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Everything posted by AnthonyB

  1. If the appearance of the doors is the issue there are loads of compliant decorative timber and composite fire doors you can install - you aren't limited to a bland & plain leaf - so you could change the doors and remain compliant (although strictly speaking the frame must be certified with the door for full reliability as fire doors are usually tested as doorsets with a particular frame)
  2. There will be nothing left to list too if a fire is allowed to spread through the building, so much heritage is lost by fire due to short sightedness.
  3. If it's just a door to the public highway then the Council are taking rubbish as there never was and still isn't such a requirement.
  4. The doors or the signs? The signs have to been green, the doors don't.
  5. AnthonyB


    Glad to hear it! Sometimes it's right to question things and in any case the law isn't prescriptive so alternatives can be OK if shown to be effective.
  6. Could a glazier cut a sheet to size? May be cheaper than replacing the whole lot.
  7. Your normal entrance is a fire exit, and if the distance from the furthest part of the office to the exit is less than 18m (possibly going up to 25m in new guidance) then it's compliant. The kitchen and toilet sound like inner rooms so there should be smoke detection in the main office (the access room) so that you would be alerted early enough to pass any fire in order to escape.
  8. AnthonyB


    You can appeal for a relaxation or request a determination https://www.gov.uk/building-regulations-approval/appeals-and-determinations I don't know the statistics for BCO determinations, but with fire safety enforcement ones the responsible person wins reasonably often so it's not automatically stacked in favour of the state. I has something similar where the AI included a small entrance hall to flats on a lower level as a storey which necessitated the flat access lobbies off the stair on the floors above having to have a smoke shaft and ventilation added which wouldn't otherwise have been needed!
  9. AnthonyB


    The basement doesn't count - here is what the Approved Document to the Building Regulations says: Large dwellinghouses 1.5 A large dwellinghouse has more than one storey, and at least one storey exceeds 200m2 . 1.6 A large dwellinghouse of two storeys (excluding basement storeys) should be fitted with a Grade A Category LD3 fire detection and alarm system, as described in BS 5839-6. 1.7 A large dwellinghouse of three or more storeys (excluding basement storeys) should be fitted with a Grade A Category LD2 fire detection and alarm system as described in BS 5839-6
  10. Possibly not - the new draft guidance retains the option for smaller blocks to keep or upgrade older fire doors, although modern self closers are likely to be required in any case.
  11. Absolutely not unless a Fire Risk Assessment deems it necessary, usually as the building has insufficient compartmentation or smoke control - if it does any system should extend into the flats so that it's loud enough to wake sleeping occupiers and activates before a fire breaks out of the flat - if it is just to the common areas it will only activate if the stairs are already affected by fire and smoke where you would be safer to stay where you are!
  12. Separation distances are at the back of this https://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/lpg/safeuse.pdf
  13. Which is very common and accepted by AI's and BCO's, I've seen some rather long stretched out protected stair lobbies in flats & offices to justify single directions of escape over what would be excessive TD's and avoid the need for corridor smoke control in flats
  14. The legislation requiring flat front doors to be compliant has been in place for years, just ignored by many - the forthcoming change in legislation means block owners can't wriggle out of assessing front doors and external walls in risk assessments. The standard for front doors is and will remain an FD30S door with an EN 1154 compliant self closer. The only thing people are waiting for is the new guidance which will determine for existing blocks if new doors are required, existing doors can be upgraded or existing doors can remain. The draft of the new small blocks of flats fire safety guide indicates new fire doors will not be automatic in old blocks, it remains to be seen if the guide for larger blocks also follows this pattern as was the case in the original single guide for blocks of flats.
  15. It would reduce the initial dead end from the rear to acceptable limits and as it is separated from the other exit by fire resisting construction doesn't need to meet the 45 degree rule and can be counted as separate. Is the kitchen a 30 minute enclosure or open plan?
  16. It does sound like they carried out the necessary upgrades to the fire protection when fitting the boiler so it's unlikely to be a fire safety matter. If it's on the title plan for the upper ground flat it's theirs regardless of what the management company think.
  17. AnthonyB


    Most purpose built flats just need detectors to corridors and stairs to open smoke vents with no call points or sounders. Where the fire strategy leans more to evacuation you would expect sounders & detection in addition, both in the common areas and also extending into the flats (usually the hallway) and there are often call points too, although if a risk of vandalism they may have been omitted as a variation.
  18. If they are physically separate they don't usually need to both evacuate hence why the systems are not linked. They can be connected, massive industrial sites of multiple buildings have had connected site alarms since the 1950's! What they mean is they don't want the cost of doing so.
  19. If it's for commercial use it won't automatically be labelled, this primarily affects domestic furnishing.
  20. You've answered your own question - its a sign, not a light. It will not provide adequate escape route lighting as that is not it's intent and design.
  21. If sufficient units have been placed at the right internals for their spacing tables in order to achieve the required lux level and there is evidence of this you should be fine. However if, based on observations and lack of other documentary evidence, the assessor suspects there may be insufficient or poorly spaced fittings and/or they appear to be fitted to the older editions of the standard (with far lesser lux requirements) they would be reasonable to advise that the system needs verification.
  22. Unfortunately enforcement under the current legislation is very watered down and they won't usually bother with a single breach of the legislation, there needs to be a cumulative amount of issues leading to extremely high risk. There are thousands of sites around the country that don't meet requirements, but get 'broadly compliant' letters from the fire service. You could go down the Housing EHO route, but what with the Grenfell Enquiry still being in full swing you might be advised to get press interest in LFB's approach.
  23. Current government guidance is not to have communal extinguishers in flats to avoid people re-entering a burning flat once already in a protected route instead of continuing to escape. Users are often untrained, the communal extinguishers are often unsuitable for some of common domestic fire causes (electrical, cooking oils) and as the common areas are protected escape routes they should not contain anything to need extinguishing in the first place. The management company would be following current accepted practice.
  24. You could go with the HMO fire safety guidance that is still used by enforcers (LACORS) which doesn't recognise this new <200 sq.m. category (because it's old, it is under review, but not likely to be updated in the near future it's still a way to go). It's a clear reduction of the original requirements that were for cover everywhere.
  25. English Heritage can help and have publications of use https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/fire-resistance-historic-timber-panel-doors/ Envirograf make a variety of products for heritage doors. https://envirograf.com/guides/
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