By John Raymond Hall
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Extra info for Astm's Role in Performance-Based Fire Codes and Standards
Interestingly, the fact that such bridging documents don't exist, influence this group not to favor performance-based techniques, if not actually oppose them. As other groups, authorities having jurisdiction must also contend with market forces; thus they are likely to be swayed, at least to some extent by opportunities to lower public expenditures and increase public safety. In fact, too, authorities having jurisdiction are often confronted with manufacturer requests to be granted a code variance, via "equivalency," usually involving performance-based fire safety engineering, as it almost invariably involves a material or product failing to meet a prescriptive requirement.
Ii. There is no difference between the fire safety of the new product and the one in established use. Then, there is neither advantage nor disadvantage in using the new product, from the point of view of fire safety. iii. The new product is less safe, in terms of fire performance, than the one in established use. Then, the new product is undesirable, from the point of view of fire safety, and should not be used unless other changes are made. iv. A new product that is less safe, in terms of fire performance, can nevertheless be made acceptable if it is part of a complete design for the scenario, that includes other features, such as use of an alternative layout or increased use of automatic fire protection systems, that demonstrably produce the same or better safety for the complete design.
31 32 ASTM'S ROLE IN FIRE CODES AND STANDARDS An analysis follows, attempting to draw some broad generalizations on how the use of new performance-based techniques can affect each one of these groups, and some of their expected potential reactions. (a) The least technically sophisticated users are the first ones, consumers. Moreover, such people are generally involved in the debate only to the extent that consumers can choose whether or not to acquire a product or service. Moreover, consumers are those people most vulnerable to the journalistic pressures described above.
Astm's Role in Performance-Based Fire Codes and Standards by John Raymond Hall