Tom Sutton

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    Prescot, Merseyside.
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    Fire Safety anorak

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  1. What category of fire alarm is installed, are they individual smoke and heat detectors or is it a full system with a control panel. If it is a category D system with individual detectors then it is just a case of disconnecting the detector from its mounting ring and replace with the new detector. If it is a category A to C with a control panel, then you will need the services of a fire alarm company.
  2. Approved Document B (fire Safety) vol 2 Premises other than Dwelling Houses.
  3. The first thing is, does the premises require two fire exits? I am assuming the front area is the shop and the back area is the storeroom, what is the travel distance from anywhere in the shop to the front door, if it is less than 18 metres then the rear fire exit is not required for the shop. However if somebody is working in the storeroom and when the intermediate door is opened they cannot get to the front door, because of fire, they can use the rear door. (This a inner room situation.) All doors required for means of escape in fire should be easily opened without need of a key, so when the front door it is first opened it should remain open, just keep the closed sign in place. The thumb turn on the rim lock of the back door is acceptable providing the two dead locks are open. Has the premises conducted a Fire Risk Assessment, which is necessary in accordance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Check out
  4. Who pays the cost is a legal matter not a fire safety matter and I think it would depend on the tenants agreement, you need solicitors advice.
  5. I know double glazed units are difficult to break but there is a device called "Lifeaxe Emergency Hammer for Double-Glazing" which claims to solve the problem. My concern is the means of escape scheme which I believe would not be accepted today in accordance with Approved Document B (fire Safety) vol 2 Premises other than Dwelling Houses. What you are proposing could be considered a material alteration, because you are making the MoE worse and this would involve building control regulations which would involve ADB. You need to speak to the local Building Control for their advice.
  6. The fire alarm and emergency lighting maintenance is not a fire risk assessment it is a requirement of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 article 17. FRA is a requirement of article 9 and the frequency is of debate, the order simple says "Any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly" this statement is discussed regularly the latest I know of you will find at but many consider once a year is considered regularly. To understand the frequency of testing/servicing of fire alarms and emergency lighting check out and
  7. What type of mag locks are being used and are they on an escape route. Are they fail safe or are they fail secure. Is there a battery back-up and what is the method/device of access/egress.
  8. The all emergency lighting has to be tested according to BS EN 50172:2004 or BS 5266-8:2004, those portion that are not then they need to be modified so they can. All the fire safety signage in that building will need to be illuminated, but that does not mean illuminated exit boxes, providing there is an EL luminaire near to the sign that is capable of illuminating the sign then that is acceptable. Illuminated exit boxes are only required where the normal lighting is dimmed to a very low level like theatres or cinemas (temporary or otherwise). Photoluminescent signs may be acceptable is certain areas dependent on the FRA. Check out and
  9. Although the approved documents do not include external staircase the Approved Documents especially ADM and ADK may still be appropriate and will at least provide you with some guidelines upon which you could base your detailed design. Also you should consider BS 5395-1:2010 and BS 8300.
  10. Why it is only the test houses that need to know how to set up the test equipment?
  11. What do you mean by fire window is it an escape window or fire resistant glazing either way it should not have a restrictor. If it s an escape window AB has answer that, if it is fire resistant glazing then all opening windows should be fixed shut.
  12. Your tenant is correct check out Approved Document B (fire safety) volume 1: Dwellinghouses 2.8 note 2 page 17.
  13. You would be a manufacturer/re-upholsterer/retailer either way you would be subject to the regulations. As I have said you will be subject to the regulations and would need to ensure all materials/fabrics/stuffings meet the required standards. With documented proof and holding the required documents for 5 years. If your supplier cannot provide documented proof then I would suggest you find another supplier but I think this is unlikely to happen. Using the customer's materials, give advice and not altering the upholstery, just to advise about fire risk and leave the original warning stickers in place. You seem to have a good understanding of the regulations however to get guidance from FIRA I think you will have to join which may be a good idea.
  14. In a three storey house, as Neil has said you need a protected route from the second floor to a place of ultimate safety, however in my interpretation of ADB the doors should be FD20 doors (table B1), except the door from an integral garage which should be a FD30s door. As doors are not tested to the FD20 standard then you must use FD30 doors but I would not recommend a smoke seal because assuming your smoke detectors are in the escape route it would prevent smoke percolating from a risk room into the escape route and operating them. What is a standard door, some would last less than ten minutes other may be longer although in the past a well fitting substantial door has been accepted I would suggest fix FD30 doors. Check out Approved Document B (fire safety) volume 1: Dwellinghouses
  15. Point taken AB its dementia catching up with me, I will write out a thousand times "I must not forget CT literary masterpiece".