Blog Archives

Diesel Tank

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) classifies diesel fuel as a Class II fuel. Class II fuels are not considered to be flammable liquids. They are, however, considered to be combustible liquids.

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Interior Exit Discharge

Section 7.7.2 of the Life Safety Code (LSC) allows for a stairwell to terminate inside the building, as long as it meets certain requirements. Not more than 50% of the required number of exits, and not more than 50% of the required egress capacity is allowed to discharge on the level of exit discharge.

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Door Swing Direction

Doors must typically swing in the direction of egress travel when serving:

  • A High-Hazard occupancy of any occupant load.
  • Any occupancy type with an occupant load of 50 or more occupants (consult the code for exceptions).
  • Exit enclosure doors except when serving one living unit (NFPA 101 only).

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Evacuation Sign

check this link ->

BS:5499 (4.6 – mounting height), says

a) signs above doors or open spaces should be mounted* between 2 m and 2.5 m from floor level, measured
to the base of the sign and be sited as close to the centre line of the escape route as practicable.

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Limited Access Structures

A limited access structure is, “a structure or portion of a structure lacking emergency access openings”. To qualify as an emergency access opening the window, panel, or similar opening must meet the following criteria:

  • minimum dimensions of 560mm width x 610mm high
  • bottom of opening less than 1120mm AFF
  • unobstructed,

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External Wall

exterior walls containing combustible components

cladding materials need to be tested in accordance with NFPA 285


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Panic Hardware

NFPA 101-

Required in;

  • Assembly Occupancy (
  • Day-Care Occupancy (
  • Educational Occupancy (
  • High Hazard room > 5 OL


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Articles from Fire Protection Specialists

Sprinklers in Electrical Rooms

Sprinklers in electrical rooms according to NFPA 13

Sprinkler Characteristics according to NFPA 13

Sprinkler Characteristics According to NFPA 13 - 2019 Edition


Working Space & Dedicated Electrical Space According to NFPA 70 (NEC)


Sprinklers in electrical rooms according to NFPA 13


Fire Department connection according to NFPA 13


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Generator Room Requirements

NFPA Xchange:

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Suite Requirements

An accommodation with two or more contiguous rooms comprising a compartment, with or without doors between such rooms, that provides sleeping, sanitary, work, and storage facilities.” And: “A series of rooms or spaces or a subdivided room separated from the remainder of the building by walls and doors.”

There are different types of suites:

  • Non-patient care suites
  • Patient care non-sleeping suites
  • Patient care sleeping suites
  • Patient care suite


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How Do Fire Sprinklers Know There’s A Fire?

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Fire Fighting Lobby – NFPA 5000 requirements

Image below is an example of Fire Fighting Lobby;

Reference from NFPA 5000;  A minimum of one fire service access elevators shall be sized in accordance with 54.3.2.  Each fire service access elevator lobby shall have direct access to an exit stair enclosure.

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Guidance for selecting Handrails

The Building Regulations 2010 – Approved Document M *Access to and use of buildings” Volume – Buildings other than dewllings” and Approved Document K “Protection from falling, collision and impact”.

Drawings are extract from guidance.

Health Building Note 00-04: Circulation and communication spaces.

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Horizontal Exit

reference: NFPA 101-7.2.4

The horizontal exit is probably the least understood and most underutilized of all the means of egress components. In essence, the horizontal exit is an exit that allows occupants to egress from one side of a building to another side through a fire-resistance-rated assembly, such as a fire wall or fire barrier.

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Minimum Window Sill Height

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Fire Access Opening

fire access panel requirements from qatar civil defence / qcd / qcdd

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Allowable Building Height – Business

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Allowable Building Height – Residential

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Limiting Size of Wired Glass Vision Panel

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Requirements for small projects

Kahramaa / Baladiya Requirements

following statement shall be indicated on the first or cover sheet:


Civil Defense Requirements

No need for any drawings, just standard following statement shall be given on all architectural drawing:

Owner or contractor must provide the following (when applicable):


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QCD – Sample Inspection Comments



1. Fireman’s access panel shall be provided as per CDD requirements.

Fire department access panels shall be tempered glass as per NFPA 5000, Chapter 46, Section 5.3.1.

