Penetrations in Fire Rated Structures

The Building Code of Australia requires penetrations in fire rated structures (fire protection at service penetrations) to be fire protected. Penetrations through elements requiring a fire resistance level (i.e. fire walls, floors, shafts, ceilings) must maintain the integrity of the building element requiring that fire-resisting level. All penetrations in fire rated structures would be nominated by the building surveyor/building certifier in the essential safety measures determination/ schedule.

Building Code of Australia

Part C3 Protection of Openings, in clauses C3.12 Openings in floors and ceilings for services, C3.13 Openings in shafts and C3.15 Openings for service installations specify the criteria required to ensure penetrations in fire rated structures is complied with. A building service penetrations though a fire or smoke resisting structures should be fire stopped with the appropriated tested material.

The following illustration depicts components for the protection of penetrations in fire rated structures.

The following is a part extract from clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as penetrations in fire rated structures:

Table I1.1 SAFETY MEASURES – BUILDING FIRE INTEGRITY

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Fire protection at service penetrations through elements required to be fire-resisting with respect to integrity or insulation, or to have a resistance to the incipient spread of fire C3.12, C3.13, C3.15

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Penetrations in Fire Rated Structures

An essential safety measures auditor to ensure fire safety compliance must be aware of the fire stopping products on the market and ensure during the inspection process of penetrations in fire rated structures that any deficiencies are nominated in the building’s essential safety measures logbook. A number of building surveyors/ certifiers nominate Part 17 of AS 1851-2005 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment as the requirements for compliance for this essential safety measure in inspecting penetrations in fire rated structures to allow the signing of the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement and Annual Maintenance Statement.