Fire Isolated Passageways

The Building Code of Australia defines the essential safety measure known as fire isolated passageways to be a corridor, hallway or the like, of fire-resisting construction, which provides egress to or from a fire-isolated stairway or fire isolated ramp or to a road or open space. All building surveyors/ building certifiers will nominate fire isolated passageways in the essential safety measures determination/ schedule before occupancy occurs.

Building Code of Australia

Part D2 Construction of exits in clause D2.11 Fire isolated passageways sets out the criteria for this type of construction and fire ratings required for fire isolated passageways depending on their location within the building for a building permit to be issued.

The following illustration depicts the construction requirement for fire isolated passageways.

The following is a part extract of clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as fire isolated passageways:

Table I1.2 SAFETY MEASURES – MEANS OF EGRESS

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Exits (including fire-isolated stairways and ramps, , non-fire-isolated stairways and ramps, stair treads, balustrades and handrails associated with exits and fire-isolated passageways) D2.2, D2.3, D2.8 to D2.11, D2.13, D2.16, D2.17

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Fire Isolated Passageways

When performing an essential safety measures inspection on fire isolated passageways an essential safety measures auditor must be aware of the significance of a number of major safety issues in the BCA brought to bear in the design and construction of fire isolated passageways for fire safety compliance. Some of these issues are fire doors, emergency lighting, artificial lighting, exit signs, warning signs, fire-resistance levels, path of travel unobstructed, construction joints, doors, exit discharge, fire indices and service penetrations in fire isolated passageways.

All of these elements combine to ensure a safe evacuation (escape) from the building when using fire isolated passageways, which is a safe haven providing all the essential safety measures nominated (in a schedule of fire safety provisions) are maintained to a level that they actually operate to the necessary standard in an emergency. Any non-compliant fire isolated passageways issues should be recorded in the building’s essential safety measures logbook to allow signing of the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate of Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.