Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Occupational Safety and Health
Chapter 3-3 - Fire Protection Standard for Electronic Data Processing Equipment


Chapter 3-3 - Fire Protection Standard for Electronic Data Processing Equipment

1. GENERAL

1.1 Purpose

This standard establishes minimum requirements for fire protection of electronic data processing equipment (henceforth referred to as EDP equipment) in order to minimize risks to Government of Canada property and operations, and to protect and conserve the Government's financial position.

1.2 Application

This standard applies to:

(a) departments and agencies listed in Schedules A and B of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) with the exception of the Department of National Defence;

(b) branches designated as departments for the purposes of the FAA; and

(c) those departments and other portions of the Public Service as defined in Part I of Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act.

This chapter replaces chapter 7-3 of PMM Volume 12.

1.3 Scope

This standard describes the fire protection engineering requirements for EDP equipment that is:

(a) essential to the operation of Government of Canada departments and agencies; or

(b) not essential but of a value that warrants protection from the effect of fire.

(See appendix A)

1.4 Requirements

This standard applies to:

(a) new computer room construction and EDP equipment installations;

(b) additions and alterations to existing computer room and EDP equipment installations; and

(c) existing computer room and EDP equipment installations where conditions present a risk to property or operational continuity. (See appendix A)

1.5 Administration

(a) The Fire Commissioner of Canada or his authorized representative is responsible for the administration and enforcement of this standard.

(b) This standard is not to be interpreted as permitting practices specifically prohibited by provincial or other legislation.

(c) Where reference is made to other codes and standards, unless otherwise stipulated, the reference shall be to the latest edition including amendments to that code or standard.

(d) In the event of an inconsistency between this standard and any other standard, the requirements of this standard shall prevail.

1.6 Definitions

Certain terms used in this standard are defined.

administrative official (agent administratif) - means the official designated by the department or agency responsible for the administration of the property

alarm signal (signal d'alarme) - means an audible signal transmitted throughout a zone or zones or throughout a building to advise occupants that a fire emergency exists

alert signal (signal d'alerte) - means an audible signal to advise designated persons of a fire emergency

annunciator (annonciateur) - means a device to indicate visually a signal received from the fire alarm system or the fire detection system

combustible (combustible) - means that a material fails to meet the acceptance criteria of CAN4-S114 "Standard Method of Test for Determination of Non-Combustibility in Building Materials"

computer room (salle des ordinateurs) - means a room in which EDP equipment is located

electronic data processing (EDP) equipment (matériel de traitement électronique de l'information (TEI)) - means computer equipment along with all peripherals, supports, memories, programs or other associated equipment electronically interconnected with it

essential (essentiel) - as determined by the Administrative Official, means vital to the operations of the department and agency. (See appendix A-1.3)

fire alarm system (réseau avertisseur d'incendie) - means a combination of devices designed to warn the building occupants of an emergency condition

fire compartment (compartiment étanche au feu) - means an enclosed space in a building that is separated from all other parts of the building by enclosing construction providing a fire separation having a required fire-resistance rating

fire detector (détecteur d'incendie) - means a device which detects a fire condition and automatically initiates a signal and includes heat detectors and smoke detectors

fire-resistance rating (degré de résistance au feu) - means the time that a material or assembly of materials will resist the effects of fire as determined by the appropriate standard fire test prescribed in the NBC

fire separation (séparation coupe-feu) - means a construction assembly that acts as a barrier against the spread of fire

flame-resistant (difficilement inflammable) - means that such material conforms to CAN/ULC - S109, "Standard for Flame Tests of Flame-Resistant Fabrics and Films"

flame-spread rating (indice de propagation de la flamme) - means an index or classification indicating the extent of spread-of-flame on the surface of a material or an assembly of materials as determined by the appropriate standard fire test prescribed in the NBC

Government of Canada property (propriétés du gouvernement du Canada) - means real or personal property under the administration and control of a federal government department or agency, including property leased to the government

