AnthonyB

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  1. 25mm stops date back to the days before intumescent seals and smoke brushes existed and were a rudimentary way of forming a seal on a door - if your doors are correctly fitted with intumescent seals (and if on an escape route smoke brushes) the 25mm stop is not required and a 19mm stop should suffice.
  2. You may find it cheaper & easier (like most new to the trade) just using new from a box, the cost of the kit and the environmental rules associated with testing and filling are prohibitive in many cases - plus there is no follow on training course because the whole point of the technicians course is to teach you all aspects, it used to!
  3. Is there a sounder in every bedroom? If so, no real need to check sound levels. If it's an old hotel with an old system that hasn't been upgraded and relies on corridor sounders I would definitely want a dB test carried out, but by a competent person using calibrated test equipment not an employee with a smart phone. Once the results are known and any extra devices added routine dB level testing wouldn't be needed, only if there is a structural alteration that could lead to inadequate levels
  4. Does your syllabus include recharging? Many new technicians can't do extended services or refilling because it isn't taught anymore unlike in the good old days of 4 or 5 day training.
  5. Good question, in the good old days there were apprentices and trainees, I think that a lot of people are thrown straight in at the deep end these days post qualification
  6. Many care homes have no fire alarm interface for the safety reasons mentioned and usually only have local break glass releases and fail safe on loss of power. To compensate many also have a master override that releases all the doors in the main office with the fire alarm panel and call system. Such a deviation in these situations is permitted in the benchmark standard for these devices (BS7273-4) so it's straightforward for the risk assessor to challenge the notice requirement. Also the fire service are not legally allowed to require the provision of additional facilities for fire fighters under the Fire Safety Order, just require those already provided under other legislation (usually Building Regulations at the time of original build) to be maintained
  7. A Grade D system in the common parts would only normally be accepted for two storey flat conversions, with three or more floors it moves to a Grade A system (LACORS Guide, the appropriate benchmark for a non building regs compliant conversion and what it sounds like the various assessors have used). Whilst there is flexibility in risk assessment you need to be aware that enforcers usually refer to the benchmark and it may be worth checking with them first- a Grade D system is cheaper (especially if you can radio link it) except if you are made down the line to remove it and replace it.
  8. Whilst water mist doesn't scatter the burning metal like water jet or water spray the flaming will intensify as the water reacts with the metal until eventually it cools such that it stops burning. This doesn't look to problematic on the demo videos with a tiny amount of magnesium swarf in the middle of a yard but in real world situations may have effects you would not want - it's better to have a proper Class D powder.
  9. If you are not experienced in the specialist area of healthcare fire risk assessments you should not be doing them. Get some experience in normal premises first, get some specialist training before going into this sector. An inadequate FRA carried out by a third party & poor evacuation procedures was one of the factors in the fatal Rosepark fire (https://www.ifsecglobal.com/rosepark-care-home-tragedy-lessons-learned/) & several third party risk assessors have been prosecuted (some with custodial sentences) for poor work. Progressive Horizontal Evacuation is the methodology the care home is referring to, it's part of general measures for evacuation & shelter in healthcare premises (see https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/eprr-shelter-evacuation-guidance.pdf). As part of the plan residents have to have individual assessments in their ability to hear the alarm*, comprehend the alarm and their ability to mobilise and the levels of assistance required. Mental as well as physical capacity should be considered. This will determine the order of evacuation from a compartment and the necessity for a protected bedroom approach based on the resources available. (* if necessary, it's not always required to provide the usual audibility in healthcare and care settings) You will need to determine compartment sizes, travel distances and number of rooms per compartment, the adequacy of compartmentation and fire doors at the boundaries, adequacy of staff ratios and training and the adequacy of the resident assessment process.
  10. Beware replacing doors en masse and trying to recharge all the lessees - Southwark Council did this, the lessees took them to Court and won and the Council had to bear the full cost. (Southwark Council v Various Lessees of the St Saviours Estate) https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2017/01/perception-of-doors/ A full inspection of all the doors by a competent person such as an FDIS contractor will determine on a priority basis which doors can stay as is, which need upgrading and which need full replacement - this and an examination of the lease conditions will determine ease of cost recovery.
  11. Age does not exempt a premises from meeting minimum safety standards, in fact increases the work possibly needed, although there may be alternative solutions available. The results of the FRA seem to indicate that the structure of the conversion does not provide adequate fire separation for a 'stay put' policy, that upgrading is not practicable and that a full evacuation strategy is required. A common area only fire alarm is of no value as by the time it triggers it's too late, plus it wouldn't wake sleeping occupants hence the upgrade. Landlords cannot force leaseholders to upgrade non compliant front doors, however if they are substandard than as they affect the common areas they are a significant finding in a fire risk assessment - if after correspondence regarding the replacement of substandard fire doors there is an impasse the matter should be referred to Environmental Health who can take legal action against the lessees under the Housing Act to get the doors changed Heritage doors can often be upgraded rather than replaced and with only 3 floors this isn't necessarily outside guidance. However you need to check what is covered by the building's listing - some listed buildings only have the external structure and features covered and internals are not subject to listing restrictions on alterations. If the conversion in 1990 provided suitable compartmentation then there are other approaches, but without seeing the site it's impossible to say
  12. An internally illuminated exit sign ("Exit Box") and an emergency lighting fitting are different beasts for different applications. Unfortunately because many bulkhead emergency lights come with a legend kit (as they can be used either as an exit box or a light) some installers feel the need to stick them on all the time even when not required. Where a legend kit has been added to fittings installed in a location where it is clearly intended to be a lighting unit I have the legend removed. If it located such it is fulfilling the need for illuminated signage then it stays and additional lighting, if required, is needed, is fitted.
  13. The fire extinguishers may not be needed (if they are purpose built flats) but the fire risk assessment is - but only for the common areas carried out by the management company and not for each flat.
  14. If it's vacant then you don't necessarily have to test it as long as you have a suitable risk appropriate alternative for those rare occasions of occupancy. All non essential power (sometimes including lighting) is often isolated to reduce fire risks (and the bill) so fittings will be discharged. Torches are acceptable as emergency lighting in certain circumstances. It's all down to the risk assessment - vacant premises FRA's are different beast to those for occupied premises and are often carried out as part of Health & Safety Liability Audits for fully vacant space
  15. Whilst not law in itself the benchmark for emergency lighting is BS5266-1:2016 which states: Inspection of the condition of fire alarm control and indicating equipment To carry out inspection of the condition of fire alarm panels and repeaters, and fire alarm zone diagrams and instructions, the illumination needs to be sufficient to: a) enable displays to be read accurately; b) enable staff to locate the source of the fire; c) operate controls. Table E.1 shows the typical minimum emergency lighting level to be used on sudden failure of the normal lighting in the vicinity of fire alarm control and indicating equipment. This also applies to any repeater panels or building plans that might be used. (Table E1 indicates a lighting level of 15 lux for the full rated duration of the buildings emergency lighting) A risk assessment will determine the need to follow this, although it's not normally a big job (single well placed fitting or conversion kit) so is usually reasonably practicable if you don't already have coverage.