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AnthonyB

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  1. You can price up the materials on Safelincs website: https://www.safelincs.co.uk/radio-interlinked-smoke-alarms/ , it's then labour for fixing on top. With Grade D wireless kit each detector still needs a local mains supply (often the lighting circuit) , just no cable to link them all. If you want 99% wirefree then you need a Grade C system like Illumino Ignis's Premsafe or one of the many commercial standard Grade A systems out there (Hyfire, EDA, EMS, etc)
  2. AnthonyB

    24hr Staff in a HMO

    That's bizarre, never seen or heard of that before. Shouldn't make any difference.
  3. The minimum service visits is 2 per year - on visits the minimum testing requirement is at least one call point or detector per zone or loop. However in a 12 month period all call points and detectors should have been tested at least once. For convenience sites on 2 visits a year each one tests 50% of devices and on 4 visits each one tests 25% but there is no requirement to do it this way - in theory on a 4 zone conventional system with 10 devices per zone and two service visits a year you could test 4 (1 per zone) on one visit and the other 36 on the second visit. . .
  4. Check envirograf's website. They have lots of paint, varnish & Paper products (with test data) to upgrade historical doors and can advise on a door by door basis as to the viability of upgrading
  5. It's not that clear cut - the default system of maintenance is weekly testing plus 6 monthly servicing set by the benchmark. If you don't test at all that's a clear breach of Article 17 and an easy prosecution. If you do it but not weekly the onus is on the Responsible Person to prove it still meets the functional requirements of Article 17. Sainsbury's did this by analysing inspection, test and servicing information for every single store of every size over a year or two (not a little undertaking!). They were able to prove statistically that the vast majority of faults in systems were uncovered on the daily recorded visual inspection by the manager or as part of the more detailed checks & tests during the 6 monthly service and very few of the faults only came to light during the weekly test. This information was accepted by their Primary Authority (UK wide organisations can, for a fee, select a single fire service as their gatekeeper for enforcement and advice to ensure consistency of enforcement across their properties) The onus is on the Responsible Person to prove they can do something other than the benchmark and this requires their competent person to be on board - unless they put the case forward and it stands up then they would be expected to comply with the benchmark and would get enforced against if they do otherwise. It's quite possible to put cases to vary from the standards together, I've done it several times, just has to be done properly.
  6. HSE have more detail than the DCLG Guides on certain fire safety aspects in motor repair: https://www.hse.gov.uk/mvr/topics/fire.htm
  7. However if there is only one escape route in the common area of flats you don't need signage (as per the government guidance for flats (https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf) "The normal access and egress routes within a block of flats do not usually require fire exit signs to assist residents and visitors to make their way out of the building in the event of fire. Flats with a single staircase, regardless of the number of floors, would, for example, not usually require any fire exit signage. In other blocks, fire exit signage may be required in circumstances where there are: • alternative exit routes • secondary exits by way of an external stair • across a flat roof • where there is any potential for confusion"
  8. Based on your measurements and assuming an occupancy of under 60 then the one door is acceptable.
  9. Current standards only require the front door to be self closing, it should also be to FD30s specification (a fire doorset of 30 minutes fire resistance and having intumescent seals and cold smoke brushes). Internal doors (except the bathroom) are usually FD20 doors (20 minutes fire resistance, often achieved using an FD30 door without seals)
  10. If it is suitably fire separated from the flats then it can be looked at in isolation and wouldn't need any fire alarm or detection being a single room as the occupiers would easily detect a fire themselves and verbally raise the alarm. If it isn't then a fire alarm system covering both the shop & residential areas may be required. Both the common areas of the flats and the commercial unit are subject to the Fire Safety Order and require a Fire Risk Assessment. Also it sounds the house conversion to flats could fall under section 257 of the Housing Act 2004 if: 1. the conversion did not comply with the relevant Building Regulations in force at that time and still does not comply; and 2. less than two-thirds of the flats are owner-occupied. Depending on location it may also require licencing as a s257 HMO if your council operates an 'additional licensing' scheme.
  11. Technically yes, the Building Regs just say garage, not garage with car/petrol/etc. If you don't have one no one is going to inspect you and do anything but expect it to be picked up if you sell the house or if you do other building works where LABC are involved.
  12. It's a legal requirement in Article 17, there needs to be a suitable system of maintenance, not just that the precautions are in working order. You will get enforcement action if you fail to do it and you will get convicted if there are prosecutions for non compliance. What is more flexible is the 'suitable system'. By default it's the British Standards (as that's what enforcers and magistrates will use for reference) but it's true there is wiggle room - e.g. Sainsbury only test fire alarms monthly rather than weekly (still daily for visual checks and 6 monthly for servicing). However they had to go to a lot of effort & some expense to put a case together that was acceptable to their enforcement Primary Authority.
  13. Yes and Yes! Particularly the roof void, far too many fatal care home fires over the years due to this (& prosecutions)
  14. A Fire Risk Assessment only covers the communal areas* as only these are covered by the Fire Safety Order. However as part of this flat front doors are in the scope of the FRA as these are vital to protect the common parts in the event of a fire in a flat, which is the most likely scenario (the fatal conditions on the landings and stairs at Grenfell Tower were largely down to unsatisfactory flat front doors) and any competent residential risk assessor would ask in advance if a sample of the flats could be visited just to look at the front door from both sides. Gas & electrical paperwork for the flats is outside the scope of the basic FRA, but is for common parts. An FRA is valid until there is a significant change in the property, usage, persons at risk but should be regularly reviewed to identify if there are any changes (which is not the same as having a full FRA and need not be done by the external assessor). It is often suggested review is annually. * FRAs with wider scope do exist for residential properties and are needed in certain circumstances but the basic requirement is as stated.
  15. Pre 1991 conversions from houses (and many done under the radar after then) don't usually have the required upgrade in fire resistance of walls and floors to be safe to stay put and not need a building wide system. Some of course do and the assessor is basically saying you need to prove that the conversion meets at least the 1991 Building Regs guidance (the oldest archive copy for reference is 2000, but it's essentially the same for what you need https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20141202115155/http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_ADB_2000.pdf) The electrical cupboard can be upgraded or replaced with a simpler solution rather than building a traditional cupboard - suitable products are here: https://envirograf.com/product/electrical-consumer-unit-and-distribution-board-fire-protection-system/ https://envirograf.com/product/intumescent-paint-and-varnishes-for-wood-etc/ https://envirograf.com/product/surface-mounted-intumescent-fire-firesmoke-seals/ The official Government guidance (https://www.rla.org.uk/docs/LACORSFSguideApril62009.PDF) states for your size of conversion you need: Fire detection and alarm system A mixed system of : Grade A LD2 coverage in the common areas and a heat alarm in each flat in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route (interlinked); and Grade D LD3 coverage in each flat (non interlinked smoke alarm in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route) to protect the sleeping occupants of the flat Grade A systems are the 'commercial' grade with control panel like you see in office and shops; Grade D systems are mains powered domestic smoke alarms with either D1: Sealed cell 10 year life tamperproof back up battery or D2: Standard removable battery back up. D1 is normally required for rental flats and homes, D2 for owner occupied. Are they requirements? More or less as the common parts are subject to the Fire Safety Order and the whole building subject to the Housing Act and the guidance document referenced would be used by the fire service or the council environmental health housing officers in any audit and enforcement action under either legislation.
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