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BCC Ruling No. 95-36-456

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-36-456

IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.4.6.15.(4)(c) of the Revised Regulation of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Regs. 400/91, 158/93, 160/93, 383/94 and 20/95 (the "Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Russel Metals Inc., Mississauga for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Agris Robeznieks, Chief Building Official, City of Mississauga, concerning whether the location of a manual pull station for a fire alarm system incorporating electromagnetic locking devices will provide sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.4.6.15.(4)(c) of the Building Code, at Suite 210, 1900 Minnesota Court, Mississauga, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Russel Metals Inc.
Mississauga, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Agris Robeznieks
Chief Building Official
City of Mississauga

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Rick Florio
Ms. Lesia Beznaczuk

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

July 18th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Jim Patskoli
Russell Metals Inc.
For the Applicant AND
Mr. Frank Spagnolo, Manager
Buildings Eng. & Inspections AND
Mr. Roy Chalk, Chief Inspector
City of Mississauga
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Carl Quenneville is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct alterations to suite 210 at 1900 Minnesota Court, Mississauga, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The project is located in a two storey fully sprinklered office building in which a glass wall and doors were built, closing in the leased area from a "common" area. The location and geometry of this wall is such that the manual pull station, serving the required exit which is equipped with an electromagnetic locking device, is actually located 1500 mm from the exit, whereas, the Building Code requires such a pull station to be located not more than 600 mm from the door.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical interpretation of clause 3.4.6.15.(4)(c) of the Building Code. At issue is the determination of whether a manual pull station for a fire alarm system incorporating electromagnetic locking devices, located 1500 mm from an exit will provide sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Clause 3.4.6.15.(4)(c) Door Release Hardware

4.An electromagnetic locking device that does not incorporate latches, pins or other similar devices to keep the door in the closed position is permitted to be installed on an exit door, other than an exit door serving an elementary or secondary school or leading directly from a Group F, Division 1 occupancy

      1. if a manual pull station for the fire alarm system is located on the wall not more than 600 mm (23¾ in) from the door

    5. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the subject space was leased effective August, 1994. Substantial expenditures were undertaken by Russel Metals to build out the space including the installation of a glass wall and doors of 16' feet closing our space from the common area.

The Applicant also submitted that the fire alarm pull station nearest to our front door is mounted at where the glass wall meets the nearest partition, being approximately 1,500 mm (59") from the door jamb. This distance extends by 900 mm the above quoted regulations.

The Applicant submitted that the ambient area adjacent to the door is unobstructed by any walls or furniture, in keeping with the open concept plan which utilizes the full glass wall and doors. Consequently, the Applicant does not feel a safety hazard is created by the subject non-conformance. Further, the cost to rectify the subject non-conformance would be very significant.

6. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that Clause 3.4.6.15.(4)(c) of the Building Code states "an Electromagnetic lock can be installed, if a manual pull station for the fire alarm system is located on the wall not more than 600 mm, from the door". The present pull station is located 1500 mm from the door and therefore, doors do not meet the Building Code for easy access in an emergency. The Respondent stated that the 1500 mm distance is too far away from the door for a person to reach in a panic situation.

7. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the location of the manual pull station to release the electromagnetic locking device provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The signage required under Clause 3.4.6.15.(4)(e) shall also indicate the location of the pull station. The size of the signage shall be in conformance with Clause 3.4.6.15.(4)(f) of the Building Code.

  1. Emergency lighting be provided to illuminate the area where the pull station is located.

  1. Emergency procedures be reviewed and or amended to ensure occupants are aware of the action necessary to exit the floor area.

  1. The space between the doors and the pull station shall remain unobstructed at all times.

  1. Reasons:

  1. The building is protected by an automatic sprinkler system.

  1. The occupancy is a Business and Personal Service Occupancy "Group D".

  1. The doors are not secured during the normal operating hours.

  1. Staff are aware of the method used to release the door after regular business hours.

Dated at Toronto, this 18th day, in the month of July, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-31.

Roy Philippe

Rick Florio

Lesia Beznaczuk