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Everything posted by AnthonyB

  1. It won't be a rewire but an Electrical Installation Condition Report which whilst normally recommended every 10 years in domestic premises is usually 5 where they are rented. No expiry on doors as long as in good order however the one fitted in 2014 could be from one of the batches that failed fire tests and didn't meet the advertised fire resistance so needs replacing.
  2. You can upgrade heritage doors to 30 minutes performance using a variety of methods that are usually compatible with their listing. English Heritage provide guidance and Envirograf many suitable products
  3. AnthonyB

    Oxygen cylinder user

    Oxygen is not a flammable gas but is an oxidiser making other materials ignite more readily and burn more fiercely and quickly. A fire involving an oxygen enriched atmosphere is very dangerous and should be left to professionals. There is no point in having extinguishers over and above what you already have. More important is good fire prevention measures and that the fire service are aware cylinders are on the premises. Some advice is here: https://www.airliquidehomecare.co.uk/healthcare-professionals/home-oxygen-safety
  4. AnthonyB

    Thumb Locks on Fire Escapes

    The thumb locks are a simple fastening. Panic furniture is really only essential for numbers over 60 or places of assembly.
  5. AnthonyB

    Lighting requirements

    You only have to do a 3 hour test annually, there is no 6 monthly test. Yes it is likely you need to replace the fittings , but the cost is negligible so it's hardly capital expenditure: https://www.safelincs.co.uk/eden-led-emergency-bulkhead-light/
  6. AnthonyB

    Convector Heating in Communal Hallway

    Ask to see the FRA, doesn't sound right, as long as maintained and managed so items are unlikely to be draped on them then they are nothing special risk wise
  7. The pressure is constant in a CO2 until virtually empty, that's why they don't have pressure gauges, as the liquid CO2 level drops more CO2 vapourises in the cylinder to keep the pressure constant. Only when there is no liquid CO2 left does the pressure drop and the nature of the discharge change (higher pitch, almost clear discharge) as only CO2 in it's gaseous state is being discharged. It shouldn't be 38 bar unless it's virtually empty.
  8. Sounds like it's been serviced by a rag and tag unqualified firm based on the information on the service label. Your true weights are stamped in the neck of the cylinder - 17.44kg full, 12.55kg empty, CO2 charge 5kg. The manufacture date is also stamped in the neck, usually mm/yy or mm/yyyy. If it's 2005 as on the service label it's overdue it's 10 year statutory hydrostatic pressure test and can't be refilled (but can be exchanged for a tested unit and sent off to be tested & revalved). You should weigh a CO2 with the horn assembly removed. A 5kg CO2 is 5kg (unless the cowboys commissioned a faulty unit that had leaked down to nearly empty!)
  9. AnthonyB

    Anti Tamper Seal Colour

    Complete load of cobblers - there is no statutory or common industry requirement to change colours. It's a good practice but even then there is no fixed scheme and different companies have completely different colours and rotations.
  10. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, possibly articles 14 & 17
  11. AnthonyB

    Bar exit closed

    If you only really had one tenable exit the capacity shouldn't really exceed 60 persons. Also if the third door is signed as a fire exit it shouldn't be key locked even if the occupancy doesn't require it as people may just see the sign, go to it, find it locked and then the risk of crushing and panic increases
  12. AnthonyB

    fire in block of flats

    If it's correctly built to Building Regulations (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/441669/BR_PDF_AD_B2_2013.pdf) then it will not have a common fire alarm, only automatic opening vents to the stair and some or all (depending) of the corridor is required. Also if the premises are built to Building Regulations the fire would not have entered the flats. All a common alarm would have done is brought you out of your flat into the burning smoke logged corridor where you could have died (& others have in similar circumstances where there was an alarm and an arson attack in the common space) when actually the safest place to be was in the flat behind a 60 minute fire resistant wall and two 30 minute fire doors. If the premises are so concerning you should contact the Technical Fire Safety/Fire Safety Enforcement office of your Fire & Rescue Service (usually listed under the Business Fire Safety section of their website as it's commercial premises legislation that covers the common parts of flats) who will then audit the premises and can take action as required. Emergency lighting is intended for power failure, your normal lighting would be better & brighter if not affected by fire
  13. AnthonyB

    updated BS 5306

    It's been every 10 years since BS5306-3:2000 and the brief requirement for 5 year extended service on CO2 brought in the 2000 edition was repealed in the 2003 edition. Since then we've had 2009 & 2017 editions, the latter being current. The traditional regime in the 20th Century was 10 years from new unless there was a full service history in which case the test could be delayed until 20 years from new, unless the extinguisher was discharged between 10 & 20 years in which case it had to be tested before recharge. After the first retest the second was a fixed 10 years then the third and any subsequent tests were at a fixed 5 year interval.
  14. AnthonyB

    Inspection of fire exit break glass bolts

    It would form part of weekly means of escape walkarounds, there isn't actually much to check on a Redlam or Cooper Bolt, just signage, hammer presence and if the glass tube or Ceramtube is intact and not replaced by a bit of wood. As with any final exit the mechanism should be checked for free movement by removing the tube to see if the bolt springs back and the door opens easily (e.g. not swollen). They are unlikely to be mentioned in any British Standard as they are 1960's technology and are usually a legacy item in existing buildings rather than something newly installed. BS9999 does detail that "all escape routes should be inspected frequently and, in respect of buildings open to the public, on each occasion prior to the admittance of the public. " but does not define frequent. It has been tradition for formal means of escape inspections to be no less than weekly, but as always exact frequencies is down to risk assessment and mitigation as to why it doesn't follow traditional benchmarks but is still suitable and sufficient.
  15. AnthonyB

