ARCHIVED - Public Review on Proposed Changes to the National Model Codes — 2007

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) is inviting Code users and stakeholders to participate in the review of proposed changes to the National Model Codes.

A national public review took place from September 24 to November 23, 2007 on proposed changes to the following National Model Codes:

  • the National Building Code of Canada 2005 (NBC)
  • the National Fire Code of Canada 2005 (NFC), and
  • the National Plumbing Code of Canada 2005 (NPC).

The purpose of this public review is:

  • to provide Code users and stakeholders with a detailed look at proposed technical changes,
  • to seek comment on each proposed technical change as to whether it should be approved, altered, or rejected, and
  • to seek comments on updates to documents referenced in the National Model Codes.

The public review closed on November 23, 2007, after which comments will no longer be accepted. The relevant standing committees of the CCBFC will review every comment that was received up to that date. The standing committees will then either withdraw the change, recommend that it be reviewed further for future consideration as a proposed change, or recommend that it be approved by the CCBFC, with or without modification.

Proposed Technical Changes

Technical changes modify the technical meaning of Code provisions.

All comments submitted by November 23, 2007 will be reviewed by the relevant CCBFC standing committees. The standing committees will then either withdraw the proposed technical change, recommend that it be reviewed further for future consideration as a proposed change, or recommend that it be approved by the CCBFC, with or without modification.

If approved by the CCBFC, the technical changes will be published in the 2010 edition of the NBC, NFC and NPC.

Summaries of the significant proposed technical changes for NBC Parts 3 and 9 and the NFC provide the context for these changes.

View the technical changes by:

  • Code Section
    • National Building Code
    • National Fire Code
    • National Plumbing Code
  • Subject
    • National Building Code<
    • National Fire Code
    • National Plumbing Code

NBC Part 3, Fire Protection, Occupant Safety and Accessibility

Fire Alarm Systems and Smoke Alarms

Several proposed changes deal with the harmonization of the technical differences between Part 3 and Part 9 of the NBC on the subjects of fire alarm systems and smoke alarms. In addition, a number of proposed changes introduce the following improvements: clarification as to when a fire alarm system is required to be installed, more specifically when a sprinkler system is provided in a building; clarification as to which specific Part 3 provisions dealing with fire alarms apply to Part 9 buildings; the placement of smoke alarms within residential buildings based on the concept of storey rather than floor level; a requirement on an alternative power source (i.e. battery) for all smoke alarms located within residential occupancies; requirements for smoke alarm installations to meet ULC standards; and harmonization with referenced standards on the placement of smoke alarms.

Fire Stopping and Fire Blocking

Several proposed changes to both Parts 3 and 9 address the issue of penetrations through fire separations. New definitions have been proposed for both "fire stops" and "fire blocks". Clarifications as well as new requirements have been introduced to specify when and how the integrity of a fire separation must be maintained where a rated assembly is penetrated. The term "cast-in-place" has been introduced into Part 9. Fire stops must conform to ULC listed systems or other systems deemed to meet the performance criteria. In addition, several relaxations on current requirements have been introduced, such as: the allowance for larger diameter combustible piping to penetrate a rated assembly; a relaxation on the requirement for fire stopping around fire dampers and sprinkler heads; a relaxation on the requirements related to the penetration of noncombustible electrical outlet boxes. The requirement for fire blocks in attic spaces that are unsprinklered has been clarified.

Summary of Significant Proposed Changes (NBC) - NBC Part 9, Housing and Small Buildings

Definition of "Range"

The current definition of "range" only covers appliances incorporating one or more ovens. The term is used in the Code to refer to cook-tops with burners or elements, to ovens, or to appliances with both cook-tops and ovens. Where Code requirements apply to ovens, the term "oven" serves the purpose. Where Code requirements apply more generically to appliances that burn fuel or use electricity for heating or cooking, the defined term "stove" is used. Where requirements apply to appliances that have cook-tops and may or may not include ovens, the defined term "range" is still used but the usage is inconsistent with the definition. The proposed change to the definition in Division A, Article 1.4.1.2., and corresponding proposed changes to provisions that use "range" to refer to ovens, resolves the inconsistent use of the terminology and clarifies the proper application of the requirements.

Fire Alarm Systems and Smoke Alarms

Several proposed changes deal with the harmonization of the technical differences between Part 3 and Part 9 of the NBC on the subjects of fire alarm systems and smoke alarms. In addition, a number of proposed changes introduce the following improvements: clarification as to when a fire alarm system is required to be installed, more specifically when a sprinkler system is provided in a building; clarification as to which specific Part 3 provisions dealing with fire alarms apply to Part 9 buildings; the placement of smoke alarms within residential buildings based on the concept of storey rather than floor level; a requirement on an alternative power source (i.e. battery) for all smoke alarms located within residential occupancies; requirements for smoke alarm installations to meet ULC standards; and harmonization with referenced standards on the placement of smoke alarms.

Fire Stopping and Fire Blocking

Several proposed changes to both Parts 3 and 9 address the issue of penetrations through fire separations. New definitions have been proposed for both "fire stops" and "fire blocks". Clarifications as well as new requirements have been introduced to specify when and how the integrity of a fire separation must be maintained where a rated assembly is penetrated. The term "cast-in-place" has been introduced into Part 9. Fire stops must conform to ULC listed systems or other systems deemed to meet the performance criteria. In addition, several relaxations on current requirements have been introduced, such as: the allowance for larger diameter combustible piping to penetrate a rated assembly; a relaxation on the requirement for fire stopping around fire dampers and sprinkler heads; a relaxation on the requirements related to the penetration of noncombustible electrical outlet boxes. The requirement for fire blocks in attic spaces that are unsprinklered has been clarified.

Garage Floors

The Code currently requires that garage floors be sloped to the exterior to limit the probability of heavier-than-air gases flowing into habitable space that is below the garage floor level. This provision is problematic for several reasons: it does not recognize the acceptable solution described in the Canadian Electrical Code for controlling the ingress of heavier-than-air gases; sloping the floor to the exterior can lead to problems due to back-up and freezing of meltwater from vehicles in the winter; and the provision is in conflict with the Quebec Plumbing Code, which requires the installation of a sump. The proposed change resolves these problems and inconsistencies.

Summary of Significant Proposed Changes (NFC) - National Fire Code

Fire Safety at Demolition and Construction Sites

Several proposed changes have been introduced to address concerns regarding fire safety at construction and demolition sites: a requirement dealing with the protection of adjacent buildings or facilities from a fire originating at a construction or demolition site; enhancement of the requirements related to the fire safety plan, such as those dealing with warning signals and fire watch; improvement of the requirements for fire department access to sites; specific requirements on the commissioning and decommissioning of standpipe systems; and restrictions on the placement of bitumen kettles on rooftops.

Combined PCFs are available in PDF file format

  • Proposed Changes: NBC 2007 (PDF format - 6 MB)
  • Proposed Changes: NFC 2007 (PDF format - 2 MB)
  • Proposed Changes: NPC 2007 (PDF format - 0.6 MB)

To receive the proposed changes for this public review, please contact Codes Canada.

Date modified: