Building Code Definitions

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the state of combustion during which flammable materials burn producing heat, toxic gases, or smoke or flame or any combination of these

fire load

the sum of the net calorific values of the combustible contents which can reasonably be expected to burn within a firecell, including furnishings, built-in and removable materials, and building elements. The calorific values shall be determined at the ambient moisture content or humidity. (The unit of measurement is MJ or TJ)

fire resistance rating (frr)

the term used to classify fire resistance of primary and secondary elements as determined in the standard test for fire resistance, or in accordance with a specific calculation method verified by experimental data from standard fire resistance tests. It comprises three numbers giving the time in minutes for which each of the criteria stability, integrity and insulation are satisfied, and is presented always in that order

fire safety system

means the combination of all active and passive protection methods used in a building to—
(a) warn people of an emergency; and 
(b) provide for safe evacuation; and 
(c) provide for access by, and the safety of, firefighters; and 
(d)restrict the spread of fire; and 
(e) limit the impact of fire on structural stability

fire separation

any building element which separates firecells or firecells and safe paths, and provides a specific fire resistance rating

fire source

means the combination of the ignition source and the item first ignited within a room, space, or firecell, which combination is considered to be the origin of the fire for the purposes of design


any space including a group of contiguous spaces on the same or different levels within a building, which is enclosed by any combination of fire separations, external walls, roofs, and floors


an article intended to remain permanently attached to and form part of a building

floor area

, in relation to a building, means the floor area (expressed in square metres) of all interior spaces used for activities normally associated with domestic living

foul water

the discharge from any sanitary fixtures or sanitary appliances

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