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This is the version of this By-law as it was from 29 June 2007 to 20 August 2015. Read the version currently in force.
Community Fire Safety By-law, 2002
- Published in Western Cape Provincial Gazette no. 5832 on 28 February 2002
- Commenced on 28 February 2002
- [Up to date as at 26 November 2021]
PreambleThe Municipal Council of The City of Cape Town recognises: —• that everyone has the constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to their safety or well-being;• that losses due to fire and the subsequent economic and social impact on people, property and infrastructure causes unnecessary hardship;• that the protection of all sectors of the community against fire is an important aspect in the development and sustainability of the economy;• that certain aspects of the daily existence need to be controlled in such a manner as to prevent and reduce the effects of fire on the community as a whole;• that the community has a vital role to play in achieving the objectives of this By-law, and• that the benefits of a fire-safe environment should be accessible to all.Purpose and scope of this By-lawThe purpose and scope of the By-law is:• to promote the achievement of a fire-safe environment for the benefit of all persons within the area of jurisdiction of the Municipality;• to repeal all existing relevant by-laws of the Municipality;• to provide for procedures, methods and practices to regulate fire safety within the area of jurisdiction of the Municipality.Application of this By-lawThis By-law is applicable to all persons within the area of jurisdiction of the Municipality and includes both formal and informal sectors of the community and economy.
1. DefinitionsIn this By-law, words used in the masculine gender include the feminine, the singular includes the plural and vice versa, the English text prevails in the event of an inconsistency between the different texts and unless the context otherwise indicates:—"above ground storage tank" means a tank situated above ground for the storage of a flammable liquid;"automatic releasing hold-open device" means a device used to hold open a fire door and operates on the detection of a fire to close the fire door;"boundary" means any lateral or street boundary of a site;"building" means:—(a)any structure, whether of a temporary or permanent nature and irrespective of the materials used in the construction thereof, erected or used for or in connection with:—(i)the accommodation or convenience of human beings or animals;(ii)the manufacture, processing, storage or sale of any goods;(iii)the rendering of any service;(iv)the destruction or treatment of combustible refuse or combustible waste;(v)the cultivation or growing of any plant or crop;(b)any wall, swimming pool, reservoir or bridge or any other structure connected therewith;(c)any fuel pump or any tank used in connection therewith;(d)any part of a building, including a building as defined in paragraph (a), (b) or (c);(e)any facilities or system, or part or portion thereof, within or outside but incidental to a building, for the provision of a water supply, drainage, sewerage, stormwater disposal, electricity supply or other similar service in respect of the building;"bund wall" means a containment wall surrounding an above ground storage tank, constructed of impervious material;[definition of "bund wall" substituted by section 1(a) of the Amendment By-law, 2006 and of the Amendment By-law, 2007]"chief fire officer" means the person in charge of a service, or the acting chief officer, as contemplated in the Fire Brigade Services Act;"combustible material" means combustible refuse, combustible waste or any other material capable of igniting;"combustible refuse" means combustible rubbish, litter or material that is discarded, refused, rejected, or considered worthless;"combustible waste" means combustible waste material which is salvageable, retained or collected for scrap or reprocessing and may include all combustible fibres, hay, straw, hair, feathers, down, wood shavings, turnings, all types of paper products, soiled cloth trimmings and cuttings, rubber trimmings and buffing, metal fines, and any mixture of the above items, or any other salvageable combustible waste material;"Constitution" means the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996);"controlling authority" means either a chief fire officer, a municipal manager or their respective delegates as contemplated in sections 2 and 3 of this By-law;"dangerous goods" means a flammable gas, liquid or solid as contemplated in SABS 0228;"division separating element" means a building element or component which separates one area in a building from another and has a fire resistance of not less than that required by the National Building Regulations (T1) read with the SABS 0400;"emergency evacuation plan" means a plan specifically designed to aid in the evacuation of occupants from a building in the event of a fire or other threatening danger and assigns responsibility to various staff, indicates escape routes to be used and provides for general contingencies for a safe and quick evacuation from a building;"emergency route" means that part of an escape route that provides fire protection to the occupants of any building and which leads to an escape door;"emergency vehicle" means any fire, rescue or other vehicle intended for use at fires and other threatening dangers;"entertainment and public assembly occupancy" means a place where people gather to eat, drink, dance or participate in other recreation;"escape door" means the door in an escape route, which at ground level leads directly to a street or public place or to any approved open space which leads to a street or public place;"escape route" means the entire path of travel from the furthest point in any room in a building to the nearest escape door and may include an emergency route;"escape route plan" means a diagram indicating the floor layout, the occupant’s current position and the route of travel to the nearest primary and secondary escape routes in the building, as well as the action