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Changes in the Approval Process for Self-Storage Buildings

QFES recently released their official position statement on self-storage buildings, which raises NCC E1.10 and E2.3 as potential issues to be considered for all multi-level self-storage facilities. According to the referral agency advice guidelines, QFES requires these issues to be addressed as a performance solution where applicable.

The fire hazards of any new proposed multi-level self-storage facilities in Queensland are required to be assessed by a fire engineer. Suitable additional fire safety measures are required to be provided to a proposed multi-level self-storage building if it is considered to contain special hazards that trigger NCC E1.10 and E2.3. The fire safety measures suggested by QFES are an automatic sprinkler system to AS2118.1 suitable to the hazard class of the subject building and/or a monitored fire detection and alarm system.

The referral agency advice guidelines states:

“…due to their (commonly) Type C lightweight construction, large volume of contents (with the potential of the storage of dangerous and/or highly flammable goods) and the ability for a fire to rapidly spread beyond the unit of origin, there exists the high probability for an extremely dangerous and challenging environment for firefighters in the event of a fire.”
According to our discussions with QFES, the position statement is based on the findings from the Technical Perspective Report completed by Senior Station Officer Michael Dombroski, titled Fires in self-storage facilities.

From the referral agency advice guidelines, the main hazards of concern for multi-level self-storage buildings are:
  1. The potential for structural collapse; and
  2. The potential for undue fire load due to the volume of the contents and possible hazardous materials; and
  3. The potential for the rapid spread of fire beyond the unit of origin.
Sotera fire engineering has significant experience in this sector, having gained approval for a multitude of self-storage facilities employing various design approaches both with and without automatic fire suppression.

Sotera can provide effective fire engineering advice and assessment from the conceptual design stage through to completion to help reduce fire risk and to suitably address NCC E1.10 and E2.3.

For more information Contact our friendly team today.