudinally (see Diagram 9.6.2s.(2)).

(6) The length of hose at each service station shall not exceed 5m. When not in use the hose shall be secured so as to protect it from damage.

(7) The nozzle through which fuel is dispensed to a vehicle shall be designed to automatically close when the fuel tanks of the vehicles are full.

(8) Individual dispensing units shall be provided with an emergency shut-off device.

(9) A rigidly anchored emergency shutoff valve, incorporating a fusible link or other thermally activated device, designed to close automatically in the event of a severe impact or fire exposure, shall be properly installed in the supply line at the base or inlet of each dispenser. The automatic closing feature of this valve shall be checked at the time of initial installation, and at least once a year thereafter by manually tripping the hold-open linkage.

t. Remote pumping systems

For systems where petroleum is transferred from storage to individual or multiple dispensing units by pumps located other than at the dispensing units, the following requirements shall apply:

(1) pumps shall be designed or equipped so that no part of the system will be subjected to pressure above its allowable working pressure;

(2) pumps installed above grade level shall be located not less than 3m from the boundary or building opening, and shall be substantially anchored and protected against physical damage; and

(3) pit lids or covers for subsurface pumps or piping manifolds of submersible pumps shall be in accordance with Cl.9.6.2d.(3).

u. Attended self-service stations

(1) The dispensing area at all times shall be in clear view of the console area/ cashier (area having control of the emergency shut-off devices for all and individual dispensing units, including remote pumping systems).

(2) The console/cashier operator shall at all times be able to communicate with persons at the dispensing area. This can be by means of a voice communication system.

(3) Sufficient close circuit cameras are to be installed at the petroleum service station to cover the forecourt, backcourt, dispensing areas and other critical areas of the petroleum service station.

(4) Provisions must be made for bollards and chains to be installed at the exit and the entrance of the petroleum service station during refilling by the tank vehicle to be utilised during high alert situations.

(5) The setback distance from the edge of the roof of the dispensing area to any boundary line must be in accordance to the requirements of Cl.3.5.3, or 3m, whichever greater. (See Diagram 9.6.2a.(4))

v. Electrical equipment and area classification

All electrical wiring and equipment shall be of a type suitable for the location, in accordance with NFPA 70 or SS 254.

w. Caution labelling

An emergency information panel shall be provided at the filling point.

x. Warning signs

(1) Warning signs shall be conspicuously displayed at the individual dispensing area incorporating the following wordings: “WARNING - NO SMOKING, NO NAKED LIGHTS, STOP ENGINE”. The lettering shall be at least 50mm high.

(2) The signs shall be displayed not less than 1.8m and not more than 2.5m above the ground level.

y. Firefighting and prevention

(1) Fire extinguishers

Approved types of fire extinguishers of rating not less than 70B (9kg) or 34B (2 x 4.5kg) shall be provided at the individual dispensing units and protected from the weather.

(2) Hose reels

(a) Sufficient hose reel coverage shall be provided such that the service station usable/accessible area is within 6m of a nozzle attached to a 30m hose.

(b) Hose reels shall comply with the requirements of SS 575.

(3) Absorbents

A small quantity of absorbent material or sand (as a guide, one full bucket minimum of 40 litres) shall be provided at the service station to mop up any spillage. These absorbent materials shall be kept in a container with a close fitting lid and shall be installed in an accessible place.

(4) Fire hydrant

Fire hydrants shall be within 50m from any part of the fire engine access road. The actual travel distance from the edge of the fire engine access road to the most remote point of the petroleum service station usable/ accessible space shall not be more than 50m.

9.6.3 High containment facilities

a. General

The purpose of this section of the Code is to stipulate fire safety requirements for high containment facilities and laboratories that handle biological agents or toxins, which are designed to meet the requirements of WHO and the authority having jurisdiction for Bio-Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) or higher.

b. General requirements

(1) A BSL-3 or BSL-4 containment laboratory shall be located at the ground floor and shall be separated from areas that are open to unrestricted traffic flow within the building. They shall be designed and constructed to comply with the requirements listed herein.

(2) The word “BSL-3” or “BSL-4” shall be stated clearly in the project title and printed on the top-right corner (lettering shall be bold, in red colour and at least 15mm in size) of all the fire safety plans of the high containment facility.

c. Fire compartment

(1) In a sprinkler-protected building, the high containment facility (including interstitial space, waste treatment areas, anterooms, etc.) shall be fire compartmented from adjoining spaces with at least 1-hr fire-rated walls, floor and ceiling. For a non-sprinkler-protected building, the fire rating shall be at least 2 hours.

(2) The protecting structure shall be constructed of masonry or drywall. If drywall construction is used, it shall be in accordance with Cl.3.8.7b.

d. Firefighter staging lobby

For high containment facilities, an additional (on top of the usual requirement to have a fire lift lobby next to exit staircases) firefighter staging lobby shall be provided to comply with the following requirements:

(1) it shall be located at every entrance of the facility;

(2) it shall be fire-compartmented with at least 1-hr fire resistance rating;

(3) in the absence of (1), an anteroom with the same fire resistance rating shall be provided to serve this function;

(4) it shall have at least 6m2 free working space;

(5) it shall comply fully with Cl.2.2.13b.(1) to (6), (7)(a) and (b); and

(6) it shall be installed with designated main landing valve, standby fire hose and fire hose reel.

e. Two-way emergency communication system

For a biomedical facility or building provided with a two-way emergency voice communication system, the two-way emergency communication system shall be extended to the firefighter staging lobby.

f. Fire detection and suppression systems

All high containment facilities shall be protected with sprinkler systems. High containment facilities without sprinkler protection shall comply with the following:

(1) smoke detectors shall be installed along the exterior of the periphery walls of the high containment facility;

(2) the fire protection circuit for BSL-3 or BSL-4 shall be grouped in a different fire zone for ease of identification;

(3) the fire protection systems shall be linked to the building fire alarm system and shall be connected to the SCDF Operations Centre through an approved alarm monitoring company; and

(4) if water discharge within the high containment facility is undesirable or unacceptable, the sprinkler system can be replaced by an approved fire extinguishing system.

g. Label and sign

(1) Caution labels shall be provided at all the laboratory entrances and exits in accordance with SS 586. In addition, a label indicating the information as shown in Diagram 9.6.3g.(1) shall be also provided.

(2) A sign shall be displayed at all entrances to the high containment facility, with the following wording: “In the event of fire or any water discharge, please notify PUB at 1800-2846600 for control of contaminated water runoff.”


Diagram 9.6.2a.(4) : Typical petroleum service station


Diagram 9.6.2i : Vent


Diagram 9.6.2s.(2) : Pump island


Diagram 9.6.3g.(1) : Biohazard caution label