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Handbook

Part 1: FireGeneral

Handbook of Australian fire Standards

SAA HB37.11993

This Handbook was prepared by Committee FC/-, Fire Coordination Committee. It was approved on behalf of the Council of Standards Australia on 31 July 1992 and published on 18 January 1993.

The following interests are represented on Committee FC/-: The following Standards Australia committees: BD/1/2Design For Fire
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BD/4/8Design Against Fire EL/2/10Fire Hazard Testing EL/3/13Cables for Use in Limited Fire Conditions FP/2Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm Systems FP/3Fire Extinguishers FP/4Automatic Sprinkler Installations FP/5Reporting Fires FP/7Fire Hose Reels PL/9Fire tests for plastics FP/10Fire ProtectionTerms and Definitions TX/13Burning Behaviour of Textiles and Textile Products

Review of Australian Standards. To keep abreast of progress in industry, Australian Standards are subject to periodic review and are kept up to date by the issue of amendments or new editions as necessary. It is important therefore that Standards users ensure that they are in possession of the latest edition, and any amendments thereto. Full details of all Australian Standards and related publications will be found in the Standards Australia Catalogue of Publications; this information is supplemented each month by the magazine The Australian Standard, which subscribing members receive, and which gives details of new publications, new editions and amendments, and of withdrawn Standards. Suggestions for improvements to Australian Standards, addressed to the head office of Standards Australia, are welcomed. Notification of any inaccuracy or ambiguity found in an Australian Standard should be made without delay in order that the matter may be investigated and appropriate action taken.

This Handbook was issued in draft form for comment as DR 91080.

SAA HB37.11993

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Handbook
Handbook of Australian fire Standards Part 1: FireGeneral

First published as SAA HB37.11993.

PUBLISHED BY STANDARDS AUSTRALIA (STANDARDS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA) 1 THE CRESCENT, HOMEBUSH, NSW 2140
ISBN 0 7262 7710 X

SAA HB37.11993

PREFACE
This Handbook was prepared by the Standards Australia Committee for Fire Coordination, in response to requests from individuals, industry and government bodies, who expressed a need for a document which would consolidate all aspects of fire, and fire prevention and protection requirements within Australia. This document is one of a number of parts that comprise the Handbook of Australian Fire Standards. The various parts include Part 1: FireGeneral Part 2: Electrical equipment Part 3: Plastics and rubberMaterials and products

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CONTENTS
FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 SCOPE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS . . . . . . . . . . 3 DEFINITIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 FIRE BEHAVIOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 FIRE HAZARD AND FIRE RISK . . . . . . . . 6 FIRE TEST METHODS AND STANDARDS 7 EVALUATION OF FIRE RETARDANTS . . 8 MISCELLANEOUS REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 3 4 4 4 4 5 7 10 12

APPENDICES A LIST OF AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS PRINCIPALLY CONCERNED WITH FIRE B SELECTED TERMS ASSOCIATED WITH FIRE MATTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C INDEX OF COMMONWEALTH FIRE BOARD FIRE SAFETY CIRCULARS . . .

13 16 19

Copyright STANDARDS AUSTRALIA Users of Standards are reminded that copyright subsists in all Standards Australia publications and software. Except where the Copyright Act allows and except where provided for below no publications or software produced by Standards Australia may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system in any form or transmitted by any means without prior permission in writing from Standards Australia. Permission may be conditional on an appropriate royalty payment. Requests for permission and information on commercial software royalties should be directed to the head office of Standards Australia. Standards Australia will permit up to 10 percent of the technical content pages of a Standard to be copied for use exclusively in-house by purchasers of the Standard without payment of a royalty or advice to Standards Australia. Standards Australia will also permit the inclusion of its copyright material in computer software programs for no royalty payment provided such programs are used exclusively in-house by the creators of the programs. Care should be taken to ensure that material used is from the current edition of the Standard and that it is updated whenever the Standard is amended or revised. The number and date of the Standard should therefore be clearly identified. The use of material in print form or in computer software programs to be used commercially, with or without payment, or in commercial contracts is subject to the payment of a royalty. This policy may be varied by Standards Australia at any time.

