UNCONTROLLED IF PRINTED

MFPE

CHAPTER 8

AIRCRAFT HANGARS—FIRE SAFETY
Scope

8

8.1

8.1 This chapter details the Defence policy for construction and fixed fire protection for new aircraft hangars. When upgrading existing aircraft hangars, the fire safety requirements will need to be assessed separately for each hangar, but as far as practicable, the requirements for new hangars shall be applied. The Director Estate Engineering Policy (DEEP) must be consulted when determining fire safety requirements for aircraft hangars. References 8.2 Reference is necessary to the current issue of the following documents: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. l. m. n. o. Introduction Building Code of Australia (BCA). Australian Standard (AS) 2118.1—Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems—General Requirements. AS 1720.4—Timber Structures—Fire-resistance for Structural Adequacy of Timber Members. Defence Security Manual (DSM). Defence Construction Security Reference Manual. AS 3000—Electrical Wiring Rules. AS 2430—Classification of Hazardous Areas—(Suite of Australian Standards). AS 1670.1—Fire Detection, Warning, Control and Intercom Systems—System Design, Installation and Commissioning—Fire. AS 2419.1—Fire Commissioning. Hydrant Installations—System Design, Installation and
8.2

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 11—Standard for Low, Medium and High-expansion foam. Defence policy Environmental Guidelines for Management of Fire Fighting Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Products. Chapter 1—‘Fire protection of Defence assets’. Chapter 15, annex A—‘Guidelines for Testing Fixed Aqueous Film Forming Fire Suppression Systems’. AS 2665—Smoke/Heat Venting Systems—Design, Installation and Commissioning. AS 2427—Smoke/Heat Release Vents.
8.3

8.3 Fire protection is a rapidly developing technology and there are often several options for meeting a requirement. Given the options that may be available, each hangar should be separately assessed to determine the optimum solution. Criteria to be used for selecting a level of fire protection for aircraft hangars has been developed and are detailed in the following paragraphs. The level of fire protection selected and its method of operation shall be referred to DEEP for concurrence.

AL1

9 To meet the perceived risk. These hangars shall have signage prohibiting the storage of aircraft that are not defuelled. shall have a foam suppression system (see paragraph 8. and e. The fire risk in aircraft hangars 8. detect a fire in its incipient stage.4 Aircraft area.9 Other criteria will apply. minimise disruption to hangar operations.5 The level of fixed fire protection for aircraft hangars is based on the following: a. d. Activities in the hangar during the normal work routine have historically resulted in the greatest incidence of fires or potential fire situations. minimise damage to aircraft and equipment. or where for operational reasons passive fire separation between each aircraft cannot be provided. paragraph 1.8 8. and proposed in accordance with chapter 1. The whole complex including aircraft area and annex. a hangar fire protection system should: a.6 Required levels of fire protection for hangars housing two or more aircraft 8. the Defence asset classification as defined in chapter 1. e. and minimise the incidence of false alarms. 8. Any part of a hangar where aircraft may be parked and any adjacent area not divided from that area by fire walls or open space in which fuel vapours can dissipate. Annex.8 The fire risks within an aircraft hangar are a function of hangar operation. The presence of personnel trained in first attack firefighting provides for fire situations during working hours being controlled early with little damage resulting. Fire protection selection criteria 8.12).5 b. c.7 Hangars designed to house only defuelled aircraft are not required to have fire separation or foam suppression but shall have Level 2 (see annex A) fire protection installed. c. 8. building services and plant and accommodation associated with them and the aircraft area. A building space containing servicing or repair facilities. the level of physical security subparagraph 1.4 For the purpose of this chapter. but may vary from hangar to hangar and hence the need to analyse fire protection requirements for each hangar separately.23). the assessed risk (multiple or single aircraft occupancy).9. which if ignited and not detected early could rapidly engulf an aircraft. b. the response time and capability of the responding fire brigade. control a fire in the shortest possible time. The incidence of sabotage or arson can be equally devastating and appropriate security measures should be incorporated during the design stage of any hangar facility. Hangar. but the damage risk is increased considerably because of the inherent delay in detection and suppression. the hangar.9 d. 8.6 Australian Defence Force policy requires that where two or more aircraft that may contain fuel are housed in a hangar. c. d.10 and 8. The greatest potential fire risk within a hangar is that presented by a large fuel spill. AL1 .UNCONTROLLED IF PRINTED MFPE 8–2 Definitions 8. the following definitions apply: a. 8.. 8. b. the hangar shall have passive fire separation between each aircraft (see paragraph 8. Objectives 8. The risk of an accidental fire outbreak is low during stand-down hours.