Fireman’s access panel shall be posted by wordings “Fire Fighting Access-Do not Obstruct”

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QCD – Sample Fire Alarm Comments

General Requirement:

Submit a front page for the fire alarm plans containing drawing index, system descriptions, design criteria, legends, symbols, general & fire safety notes and material specification.

Provide identification number in the project title which Viva Bahriya Building is submitted in this application. Ensure that the number is consistent in all plans and data submitted.

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Exit Remoteness

When protected corridors are provided as a portion of the exit access, the required exit separation can be measured along the shortest direct line of travel within the corridor.

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What Happened to Fire Rating of Incidental Storage Rooms?

As many of you are probably familiar with, for years, when designing a building such as an office that has a storage room that is greater than 100 square feet in area, and is identified as “storage,” we needed to provide a 1 hour fire barrier separation around the storage room in non-sprinklered buildings.

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Convenience Opening

Convenience stairs, loosely defined as any non-egress stairs, are increasingly popular in retail establishments. Most establishments prefer open convenience stairs as opposed to fully enclosed shaft stairs. Because open convenience stairs pose increased fire hazards, they are required to abide by a strict series of code. Here is how open convenience stairs may be permissible with the most allowances.

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Communicating Space

In 2000 NFPA, section states that unenclosed floor openings forming a communicating space between floors is permitted if it meets the following requirements:
1) Doesn’t connect more than 3 stories
2) Lowest or next to lowest story is street floor
3) Entire floor area of the communicating space is open and unobstructed such that a fire in any part of the space will be readily obvious
4) If sprinklered,

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Wheelchair Ramp

  • ADA Standards Require a 1:12 ramp slope ratio which equals 4.8 degrees slope or one foot of wheelchair ramp for each inch of rise. For instance, a 30 inch rise requires a 30 foot handicap wheelchair ramp.
  • ADA Guidelines Require a Minimum 5′ x 5′ Flat, unobstructed area at the top and bottom of the ramp.

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Life Safety Occupancy Key

Health Care Occupancy

  • 4 or more individuals incapable of self-preservation
  • Hospitals
    • General
    • Psychiatric
    • Specialty
  • Long term care
    • Nursing and convalescent homes
    • Skilled nursing facilities
    • Intermediate care facilities

Ambulatory Care Occupancy

  • Outpatient settings where 4 or more individuals at any one time are rendered incapable of self-preservation
  • Hospitals
  • Long term care

Residential Occupancy

  • Lodging and rooming house occupancy
    • Provides sleeping accommodations for 16 or fewer individuals
    • No personal care services provided
    • No individual cooking facilities;

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Ramp – Qatar Municipality Requirement

ramp-fig-19 ramp-fig-20

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Draperies and Curtains

(new building)


Draperies shall be Flame Resistant tested as per NFPA 701

(12.3.3, 10.2)
Screens shall be class-A or class-B as per 10.2


Draperies shall be Flame Resistant tested as per NFPA 701





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Upholstered Furniture and Mattresses Requirements

(new building)



(Not Sprinklered)
The Furnitures shall meet the criteria in and 10.3.3.
The Mattresses shall meet the criteria in and 10.3.4.


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Wheelchair Accessible Toilet

There shall be at least one accessible W.C. cubicle on a floor, or in that part of a floor designed for access by the persons with a disability where the total number of W.C. cubicles provided on that floor or in that part of a floor is 20 or less,

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Portable Fire Extinguisher

Type of Extinguishers to be provided as a Set
Maximum Travel Distance to nearest Extinguisher Set


  • Water Type, 9 Ltrs
  • CO2, 2 kg


Common Circulation Areas, Corridors, Lobbies, Passageways

  • Water Type, 9 Ltrs
  • CO2, 5 kg


Electrical Rooms,

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What is flame spread and smoke developed?

Surface Burning Characteristics Rating (Formerly Flame Spread Rating)

The surface Burning Characteristics Rating of a material is a number, calculated from the results of a test, which indicates the relative rate at which flame will spread over the surface of the material as compared with flame spread on asbestos-cement board,

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Rule of 180 d for Exterior Walls


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Door Hardwares

  • BS EN 179:2008 Building hardware. Emergency exit devices operated by a lever handle or push pad, for use on escape routes. Requirements and test methods *
  • BS EN 1125:2008 Building hardware. Panic exit devices operated by a horizontal bar, for use on escape routes.