Halon 1301 system (réseau d'extincteurs au Halon 1301) - means a fire suppression system consisting of containers of Halon 1301 gas as the extinguishing medium and shall include total flood systems and local application systems

local application system (réseau à projection locale) - means a fixed fire suppression system consisting of containers of Halon 1301 gas as the extinguishing medium so arranged to discharge the Halon gas directly on the burning material

non-combustible (incombustible) - means that a material meeting the acceptance criteria of CAN4-S114, "Standard Method of Test for Determination of Non-Combustibility in Building Material"

records (documents) - means media for the storage of information and includes paper records, punch cards, plastic or metal-base tapes, microfilm or other photographic media, magnetic discs, optical discs, memory drums and cores or other means of maintaining or storing information

smoke detector (détecteur de fumée) - means a fire detector designed to operate when the concentration of airborne products of combustion exceeds a predetermined level

smoke developed classification (indice de dégagement des fumées) - means an index or classification indicating the level of smoke developed by a material or assembly of materials as determined by the appropriate standard for test prescribed in the NBC

total flood system (réseau à saturation) - means a fixed fire suppression system consisting of containers of Halon 1301 gas as the extinguishing medium so arranged to discharge the Halon gas into an enclosed space or room

1.7 Abbreviations

(a) The abbreviations in this standard for the names of associations shall have the meanings assigned to them in this clause.

CSA - Canadian Standards Association

FC - Fire Commissioner of Canada or the authorized representative of the Fire Commissioner of Canada

NBC - National Building Code of Canada

NFC - National Fire Code of Canada

NFPA - National Fire Protection Association

ULC - Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada

(b) The abbreviations of words and phrases in this Standard shall have the meanings assigned to them in this clause.

oC - degree(s) Celsius

HVAC - Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning

h - hour(s)

m - meter(s)

lx - lux

min - minute(s)

No. - number

s - second(s)

$ - dollar(s)

2. Classifications and requirements

2.1 Classification

EDP equipment shall be protected by one of the following levels of protection according to the value of each unit or units which are in very close proximity to each other:

(a) Level 3 -

For essential EDP equipment.

(b) Level 2 -

For non-essential EDP equipment of high value exceeding $1,000,000.

(c) Level 1 -

For non-essential EDP equipment of medium value, equal to or greater than $250,000 but does not exceed $1,000,000.

(d) Level 0 -

For non-essential EDP equipment of a value less than $250,000.

2.2 Requirements for levels of protection

(a) EDP equipment requiring Level 3 protection shall conform to this standard.

(b) EDP equipment requiring Level 2 protection shall conform to this standard with the exception of subsection 6.4.

(c) EDP equipment requiring Level 1 protection shall conform to this standard with the exception of subsection 3.2, articles 4.1(d), subsection 4.2, articles 4.3(b) to (e), subsection 4.4, article 5.1(e), articles 5.2(b) to (d), subsections 6.2, 6.3, and 6.4.

(d) EDP equipment requiring Level 0 protection shall be considered as normal office equipment and shall be protected by fire extinguishers in conformance with 6.1. No additional protection is required other than that described in the NBC and NFC.

(See appendix C - Summary of requirements)

3. Location and construction

3.1 Location

(a) EDP equipment shall be located to minimize possible exposure to fire, water, corrosive fumes and smoke from adjacent areas.

(b) EDP equipment shall not be located above, below or adjacent to areas or structures where hazardous processes are present, unless protective features are provided.

(c) Where practicable, EDP equipment shall be located in sprinklered buildings.

3.2 Building construction

Note:

This Subsection applies only to EDP equipment requiring Level 2 and Level 3 protection.

(a) EDP equipment shall be located in buildings of non-combustible construction (as defined by the NBC) except as permitted in (b).

(b) EDP equipment may be located in buildings of combustible construction (as defined by the NBC) if the entire building, including the space occupied by the EDP equipment, is protected by a sprinkler system.

4. Computer room

4.1 Construction

(a) Except as provided in (b), EDP equipment shall be located in a room separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation having a fire-resistance rating of:

(i) 3/4 h where the floor assembly is required to have a fire-resistance rating of not greater than 3/4 h;

(ii) 1 h where the floor assembly is required to have a fire-resistance rating of 1 h or more; and

(iii) not less than 2 h, if the computer room is exposed to industrial occupancies as defined by the NBC.