    Routine AOV testing

    BS9999:2017 gives a useful PPM regime for most fire protection systems in a building - saves looking at loads of individual standards. Usually AOV's are tested for operation weekly and a full service of batteries, motors, chains, etc annually.
  16. In the UK generally never, this practice dates back to cartridge extinguishers where compaction was more common. Stored pressure powders keep the powder in a fluidised state so there is generally little compaction although it's not unheard of. There would be manual handling issues with turning larger extinguishers (9kg+) upside down and care would need to be taken.
  17. One of the main reasons for testing the alarm is to check the control panel can correctly receive and process a signal from the field devices, the recognition of the alarm sound and noticing defective sounders are others. Proper testing should ensure the alarm only sounds for a few seconds and proper staff training should ensure they know if the alarm sounds for more than a few seconds on test day to evacuate.
  18. AnthonyB

    Emergency lighting hell

    I'd be loathe to reduce the existing cover as it's handy to have - power failures or the consumer unit tripping (say if a bulb blows) are more common than fires so extra EL is always handy. I'd try to dim the LED in some way. If they are illuminated emergency exit signs in the bedrooms not emergency light fittings I may be tempted to remove those if I can't dim the glow enough
  19. The law requires merely competence. Using accredited providers are an easy way of showing this but not the only way. Envirograf make a lot of retro fit strips and seals for existing notional fire doors that have test certification and can provide advice and fitting instructions. Whether your freeholder would accept this is another matter and you may need to take legal advice on their rights under the lease to require so specific an installer requirement. Unless the doorset is suitable for simple products such as the adhesive seals and so work cutting out of the door or frame may be required I'd consider it preferable to use a specialist - this could be the accredited providers (preferred) or a contractor who can prove competence (some may have recognised training in fire door work but not gone to the expense of being in a formal accreditation scheme)
  20. AnthonyB

    Fire alarm testing - small residential block

    Very little is set in stone and ultimately the courts would decide in individual cases. The prosecution would reference the benchmarks in BS5839 and in defence you would have to justify why an alternative approach is still safe. Sainsbury only test fire alarms monthly - but to justify this they went through years of detailed weekly test records, fault reports and engineer service visits for their stores and were able to demonstrate that the majority of fire alarm faults were discovered and escalated after either the daily visual check of the panel by the store duty manager or the 3/6 monthly service engineer visit as oppose to the weekly test. This is an example of how you can use the flexibility of the current legislative approach - but you can't just pluck a different regime out of thin air, it must be justifiable.
  21. AnthonyB

    Emergency lighting hell

    The lighting will come on upon power failure not alarm activation. You don't normally have to put emergency lighting in bedrooms, obviously someone has applied the recommendations prescriptively even though there is flexibility with mitigation. These doors are unlikely to even need to be designated fire exits based on the size and layout of the premises so wouldn't need the lighting at all. A fire risk assessment could look at the situation and decide if they need to be actually retained. The green light is to show that the fitting is receiving mains power and charging (but does not guarantee it will work hence the maintenance regime for the lighting). As long as you aren't obstructing the light output of the unit I can't see any reason why dimming the green LED would be an issue.
  22. Normally in a stay put building there shouldn't be any alarms except in the flats for the flat occupiers protection, this is the problem with halfway house systems that are insufficient for full evacuate and confusing for stay put. Large scale evacuation is still rare in correctly built stay put premises so most of the time there is no need to know if something is happening as the safer place is to stay in the flat and not be nosy (people have died because of this). If the policy is to alert all residents then the alarm system should support this which to be done properly would include use of voice sounders to differentiate between alert and evacuate, but 99% of the time the cheapest option is used that can lead to confusion.
  23. AnthonyB

    Fire alarm testing - small residential block

    The testing requirements for a domestic grade system are in BS5839-6 which requires weekly testing of devices regardless of the grade. Think about it - sleeping risk is high risk and most fire deaths are in the home - why on earth would it be acceptable to have a lower maintenance standard than in lower risk commercial premises? If it actually needs the alarm it should be maintained appropriately.
  24. No. Most care homes operate progressive evacuation which is almost wholly staff led due to the physical and cognitive issues with residents and it's deemed detrimental to subject them to the high noise levels normally used in standard sleeping accommodation where guests would need to rouse and self evacuate, especially as many will remain in their rooms for some time exposed to the alarm. As a result there is no need for bedroom sounders (except perhaps in guest and staff bedrooms) and indeed the audibility in service users bedrooms shouldn't/needn't exceed 45dB, the British Standard explicitly states this. Whoever told you this needs to reeducate themselves and I hope they aren't involved in risk assessments in these premises!
  25. Depending on the age of the maisonette the closers may date back to the original build as it used to be a requirement to have them but was dropped as they were often removed or the door propped. A propped self closing door is likely to be always left open, a non self closing door has a better chance of being shut at night.