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  1. Whilst it is bizarrely not mentioned much in UK guidance it is true that in the US and the many countries that follow US guidance that the use of ABC Powder where it can come to rest on the superstructure and in the engines of aircraft is not permitted or not recommended as the acidic ammonium phosphate & sulphate has been shown to cause fatigue in aluminium so to avoid structural integrity risks (& at the very least a 5 or 6 figure cost full stripdown and clean) only alkaline Sodium or Potassium Bicarbonate BC Powder should be used. Now in the US this isn't a big issue as all manufacturers still make various types of BC Powder extinguisher in all sizes but in the UK you are rather limited as nearly everything is ABC. Some manufacturers do a 8kg extinguisher filled with Monnex BC Powder (the most powerful extinguishing powder in the world due to it's Potassium base and ability to decrepitate in flame to increase it's surface area) which is very expensive. Only one manufacturer supplying the UK (also one of the few remaining companies to make extinguishers here rather than China or Poland.) has a variety of different sizes of BC Powder & Monnex extinguisher, including large capacity trolley and skid mounted units, this is Britannia Fire. Amerex UK (an American company) also has 9kg BC Powder and Purple K models ex stock, but because it's a US firm can import any of it's wide range of other BC models if required. I'd have 9kg BC Powder for rapid knockdown with 9 litre Foam (type of foam & delivery may differ depending on risks) for post extinction security. The nature of the risks & any CAA or Insurance requirements may also mandate larger trolley extinguishers etc
  2. You need a competent person to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment - this will answer all these questions. The FRA is a legal requirement. There's too many possible variables without seeing the place as all your three questions could easily have a yes or a no answer, although with respect to the last one the retail unit should be considering the fire resistance of their ceiling in their FRA as the flat occupiers are 'relevant persons' for consideration under the regulations even though the interior of the flats themselves isn't. If the fire separation isn't adequate then they should ideally upgrade it, otherwise they would need a fire detection and alarm system set up to warn the flats (usually involving sounders in the flats)
  3. AnthonyB


    If your desired access across adjoining land is not protected in deeds, easement or license then you are in trouble, I had a commercial client where an informal access arrangement was revoked on change of ownership of the adjoining property and it caused all sorts of issues as it remove their alternate escape route - however the resulting fire safety compliance issues were solely those of the client. There are some precedents for informal arrangements being protected if they have existed long enough, but this is definitely an area where you need the advice of a good property lawyer.
  4. AnthonyB


    Only if the compartmentation between the restaurant and flat is inadequate, i.e. less than 60 minutes.
  5. I'd need to see the site but for a purpose built mid 60's small block of flats you don't need a communal fire alarm, are unlikely to need to retrofit smoke vents and associated detection and your main risk assessment mandatory finding would relate to front doors being fire doors with effective self closers and a recommendation only for emergency lighting. Associated with this finding would be one that, as a result, fire detection & warning inside the flats is outside the scope of the freeholder's common responsibility and the as built stay put policy should stay in place. There could of course be other findings, but in essence, based on what I've found and what the build requirements of the day required, it's most likely
  6. You don't necessarily have to install a large ugly plasterboard and stud cupboard anymore either - there are products to allow a more compact and aesthetic fire safe enclosure: https://envirograf.com/product/electrical-consumer-unit-and-distribution-board-fire-protection-system/
  7. To be fair they would be better calling the fire brigade and getting out, however for the small fires that a householder would be expect the small extinguisher would suffice - it may not have an A rating, but that doesn't mean it's ineffective, just good enough for very small fires like a waste paper basket.
  8. Assuming you aren't in the Irish Republic there isn't a maximum service life for extinguishers as long as parts are available and the extinguisher is structurally sound. This assumes that for non CO2 it's been Extended Serviced (as detailed above) every 5 years and overhauled (including pressure test) every 10 years if CO2. Most service technicians, unless very long in service or working for the small number of traditional extinguisher firms still around, are no longer trained in or equipped for refilling and testing and usually replace extinguishers with new. If your extinguishers are over 10 years old but in service date then either: a) you are using one of the few firms that do a proper job and they are fine, or: b)you have one of the increasing 'rag & tag' firms who will just fill in the label each year and take their money and I would replace the equipment (& the provider) Photos would give me a clue as whilst some makes and models over 10 years are still serviceable, others aren't and others still have been subject to a recall as whilst looking externally like they will work they don't! If the CO2 have more than 10 years of service records on and are being marked as OK or Serviced as oppose to requires test, corrective action required, etc then you definitely have had the cowboys in!
  9. The correct answer should be ideally at a similar time on a set day, however some online training is quite poor and wrong in content. Random activation will cause confusion and slow down staff response in the event of real alarm
  10. There is a delay programmed between the activation of a device and the alarms actually sounding, or relays to other systems like plant shutdown operating. You need the servicing company to download the exact cause and effect from the panel and put it into a table/spreadsheet as the set up can differ - different time delays, different devices being delayed (often smoke detectors have a delay, but heat detectors and call points don't as they aren't as prone to false alarms). Depending on the circumstances certain delays are permitted - in others they aren't & your Fire Risk Assessor should be able to decide what's appropriate for your premises..
  11. Technically, yes. Considering how limited the common parts are & how small you may be able to complete it yourself using the available guidance.
  12. Depends what running the place entails - if it's supporting the residents then the NFCC Specialised Housing guide is appropriate. If they are just servants then it is not a workplace for the purposes of the Fire Safety Order and an FRA and the associated general fire precautions are not required. From RRO: '“employee” means a person who is or is treated as an employee for the purposes of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974(4) and related expressions are to be construed accordingly' From HASWA: 'Exclusion of application to domestic employment. Nothing in this Part shall apply in relation to a person by reason only that he employs another, or is himself employed, as a domestic servant in a private household.' If they really did want some sort of fire safety check then you would have to refer to the single dwelling guidance in the LACORS guide and the general domestic fire safety tips from the Government's Fire Kills website.
  13. That's up to the Fire Risk Assessment which could suggest, as an existing older building, either the openable windows at each landing, a permanent vent at the head or an AOV whichever is easiest to implement.
  14. Before changing extinguisher types be aware that there are stringent legal requirements for extinguishers on both inland waterways and ocean going craft (including yachts) and Water Mist extinguishers wouldn't meet the minimum fire ratings for use if your yacht requires a Boat Safety Scheme license. If you are only using it outside waters requiring a BSS license and it is only ever used as a Class XII private pleasure boat, then being under 13.7m it escape the requirements under the UK Merchant Shipping Regulations of having any extinguishers (if it did then the Water Mist extinguishers would need to be 3 or 6 litre) and you could swap as you desire, although I'd check with your insurers first.
  15. This is a property and land law issue & you need to consult a qualified legal adviser. A lot will depend on the nature of the legal agreement (if any) existing regarding usage of the shared space.
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