Disruption to hangar operations is often required to carry out the required annual testing. 8. Compartmentation 8. All vents shall open as one. strategically located within the aircraft area to reduce fuel pool size and potential fire severity. Floor drainage 8.13 Wherever possible. Discharged foam is to be contained and uncontrolled discharge to stormwater or sewerage systems must be avoided (chapter 15.18 At least one leaf of any hangar door system is to be openable from the outside. Hangar doors 8.10 Where hangar facilities are required for more than one aircraft and real estate permits. This approach has been successfully applied to a number of Defence hangar construction projects and is the Defence preferred design option. Separation distances shall be in accordance with BCA requirements.16 Floor drainage is a critical aspect of hangar design and construction.15 Where manual control of vents is provided for environment control in hangars with conventional closed head sprinkler systems. Ventilation 8.17 Hanger floor drainage systems shall include appropriate floor drains. 8.10 8. ie maximum size of a fire compartment in Type C construction (without sprinkler protection) is 2000 m2 (BCA part C2 refers).18 8.13 8.12) between each aircraft. The drainage system shall be of sufficient capacity to remove the calculated discharge of aerated foam liquid from any installed fixed foam suppression system. The openable leaf is to be provided with a towing lug for emergency movement of the doors by vehicle or by hand.14 Smoke/heat vents and draught curtains shall be installed in hangars over 1500 m2 to minimise smoke and heat damage to aircraft and the hangar structure. Type B construction FRL 240/240/240. 8. ie Type C construction FRL 90/90/90. The vents shall reopen once the sprinkler system has operated.14 8. Smoke/heat venting systems (including draught curtains) shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of AS 2665—Smoke and Heat Venting Systems—Design. annex A of this manual refers).UNCONTROLLED IF PRINTED MFPE 8–3 PASSIVE FIRE PROTECTION MEASURES Hangar construction and separation 8. Installation and Commissioning and vents shall comply with AS 2427—Smoke/Heat Release Vents.16 8.12 Type of construction required for hangars shall be as detailed in table C2. Particular care must be exercised where sprinkler protection is not being installed. AL1 . the system shall be designed so that an alarm from the fire detection system shall override the manual control and close the vents so that sufficient heat build up will occur to operate the sprinkler system. The floor drains shall incorporate monitored hydrocarbon detectors installed and configured to raise an alarm and call the fire brigade in the event of a fuel spill. Project Directors should challenge user requirements specifying two or more high value/strategic aircraft in one hangar to ensure users are aware of these aspects and have addressed them in the development of the user requirement. consideration shall be given to housing each aircraft separately to negate the requirement for fixed fire suppression systems. A floor drainage system incorporating flame traps is to be provided in the hangar area to control the flow of spilt fuel and other flammables. it shall be fire isolated from the aircraft parking area by a fire wall with an FRL as required by the BCA for the appropriate type of construction.5 per cent and shall incorporate the requirement for floor drainage away from hangared aircraft.11 The complexity of fixed fire suppression systems is reflected in high installation and annual maintenance costs. This may be achieved by providing fire compartmentation appropriate to the structure (see paragraph 8. 8. annexes should be separated from the aircraft area to avoid the imposition of respective hazards from one area to another.2 of the BCA. If there is a risk of a large fuel pool fire accuring as a result of fuel spill remaining undetected for a considerable period of time or until ignition (eg large undetected fuel spill when aircraft hanger is unoccupied). Where an annex forms part of a hangar. The drainage system is also required to clear the hangar door tracks and hangar walls of flammable liquids. Automatic operation of the vents shall be initiated by the detection system. The floor gradient shall be not less than 0.10 8.

