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    Fire Safety

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  1. AnthonyB

    fire doors closing at night

    I assume you mean doors normally held open by an approved automatic release device and not just hooked or wedged open. Tradition under old legislation was to require them to be shut at night in hotels and boarding houses, but as Tom says it's no longer explicit under the current regime, but still worth doing
  2. AnthonyB

    Guest House - Hotel

    There is no fixed definition, there is some basic pointers to help you decide in here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11085/payingguests.pdf If you feel you are bigger than the property types detailed in the above you need to use this guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/422192/9281_Sleeping_Accomodation_v2.pdf
  3. Most cheaper off the shelf FR foams are not tested for use in frames regardless of the claims on product literature, loads of places have had to rip this out and start again or if lucky been able to trim it down and suitable mastic or plaster over it. Search for Blue 60 a foam specifically intended to serve your purpose
  4. AnthonyB

    Differing advice from different assessors

    The first two were clearly out of their depth, the third was nearest to what the current benchmarks state - it would be correct in a post 2000 building regulation compliant stay put premises to not have a fire alarm system or domestic detectors and just have smoke detectors to operate the AOV's. Deaths have occurred in stay put flats where common area only detection with alarms (which would only activate if there was a fire in the common areas, an unusual occurrence and often associated with arson or charging mobility scooters) has brought people out of the 1 hour safety of their flat into a fire and smoke filled landing. It's therefore correct to suggest the erroneously installed smoke alarms be removed (or at least it be clear in the procedure given to tenants that hearing a common alarm may mean there is danger so take care if investigating and staying put may be safer) . As long as the fire service can access the AOV manual controls (which they can from your info) then your solution to a building specific issue should have been accepted and rubber stamped by the FRA. Too many under trained persons doing residential FRAs using the wrong guidance and ticksheets or point and click mobile report apps unfortunately.
  5. It would probably be looked at as a civil matter for the private landowner to enforce through parking charge notices and physical means to stop obstruction such as steel or concrete bollards on the pavement
  6. AnthonyB

    Joint fire escape

    See reply in identical thread in this section
  7. It should be unlocked at all material times, i.e. when it may be necessary to be used. If the use of a route is legally binding through an easement, deed of variation, license etc then you will have to honour this. Some of these agreements expire on change of occupancy or have a break clause, sometimes there is no agreement in place, in which case you could in theory give fair notice that they cannot use this route. It's not a perfect route involving windows and ideally should be risk assessed out if possible, however in some older city centre areas found in places like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool etc they are the only way of providing a secondary escape.
  8. AnthonyB

    What fire detection

    Smoke detectors of the type you describe are for domestic use not commercial premises. Fire alarm system design in all commercial premises starts with what is called Category M coverage, which is 'break glass' Manual Call Points and alarm sounders all connected to a fire alarm control panel, the system complying with BS5839-1:2017 Most shops,offices, etc only require this and no automatic detection. This is because in many cases a person will discover a fire and react quicker than a detector and thus needs some way of raising & spreading the alarm. Automatic detection is only required where the life safety risk warrants it - a common example is where there is a sleeping risk. If you want detection for property protection (i.e. out of hours) then that's up to you but it's not a legal requirements and again domestic detectors are not adequate, you should have a commercial system that is remotely monitored or dials preprogrammed numbers so there will be a response. A small shop may not even need an electrical fire alarm system is small enough for a shout of fire or a hand bell/whistle/air horn sounding to be clearly and quickly heard throughout the premises. Your Fire Risk Assessment should decide your requirements and a specialist fire alarm company (as oppose to a general electrician who may put the wrong equipment in) can also advise.
  9. AnthonyB

    Fire stopping

    If constructed as a protected shaft there isn't an automatic requirement, it's usually seen where a protected shaft approach isn't used or sometimes in fire strategies to give added protection where compartment floors are required.
  10. AnthonyB

    fire resistance between floors

    A sprinkler system would cost even more and be more disruptive and you wouldn't have anywhere for the supply tanks and pumps. You need to get in touch with a fire engineering consultancy to see if there is an engineered solution they can come up with. You could look at leaving the ceiling as is and underdrawing it with the requisite fireboarding rather than remove it
  11. AnthonyB

    Fire Extinguisher Demo Advice

    Most fire training these days uses LPG fuelled simulators, although there is still some use of live fire using actual fuels (gasoline, paper, etc). Gasoline is extremely hazardous and isn't advisable (when we still used fuels we used kerosine that doesn't produce flammable vapours until heated). If you are in the US (a guess from the use of 'gasoline' instead of 'petrol') you are likely to be mainly using dry chemical extinguishers - be aware of the risks of damage and from inhalation with this agent when deciding where to do the training. Also unless you have spares you can't reduse your cover by using your own extinguishers. As your extinguishers will have to be serviced you will have a fire protection firm in place for this - it's best to ask them for help as they will have spare extinguishers and possibly training kit too.
  12. AnthonyB

    Fire Escapes, Lift and disabled access

    Is this Local Authority Building Control or an Approved Inspector? A lot of people use private sector AI's as they can be more sympathetic. If you go down to a single stair it will restrict your occupancy but isn't in itself not allowed. A shared escape stair is not uncommon, if you have issues with the other party obstructing the stair then you have recourse to the fire service who can carry out appropriate enforcement action. Regardless of what Building Control sign off if you don't have suitable means of evacuating people you will fall foul of the Fire Safety Order. Appeals info https://www.gov.uk/building-regulations-approval/appeals-and-determinations
  13. AnthonyB

    Holiday Let

    All you need to know is here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11085/payingguests.pdf
  14. Probably not, how would the lighting activate upon mains failure and would the UK weather ensure the units are always charged to 3 hours? If part of a proper solar panel system covering the whole roof then there may be possibilities, but I'd be surprised if the self contained stuff as seen on Amazon would be suitable.
  15. AnthonyB

    Smoke alarms in self-contained flats

    If you own it they have no authority at all unless there is something odd in any lease. The works don't sound like they are for Fire Safety Order purposes, if you own & occupy it the Smoke & CO Regs don't apply (& they don't to HA rentals in any case) and the Housing Act wouldn't place such an obligation on you. If it's free then I'd let them anyway as it would improve your safety, if it's a cost I'd check what it is (as it may be cheaper to arrange for it to be done yourself). I'd still recommend you have it done- most fire deaths are at home!