to be taken in the event of a fire or other threatening danger;"firebreak" means a natural or constructed strip of land where vegetation has been removed or modified to contain or to reduce the spread and intensity of any fire that may occur in or enter a premises, and may consist of one or more of the following:(a)grass or vegetation that does not exceed 50mm in height;(b)lawn or cultivated garden, or(c)a road or driveway;[definition of "fire break" inserted by section 1(b) of the Amendment By-law, 2006 and of the Amendment By-law, 2007]"Fire Brigade Services Act" means the Fire Brigade Services Act, 1987 (Act 99 of 1987);"fire damper" means an automatic damper and its assembly that complies with the requirements contained in SABS 193;"fire door" means an automatic or self-closing door or shutter assembly especially constructed to prevent the passage of fire for a specific length of time;"fire extinguisher" means a portable or mobile rechargeable container which has a fire extinguishing substance that is expelled by the action of internal pressure for the purposes of extinguishing a fire;"fire hazard" means any situation, process, material or condition which may cause a fire or explosion or provide a ready fuel supply to increase the spread or intensity of the fire or explosion and which poses a threat to life or property;"fire lanes" means the road, path or other passageway constructed or designated to allow access for emergency vehicles;"fire protection system" means any device or system designed and installed to —(a)detect, control or extinguish a fire, or(b)alert occupants or the fire service, or both, to a fire,but excludes portable and mobile fire extinguishers;"fire wall" means a wall that is able to withstand the effects of fire for a specific period of time as contemplated in the National Building Regulations (T1) read with SABS 0400;"firework" has the meaning assigned thereto in section 1 of the Explosives Act, Act 15 of 2003;[definition of "firework" inserted by section 1(c) of the Amendment By-law, 2006 and of the Amendment By-law, 2007]"flammable gas" as contemplated in SABS 0228, means a gas that at 20 °C and at a standard pressure of 101, 3 kilopascals:—(a)is ignitable when in a mixture of 13% or less (by volume) with air, or(b)has a flammable range with air of at least 12 percentage points, regardless of the lower flammable limit;"flammable liquid" means a liquid, or mixtures of liquids, or a liquid containing solids in solution or in suspension that give off a flammable vapour at or below 60,5 °C and also includes a liquid within the following danger groups as determined in SABS 0228:—
"flammable solid" — as contemplated in SABS 0228, means a solid that is easily ignited by external sources, such as sparks and flames, solids that are readily combustible, solids that are liable to cause, or contribute to, a fire through friction or solids that are desensitised (wetted) explosives that can explode if not diluted sufficiently;"flammable substance" means a flammable liquid or a flammable gas;"flammable store" means a store that is used for the storage of flammable liquids and complies with the criteria set out in section 49 of this By-law;"Hazardous Substances Act" means the Hazardous Substances Act, 1973 (Act 15 of 1973);"Mobile filling station" a site that is being used temporarily or permanently for the filling of refillable liquefied petroleum gas containers from a mobile unit;[definition of "Mobile filling station" inserted by section 1(h) of the Amendment By-law, 2007]"Municipality" means The City of Cape Town;"Municipal Manager" means a person appointed in terms of section 82 of the Municipal Structures Act;"Municipal Structures Act" means the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act 117 of 1998);"Municipal Systems Act" means the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000);"National Building Regulations" means the regulations promulgated in terms section 17(1) of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977 (Act 103 of 1977), and:—(a)National Building Regulations (A2) means the provisions regulating the submission of building plans and particulars to the Municipality;(b)National Building Regulations (A20) means the provisions regulating the classification and designation of occupancies;(c)National Building Regulations (A21) means the provisions regulating the population of a building;(d)National Building Regulations (T1) means the provisions regulating general requirements for fire protection of a building, and(e)National Building Regulations (T2) means the provisions regulating the offences for non-compliance with the National Building Regulations (T1);"National Road Traffic Act" means the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act 93 of 1996);"non-combustible" means a substance or material classified as non-combustible when tested in accordance with SABS 0177: Part 5;"occupancy" means the particular use or type of use to which a building or portion thereof, is normally put or intended to be put as provided for in the National Building Regulations (A20);"occupancy separating element" means a building element or component which separates one occupancy in a building from another and has a fire resistance of not less than that required by the National Building Regulations (T1) read with the SABS 0400;"Occupational Health and Safety Act" means the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act 85 of 1993);"operator" means the person responsible for the use of a motor vehicle and who has been registered as the operator of such a vehicle in terms of the National Road Traffic Act;"owner" means:—(a)in relation to premises, other than a building, either a natural or juristic person whose identity is determined by operation of law;(b)in relation to a building, either a natural or juristic person in whose name the land on which such building was or is erected or such land, as the case may be, is registered in the deeds office in question;(c)in relation to an installation, either a natural or juristic person in whose name a contract is entered into regarding approval, erection and