SAA HB37.11993

FOREWORD
The Handbook is intended to assist those involved with fire, fire safety, and fire protection, by providing a reference to all Australian Standards that deal with fire matters in a nominated area. It is intended to enlarge progressively the various parts of the Handbook by the inclusion of new Australian Standards dealing with fire matters, and reference to specialized manuals and guides provided by Australian organizations. The Handbook gives guidance to those concerned with maintaining acceptable standards of safety from fire, and to those concerned in any way with fire hazards and fire tests. It is intended to help specification writers, regulatory bodies, designers and architects, manufacturers and fabricators, wholesalers and retailers, consumer advice services and educational bodies. It is also intended to help anyone purchasing, specifying or using materials or products to understand the need to consider a possible fire hazard, and the way in which fire tests may help in assessing that fire hazard. It will also help them to understand the need to consider special precautions that may be required for safe use in specific environments. Users of the Handbook should consult State, Territory and local government regulations when designing for specific installations. It is not intended that the various parts of SAA HB37 be called up in specifications or regulations, although the Handbook of Australian fire Standards will provide references to individual Australian Standards suitable for such purposes.

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SAA HB37.11993

STANDARDS AUSTRALIA Handbook of Australian fire Standards Part 1: FireGeneral

1 SCOPE This part of the Handbook deals with general matters relating to fire and fire tests, lists individual Standards and Codes published by Standards Australia, and identifies appropriate procedures and documents prepared by other Australian organizations that deal with these matters. This document does not provide mandatory requirements on fire-related matters but advises the user on the applicability of State, Territory and local government regulations.
NOTE: Appendix A provides a list of Australian Standards that are primarily concerned with fire-related matters, and advises which part of the Handbook of Australian fire Standards should be consulted for more information. This is a free 6 page sample. Access the full version at http://infostore.saiglobal.com.

2 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS The following documents are referred to in this Handbook: AS 1530 Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures 1530.1 Part 1: Combustibility test for materials. 2220 Emergency warning and intercommunication systems in buildings 2220.1 Part 1: Equipment design and manufacture 2220.2 Part 2: System design, installation and commissioning 2484 FireGlossary of terms 2484.1 Part 1: Fire tests 2484.2 Part 2: Fire protection and firefighting equipment 2744 Preparation, application and format of fire tests Commonwealth Fire Board Fire safety circulars 3 DEFINITIONS Definitions of terms associated with fire testing, fire protection equipment and general matters connected with fire are given in AS 2484.1, AS 2484.2 and Appendix B. 4 FIRE BEHAVIOUR 4.1 General Despite its apparently simple definition (see Appendix B), fire is a complex phenomenon involving many simultaneous processes. Most fires start from a small source, usually in a context where a source of heat and a combustible material are brought together, which may cause decomposition of the material producing flammable vapours that may be ignited. In the cases of gases and liquids, decomposition is not necessary for the production of flammable materials in the gaseous phase. If the heat source is too small, or the mass of the material to be ignited is too large, or its ignition temperature is too high, only localized damage may occur without progression to a fire. Different combustible materials need different amounts of heat to be applied before ignition can occur. For continued combustion, the rate of heat loss needs to be less than the sum of the rate of heat given out by the extraneous heat source and the rate of heat generated by the combustion process. 4.2 Stages of fire The progress of most fires (when there is no attempt at putting them out) can be divided into the following stages: (a) Initiation The process, as described in Clause 4.1, in which fire is established. (b) Growth (or spread, or propagation) The continued release of flammable vapours leading to combustion; this continues until there are no further supplies of accessible fuel or air to become involved. (c) Flashover A transitional stage, which may or may not occur, during which fire becomes fully developed. (d) A steady period The stage at which the fire may be said to be fully developed and all combustible materials are burning steadily. (e) Decay The final phase during which the fire is burning itself out. In some circumstances, a fire may die out of its own accord without Stages (c) or (d) being reached; in others, all four stages may be telescoped into a very short period, e.g. a persons clothing alight, or a flammable vapour/air mixture exploding.

COPYRIGHT

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HB 37.1-1993, Handbook of Australian fire Standards Fire - General


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