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Egress Door Locking

OCCUPANCY TYPE(new building)

NFPA 101 –
Doors can be locked to confine and protect building inhabitants

NFPA 101,
Door shall be openable from inside, without use of key

NFPA 101,

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Revolving Door

3-4-Wings-Automatic-Revolving-Door Revolving Doors.  Revolving doors, whether used or not used in the means of egress, shall comply with the following:

(1)    Revolving doors shall be capable of being collapsed into a book-fold position, unless they are existing revolving doors approved by the authority having jurisdiction.

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LPG Tank


The distance requirements for propane tank locations are dependent upon the container size. Distance rules are applicable to propane tanks and their connections in relation to what surrounds them, whether it’s a house or another propane tank. Care and consideration of surrounding buildings,

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Hazard Classifications

The classification of hazard of contents is based on the potential threat to life presented by the contents. The Life Safety Code classifies contents based on the threat of fire, explosions, and other similar events. It does not specifically consider the danger posed by toxic chemical, etiologic contamination, or similar hazards.

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_Guidelines for Fire Safety Plans


  • Drawings to be submitted through QCD Online Permit System portal must be in AutoCAD DWG file format, purged, bonded and submitted ready for review.
  • Plans shall follow the standard format for the Title Block (refer to sample format attached).
  • All Plans, calculations,

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Standpipes (Wet & Dry Riser) System

Note: only “assembly occupancy” has a specific requirement in NFPA 101 – check

Within the context of a building, a standpipe serves the same purpose as a fire hydrant.

A Dry Riser is a system of valves and pipework which enables the Fire Service to pump water into an inlet valve outside the building towards outlet valves inside the building.

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What are the Illumination Requirements?

Emergency lighting facilities shall be arranged to provide initial illumination that is not less than an average of 1 ft-candle (10.8 lux) and, at any point, not less than 0.1 ft-candle (1.1 lux), measured along the path of egress at floor level.

Central Battery System is not mandatory.

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When is Emergency Voice Communication required?

Emergency Voice Communication (EVC) ia a system that is interlinked with the fire alarm to give evacuation or emergency messages throughout the premises for all occupants.

One way emergency voice evacuation system as well as an emergency command center shall be provided as follows;

  • For large buildings with gross floor area greater than 2,800 sqm or having a total occupant load exceeding 1000 persons and large industrial and warehouse buildings with gross floor area greater than 5,000 sqm.

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What are the requirements for Manual Call points?

Distribution of the manual call points should be such that travel distance should not be more than 45m to reach the nearest manual call point. These figures to be reduced to 25 m and 16 m in limited mobility areas, and where processes of the result in a likelihhod of rapid fire development.

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What are the classifications of fire fighting systems?

Class 1 systems comprises of 65mm diameter Landing Valve outlets coupled or uncoupled with 65mm diameter, 30-m long re-enforced rubber lined (RRL) hose with multipurpose hose nozzle for the use of Civil Defence department personnel or other trained fire fighting personnel.

Class 2 systems comprises of 25mm diameter bore for Hose Reel System or 40mm diameter bore for Hose Rack System,

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When is Single Exit Allowed in Apartment Building?

Any non-sprinklered dwelling unit shall be permitted to have a single exit, provided that one of the following criteria are met:
1. The dwelling unit has an exit door opening directly to the street or yard at ground level.
2. The dwelling unit has direct access to an outside stair and serves a maximum of two units,

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What are the requirements for Fire Command Center?

Emergency command center shall be provided in any building which is ‘high-rise’ with 23 m or more in height with the exception of One-and-two-family dwelling and such emergency command center shall have the following;
1. fire lift
2. emergency voice communication system
3. engineered smoke control system.

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What are the requirements for Landing Valves

Landing Valves shall be located in accordance to the following preference:

  1. 1. In fire fighting lobby (if provided), for the first landing valve.
  2. 2. In Fire fighting or Exit Staircase, for the first landing valve.
  3. 3. In smoke free enclosure or external corridor.

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NFPA References

QCDD References


Vertical Openings