UNCONTROLLED IF PRINTED MFPE 8–4 Separation of aircraft 8.23 8.19 A minimum separation distance between aircraft within a hangar shall be determined on a case by case basis.21 Exits from aircraft areas should normally be provided at intervals not exceeding 60 metres. When the hangar is manned. f. response time of fire brigade. The operation of a single detector shall activate a local alarm and transmit an alarm to the responding fire brigade.20 The electrical wiring and fittings within the aircraft area of the hangar shall conform to subparagraph 8. distances between exit doors may have to be reduced to keep the maximum travel distance to a required exit within the 40 metres required by the BCA for this class of occupancy. the type of aircraft housed (rotary/fixed wing). This sequence must be incorporated into the security and operating procedures for the hangar.22 8. as required by the BCA. Means of egress and access for firefighting 8. g. aircraft fuelled/defuelled. with/without wings. d. b. c. AL1 . the ease with which aircraft can be extracted.20 8. flame and smoke detectors offer faster detection than available thermal detectors.22 8.23 The fundamental purpose of hangar fire suppression systems is to achieve rapid knockdown of a fuel spill fire. ACTIVE FIRE PROTECTION MEASURES Fire detection 8. c.19 8. The aim is to minimise the risk of radiated heat from one burning aircraft. the configuration of the aircraft housed (stripped to air frame. Although increased separation distances may be imposed on a case by case basis after consideration of the above factors. or overhead high velocity foam deluge systems designed to operate in single module form or all modules operating simultaneously. the receipt of an alarm from both detection systems shall activate the suppression system. the automatic operation of the suppression system shall be isolated and manual operation selected. depending on the width of the hangar. type of installed detection/suppression.22 Early fire detection is to be provided by a system designed to detect any two of the following fire products: smoke. a minimum separation distance between aircraft of four metres should be maintained.2 f. Currently. fire points with portable/mobile fire equipment such as fire-extinguishers and foam proportioning devices attached to fire hose reels. flame or heat. and the physical limitations imposed by existing hangars. low level foam systems such as pop-up sprinklers and/or oscillating foam monitors. e. Electrical services 8. However. and g. b. The selection of an appropriate separation distance between aircraft is dependent on an evaluation of the following criteria: a.21 8. damaging adjacent aircraft and to facilitate extraction of aircraft from a hangar if a fire occurs. After hours and during periods when the hangar is unmanned. Fire suppression 8. wings/rotors extended/folded etc). This may be achieved by a combination of the following methods: a.