(b) For EDP equipment requiring Level 1 protection, the fire separation in (a) is not required if the equipment is located in a building protected by a sprinkler system or equipped with a fire alarm system.

(c) Openings in the fire separation of the computer room shall be protected by closures as described in the NBC.

(d) The interior finish of walls, partitions and ceilings shall be constructed of non-combustible materials or of materials having a flame-spread rating of 25 or less, and a smoke developed classification of 50 or less.

(e) All concealed spaces above suspended ceilings shall be provided with access panels or hatches designed and located so that all portions of the void space are accessible.

(f) Any floor immediately above the computer room shall be made watertight to minimize possible water damage to the EDP equipment. Any openings in the floor including those for columns, beams, pipes or conduits shall be sealed.

(g) Where there is a possibility of water damage to the EDP equipment, protection shall be provided by means of

(i) adequate drainage to remove excess water; or

(ii) water detection equipment to sense the presence of water.

(h) Building services, such as fuel lines and water pipes, other than those serving the computer room shall not be located within the computer room.

4.2 Raised floors

(a) Supporting members for raised floor shall be constructed of non-combustible material.

(b) Decking for raised floors shall be constructed of:

(i) steel, aluminum or other non-combustible material; or

(ii) a core material of wood or wood products covered on the top and bottom with metal, with all openings or cut edges covered with metal or plastic clips or grommets so that none of the core is exposed, and the assembly has a flame-spread rating of 25 or less.

(c) Access panels, suitably identified, shall be provided in all raised floors to give ready access to the space beneath.

(d) Except as permitted in (e), high pressure laminates, or carpeting on raised floors shall have a flame-spread rating of 75 or less and a smoke developed classification of 150 or less.

(e) When the computer room is protected by a sprinkler system, commercial grade carpeting is permitted on raised floors.

(f) Carpeting on raised floors as permitted in (d) and (e) shall be installed so as not to obstruct or interfere with openings required for access to the space beneath.

(g) Openings into the space under raised floors shall be covered or screened to prevent the entry of debris.

(h) The floor beneath raised floors shall be curbed by impermeable materials to prevent the entry of water from the adjacent floor areas.

(i) Raised floor of metal construction shall be electrically grounded.

(j) Before the installation of a raised floor is made on combustible flooring, the flooring shall be covered with non-combustible materials.

4.3 Computer equipment

(a) All electrical equipment used in EDP equipment shall be certified by CSA or the provincial electrical inspection authority.

(b) All non-electrical parts such as housing, frames and supporting members shall be constructed, as far as practicable, of non-combustible materials.

(c) Air filters for use in individual units of EDP equipment shall be of non-combustible materials or conform to the requirements for Class 1 filters in accordance with CAN4-S111, "Standard Method of Fire Tests for Air Filter Units".

(d) Fluids required for lubrication, cooling or hydraulic purposes shall have a flash point of 150oC or higher and their containers shall be of sealed construction, equipped with automatic pressure relief devices venting to a safe location.

(e) All sound deadening material used in EDP equipment shall have a flame-spread rating of 25 or less and a smoke-developed classification of 50 or less.

4.4 Occupancy and furnishing

(a) Only an activity or occupancy directly associated with the EDP equipment shall be permitted to be located in the computer room.

(b) Furniture in the computer room shall be of materials that do not contribute significantly to the combustible contents.

(c) Draperies shall be flame-resistant.

4.5 Records

(a) Records other than as described in (b) shall be stored in record storage facilities in accordance with FC No. 311, "Standard for Record Storage".

(b) Records kept within the computer room shall be limited to the minimum needed for daily requirements and be stored in closed metal containers or cabinets unless the records are essential to operations in which case they shall be stored in containers having a fire-resistance rating of at least 1 h.

(c) Master records from which operating or current records may readily be reproduced, shall be stored in a different fire compartment or stored off-site in containers conforming to (b).

(d) After each periodic updating of recorded data, the previous record or generation of data shall be removed to the record storage facility referred to in (a).


[ Chapter 3-3 - Table of Contents | Next ]