maintenance of the installation; provided that such a person is not the owner mentioned in (b), and(d)in the event of the controlling authority being unable to determine the identity of a person mentioned in (a), (b) and (c), any person who is entitled to the benefit of the use of such premises, building or installation or who enjoys such benefit;"person in charge" means:—(a)in relation to premises, either a natural or juristic person who is permanently or temporarily responsible for the management, maintenance or utilisation of the premises;(b)in relation to a building, either a natural or juristic person who is permanently or temporarily responsible for the management, maintenance or utilisation of the building;(c)in relation to an installation, either a natural or juristic person who is permanently or temporarily responsible for the management or utilisation of the installation; provided that such a person is not the person mentioned in (a), and(d)in the event of the controlling authority being unable to determine the identity of a person mentioned in (a), (b) and (c), any person who is in the opinion of the controlling authority deemed to be in charge of such premises, building or installation;"population" means the population determined in accordance with the National Building Regulations (A21);"premises" means any building, beach, land, terrain, road, vehicle and can include a vessel, train or aircraft;"public place" means any square, park, recreation ground or open space which:—(a)is vested in the Municipality;(b)the public has the right to use, or(c)is shown on a general plan of a township filed in a deeds registry or a Surveyor-General’s office and has been provided for or reserved for the use of the public or the owners of erven in such township;"public road" means any road, street or thoroughfare or any other place (whether a thoroughfare or not) which is commonly used by the public or any section thereof or to which the public or any section thereof has a right of access, and includes:—(a)the verge of any such road, street or thoroughfare;(b)any bridge, ferry or drift traversed by any such road, street or thoroughfare, and(c)any other work or object forming part of or connected with or belonging to such road, street or thoroughfare;"SABS Codes" means South African Bureau of Standards SABS Codes of Practice and Specifications issued in terms of the Standards Act, and shall include SANS Codes;[definition of "SABS Codes" substituted by section 1(d) of the Amendment By-law, 2006 and of the Amendment By-law, 2007]"SANS Codes" means South African Bureau of Standards Sans Codes of Practice and Specifications issued in terms of the Standards Act and shall include SABS Codes;[definition of "SANS Codes" inserted by section 1(e) of the Amendment By-law, 2006 and of the Amendment By-law, 2007]"service" means a fire brigade service as defined in the Fire Brigade Services Act;"site" means any erf, lot, plot, stand or other piece of land on which a building has been, is being or is to be erected;"Standards Act" means the Standards Act, 1993 (Act 29 of 1993);"State" means: —(a)any department of state or administration in the national, provincial or local sphere of government, or(b)any other functionary or institution:—(i)exercising a power or performing a function in terms of the Constitution or a provincial constitution, or(ii)exercising a public power or performing a public function in terms of any legislation, but does not include a court or judicial officer;"storage vessel" means a pressure vessel as defined in the regulations for pressure vessels promulgated in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act;"summary abatement" means to immediately judge a condition to be a fire hazard or other threatening danger to life or property and to order immediate correction of such condition;"tank" for purposes of chapter 9 of this By-law, means a container mounted permanently or temporarily on or embodied in a vehicle and so constructed to be suitable for the containment of flammable liquid or gas cargo;"tent" means a portable or temporary structure of canvas, cloth or other similar material, consisting of a canopy, which may have walls, supported by poles and stretched by cords secured to pegs driven into the ground;[definition of "tent" inserted by section 1(f) of the Amendment By-law, 2006 and of the Amendment By-law, 2007]"this By-law" includes the Schedules published in terms of this By-law;"threatening danger" means the existence of an unwelcome or undesirable situation which causes or has the potential to cause imminent harm, risk, peril or injury in the event of an emergency or fire;[definition of "threatening danger" inserted by section 1(g) of the Amendment By-law, 2006 and of the Amendment By-law, 2007]"underground tank" means a tank used or intended to be used for the storage of flammable liquid wholly sunk into and below the surface of the ground;"vehicle" means a vehicle as defined in the National Road Traffic Act and includes the following:—(a)"road tank vehicle" means a tank truck, tank trailer, or truck-tractor and tank-semi-trailer combination;(b)"tank-semi-trailer" means a vehicle with a tank mounted on it or built as an integral part of it, and so constructed that, the semi-trailer is drawn by a truck-tractor or another trailer, through a fifth wheel connection part of the load rest on the towing vehicle;(c)"tank trailer" means a vehicle with a tank mounted on it or built as an integral part of it, and so constructed that, when the tank trailer is drawn by a tank truck, practically all of its load rests on its own wheels;(d)"tank truck" means a single, self-propelled vehicle with a tank mounted on it;(e)"truck-tractor" means a self-propelled vehicle used to pull a tank-semi-trailer, and(f)any other vehicle, which in the opinion of the controlling authority, is a vehicle contemplated in chapter 9 of this By-law.
|Danger Group Based on Flammability|
|Danger Group||Closed Cup Flash Point (°)||Initial Boiling Point(°C)|
|i||—||≤ 35 (°C)|
|ii||< 23 (°C)||> 35 (°C)|
|iii||≥ 23 ≤ 60,5 (°C)||> 35 (°C)|
|iv||> 60,5 - 100 (°C)||> 35 (°C)|