28 Duration. The water supply shall be sufficient to operate the foam zone in alarm and all immediately adjacent foam zones.27 b. However.UNCONTROLLED IF PRINTED MFPE 8–5 8. After exhaustion of existing AFFF stocks. The water supply must then be able to supply a further 20 minutes of water from those zones. Fire points 8. b. Detailed commissioning requirements and maintenance tests to confirm system design parameters are provided in chapter 15.26 In the past only aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) supplied under Defence contract to DEF(AUST) 5603D for six per cent AFFF or DEF(AUST) 5639 for three per cent AFFF. the fire suppression foam purchased to operate existing Defence suppression systems shall not contain any PFOS chemicals. 8.30 The commissioning of foam suppression systems shall include the physical testing of all possible combinations of detection circuits (smoke and flame) to ensure that only the designed circuits (one smoke and one flame in foam zone of fire source) operate the automatic foam suppression sequence. Any new foam purchased shall be compatible with existing installations and shall not adversely affect or diminish the firefighting performance of existing suppression systems. as some firefighting foams contain perfluorooctanyl sulfonate (PFOS) chemicals.24 When an overhead deluge system is specified.26 8. The floor area adjacent to each fire point should be marked to designate a clear area. c. d. and the additional firefighting foam to be contained and disposed of after a discharge.29 8. the down time required for clean up after a discharge. the type of firefighting foam to be used in Defence foam suppression systems has been reviewed and the following shall apply: a. 8. The full 30 minutes must be at the pressure and flow that meet the requirements of the system design. 8. for a minimum of 10 minutes. annex A and Defence Environmental Guidelines for Management of Firefighting AFFF Products. AL1 . could be used in Defence foam suppression systems. which have recently been found to be a concern because of their persistence in the environment and long-term health and environmental effects.30 8. the increased water storage requirement. the detrimental effects of firefighting foam on aircraft avionics and components.25 The control panels which comprise the foam suppression control system shall be secured in such a manner that prevents unauthorised interference.27 Reliability. Defence AFFF stocks shall be used in existing suppression systems subject to compliance with chapter 15. New Defence suppression systems shall use firefighting foams that do not contain any PFOS chemicals. Firefighting foam 8. The suppression systems shall be designed to deliver the required performance using the alternative firefighting foam. in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph 8. do not initiate a foam discharge.29 Fire points are to be established on the walls of the aircraft area within four metres of exits and should incorporate the manual foam control panels for suppression systems.2 b. Care must be taken to ensure that two or more smoke detection circuits or two or more flame detection circuits. a foam liquid proportioner and hand held extinguishers. annex A and NFPA Code 11. The water supply for a foam suppression system shall have the reliability of a Grade 1 supply. Water supply 8. Commissioning and maintenance requirements 8. Fire points shall consist of a small-bore hose reel. the following points must be considered: a. c.

d. AL1 . smoke/heat vents and draught curtains. Level 1 is the minimum requirement for any hangar housing aircraft. 2 and 3 plus the automatic operation of the foam suppression system. The system shall be designed to provide a minimum total output of 45 L/sec from the four hydrants in closest proximity to the hangar. 8. c. c.32 8. hangar standard operating procedures require evacuation on receipt of fire alarm. d. Level 2 incorporates level 1 protection plus a dual system fire detection system.1 shall be provided.31 An external hydrant system shall surround the hangar. minimising the storage of flammable and combustible goods in the hangar. and hand held extinguishers. asset classification. Typical housekeeping measures include: a. Hydrant locations are to comply with AS 2419. refer). The opening of the smoke/heat vents shall be initiated by the fire detection system and shall be capable of manual operation for testing. the fire alarm can be heard throughout all areas of the hangar. Level 3 incorporates levels 1 and 2 protection plus the provision of a manually operated foam suppression system. Notes An EWIS system is not required if: – – – – it is not required by the BCA.2 f.32 A high standard of housekeeping forms an essential part of the overall hangar fire protection measures.33 Levels of protection 8. and g. Level 1. and the hangar contains no more than three storeys.33 Four levels of protection are provided to meet the varying degrees of risk. b. an occupant warning system complying with AS 1670. maintaining aircraft separation distances. and ensuring that only approved electrical equipment is employed in the zoned hazardous areas (subparagraph 8.31 8. Level 3. Level 4. physical security and fire brigade response: a. Adequate means of egress and access for firefighting are also to be provided. an Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System (EWIS). ensuring fire equipment is correctly maintained. Level 1 incorporates basic requirements such as necessary first attack appliances including small bore hose reels.UNCONTROLLED IF PRINTED MFPE 8–6 Fire hydrants 8. e. foam liquid proportioners where necessary.1. Level 2. Hydrant spacing shall be not more than 90 metres and hydrants shall not be within six metres of the building being protected. maintaining clear egress paths to fire escapes. b. Level 4 incorporates levels 1. External hydrants should normally be of the ground ball type and internal hydrants (where required) should be of the above ground type. Housekeeping 8. When an EWIS is not required.

Annex: A. corresponding physical security measures will be implemented. The four levels of fire protection represent the most practical staging of hangar fire protection requirements and it is envisaged that with each level of fire protection. Fire protection levels in aircraft hangars .UNCONTROLLED IF PRINTED MFPE 8–7 8.34 Annex A summarises the various components required for each of the four levels of hangar fire protection comprising of fire system components detailed in earlier paragraphs of this chapter.

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