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crl

Fire insulation for flats?

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crl    0

I live in a small block of flats owned by a housing association. The block comprises of four flats, two flats upstairs and two flats on the ground level, there is also a communal stairs and passageway.

My question is that it appears that there is no fire insulation between the ground floor flats and the upstairs flats, just wooden floorboards with a small cavity between for pipes etc. Is there a legal requirement to have some form of fire insulation between different levels?

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Timber joists with floor boards on the top and a plastered ceiling below could achieve 30/60 minutes fire resistance depending on the materials used which should be sufficient to escape from a fire.

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crl    0

I have had conflicting updates of my concern from the Fire Services.

One officer said that if there are no concrete floors a double layer of plaster board is then required on the ceilings and butted and skimmed.  Another officer stated that the only areas that come that come under the remit of the Fire Safety Order are the common areas and there are no regulations for the apartments themselves.  This I believe is so wrong especially in a complex with elderly aged tenants.

Please could you clarify which officer is correct?

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Assuming your flats are purpose built flats and meet the standards of Approved Document B (fire Safety) volume 2: Premises other than Dwelling Houses then there will be 30 minutes separation between the first floor flats and the ground floor flats. One layer skimmed will give you 30 mins and two layers skimmed will give you 60 mins but as the first floor is less than 5 metres above the ground floor it only requires 30 mins. The whole building including the flats are subject to the Housing Act and the Building Regulations but the commons areas are subject to the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

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