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  1. I'm used to houses of more than one storey and flats in blocks, the latter using the protected hall approach and requiring the requisite doors as per Table C. At the end of the day it's a Building Control matter and LABC or your AI will decide how to interpret the guidance. Mostly the internal doors are FD20 doors, which is usually an FD30 blank without the intumescent strips. Every new build flat I've been to has this set up.
  2. Yes, it refers to a fire being sensed by a human (sight/smell/heard/felt) with them subsequently raising the alarm in a manual manner, which in a very small single storey premises may be a shout or a whistle/horn/gong and in larger buildings activation of a manual call point in an electrical fire alarm system.
  3. It's perfectly legal and if you are in flats the door should already be like this anyway. https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/search?query=mortice thumbturn https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/browse/locks-latches-and-security/filter/%24s%3Deuro cylinder thumbturns?fi=c
  4. You will find your answers here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/832631/Approved_Document_B__fire_safety__volume_1_-_2019_edition.pdf In the old days often only kitchen and living room doors were fire doors, now they all have to be other than the bathroom. They don't, however, need self closers or intumescent strips.
  5. AnthonyB


    It's purely a convenience factor - for use in high traffic areas where the doors being closed would hinder circulation leading to the doors being wedged or damaged (the later particularly where trolleys of goods are pushed through). The hold opens will ensure the doors can always shut when they need to be.
  6. Your agent is applying the 'zero tolerance' approach detailed in Government fire safety guidance as it is the easiest to implement and leaves no ambiguity as to what can be placed in the common areas. However the guidance does offer an alternative which is ‘managed use’. This approach allows strictly defined use of common parts and limits the items allowed, to control fire load and ease of ignition. It includes strict conditions on where such items can be kept. For example, a ‘managed use’ policy might permit residents to: • place pot plants and door mats outside their front doors • have framed pictures and notice boards on walls • store bicycles, prams and mobility scooters in places that are out of the way and not likely to cause obstruction. It's not popular with agents as it requires a lot more hands on management and a bigger liability risk, but I have assessed premises where it has been effective due to the residents being proactive in monitoring compliance themselves.
  7. They are not there to aid in escape, and as they are fire extinguishers their very purpose is to fight a fire! The clue is in the name.... From the Government Guidance: It is not normally considered necessary to provide fire extinguishers or hose reels in the common parts of blocks of flats. Such equipment should only be used by those trained in its use. It is not considered appropriate or practicable for residents in a block of flats to receive such training. In addition, if a fire occurs in a flat, the provision of fire extinguishing appliances in the common parts might encourage the occupants of the flat to enter the common parts to obtain an appliance and return to their flat to fight the fire. Such a procedure is inappropriate The common parts are your escape route and as such are constructed such that they will be safe from fire for considerable time and should not have a fire starting in them (unless someone has broken the law and introduced fire risks into this area). A typical water or foam extinguisher is unsuitable for most fire risks in flats, which are usually of cooking or electrical nature. Communal circulation areas are (or should be) fire sterile forming part of the protected escape route for the building and should only include basic carpeting and wall coverings that would not be involved in a fire, if at all, until well after conditions in the area would be fatal to human life. You would be best placed in removing them and making a saving in the residents service charge budget that can be better spent on other things.
  8. As it's a private dwelling the internal door requirements are not retrospective, fire safety legislation does not cover these areas. (If used as a HMO or similar this would be different)
  9. Fixed ladders are not normally accepted as means of escape under regulations and guidance, however an exception is made for areas that are infrequently used or only resorted to by small numbers, usually under 5, and only staff no public. So it's not out of the question - bear in mind this assumes all users are fit and able bodied.
  10. The set up in your flats is compliant. From Building Regulations: "With effective compartmentation, a communal fire alarm system is not normally needed. In some buildings, detectors in common parts of the building may need to operate smoke control or other fire protection systems but do not usually sound an audible warning. "
  11. No, if not communal they are not subject to the Fire Safety Order. The only aspect of your flat that is relevant is that bordering the common areas such as the front door and any communal ducting passing through.
  12. If it's new build the designers may have used BS9999 instead of ADB as it can reduce the number of exits and stairs needed - it may also be fire engineered. The design fire strategy will give you the answers you seek.
  13. https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf
  14. Not sure if you have already looked but this is pretty much the guide for existing flats https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf
  15. Normally windows don't have a fire safety role in the common areas of flats as smoke control is provided in other ways - so they aren't addressed by BS9991 or ADB as they aren't a fire safety feature. The openability of windows only becomes a concern when there are no openable vents, AOV's or smoke shafts.
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