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Everything posted by AnthonyB

  1. Lipping/rebating doors predates modern methods of sealing fire doors - it used to be common because it was the only way to get some form of flame, heat & smoke seal. Whilst it had some effect compared to a door without the rebate the performance is nowhere near the same as a door with intumescent seals and cold smoke brushes. The acceptability of an 'older' method of fire safety joinery will depend on the situation and the performance requirements of the door-set in question - in some situations such as heritage premises and certain existing premises (based on other factors taken into account) it may be acceptable, but not if current standards are a requirement.
  2. https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2017/01/perception-of-doors/ https://www.property118.com/dispute-certification-fire-doors-going-court/
  3. Many manufacturers give a recommended shelf life of 5 years, although this is more of a 'best before' than a 'use by' in most cases as long as the powder remains sealed, free from moisture and still free flowing. Performance wouldn't be guaranteed by the manufacturer after their recommended age.
  4. Ownership has no bearing on whether an action is desirable or required - if this is a required action then it would suggest (& the report should clarify this) that either the internal compartmentation or external cladding (or both) is inadequate and a full evacuate solution is required as mitigation until resolved (or permanently if it can't be). A lender would be very reluctant to lend on a premises in this condition and for valuation the properties would be zero valued. If it is of such a condition that it requires such an extensive change in strategy and precautions failure to do so would be considered a breach of the legislation and be enforceable against the freeholder/TMC. It's possible (& has happened) in the worst cases a premises (including dwellings) can be served a Prohibition Notice and everyone has to move out. The Housing Act applies to dwellings and can be used against individual dwelling owners to enforce actions required for fire safety - it's most commonly used to get unsatisfactory flat front doors changed & I've experience of sites where we've used that to get enforcement notices against leaseholders who wouldn't change their doors in a tower block.
  5. To be fair any domestic fire small enough to be safely tackled by an untrained occupier would be within the capabilities of a 1.4L Water Mist extinguisher, one per landing (3l if you really want, but costly) If you can't put a garage fire out with 2kg Powder you should be leaving it to the brigade. A 3l foam would be similar performance but cleaner and easier to see. All are available from the forum sponsor Safelincs.
  6. That's OK, I can answer then - it's similar to a situation I have across a few sites. Traditionally the approach was to extend detection & sounders from the common system into every flat to facilitate full simultaneous or phased evacuation of the whole block - this was based on most ACM or HPL blocks being completely covered in the material. Some blocks however only have selected strips of ACM only potentially linking a small number of flats, the greater part of the block being non combustible (e.g. brick) faced. In these there is an understandable reluctance to expand the system building wide (with the resultant cost to the flat owners on top of the already high remediation costs) when most flats remain both externally & internally structurally safe to retain a 'stay put' approach. In these proposals have been put forward to only put a temporary wireless linked system in each strip of flats with an ACM exterior with cover to the exterior facing rooms and the hall ways so that only the set of flats liable to be affected by an externally spreading fire that originated in one of them need to evacuate. This has been accepted and allowed a removal of the (very costly & unreliable) waking watch. It's important the FRA and resultant mitigation strategy clearly defines which route is required and why.
  7. Depends on the lender - if not down as legal requirements it's up to their opinion. Of course some findings in an FRA are required to met the functional requirements of the law, a good FRA will make clear which are required and which are just desirable.
  8. Sometimes you need to use two parties - one to do the intrusive work and make good (often a passive fire protection company) and then a risk assessor to take their findings into the FRA and determine what remedials, if any, are required. Tenos can do both aspects in house.
  9. I think, that based on layout, all this may be unnecessary, however without seeing the premises (or accurate plans) I can't be sure. The date of build makes me think it's going to be fine as it is, builds of this era do not usually have non compliant layouts, just service penetration fire stopping/door issues. Due to the age there should be a design fire strategy that formed part of the mandatory building information that should have been handed down on completion to whoever is responsible for the common parts, it's worth getting hold of. Sadly there are a lot of FRA assessors that don't understand the differences between commercial & residential.
  10. It might not be used bu anyone else, but it is not your stair to use, it belongs to the freeholder or TMC so they are in their right to ask you to remove it even if there were no H&S reasons. As per my previous answer the management have clearly adopted the zero tolerance approach so unless a case can be made for managed use and more importantly the agent be persuaded to adopt it then you are stuck. Also even if they do not obstruct they will burn and the principle of communal circulation areas in flats is that they do not contain anything that can burn.
  11. Yes you need a Fire Risk Assessment as the common areas are subject to the Fire Safety Order (assuming you are in England or Wales) and the Fire Safety Bill passing through Parliament at the moment will increase responsibilities under this legislation in flat blocks. You will need to re-examine your fire-risk assessment if you suspect it is no longer valid, such as after a near miss and every time there is a significant change to the level of risk in your premises, you would also need to review whether the measures detailed in it are being maintained correctly & precautions still in place. There is no set (yet) time for reviewing an FRA, however annual reviews are often recommended - but that's not doing the whole thing again every year unless indicated. You need to be competent to carry out an FRA - here is the guidance you would need to apply, I leave it to you to determine your ability to use this: https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf
  12. AnthonyB


    If built as stay put to Building Regulations you wouldn't expect any call points (or alarm sounders) - whilst you might have seen them in other purpose built modern blocks they aren't actually required.
  13. If your premises were built for stay put you would not expect to see call points or even alarm sounders. However the configuration of your system sounds like one designed for a premises where a full evacuation is required and as such call points would normally be required - this is also the case in sheltered housing (more commonly called over 55 or retirement villages as it sounds better) where it is stay out other than for the common areas or flat of fire origin.
  14. It's not normal to do this, usually lift doors are only FD30 - lifts usually open into lobbies with FD30S doors to provide the smoke protection or a self closing fire door used to be put across the lift opening in the past under old legislation as a lot of older buildings couldn't lobby the lifts and/or had lift doors that were not fire resisting or even open in nature.
  15. The shared areas of Houses in Multiple Occupation are also subject to the Fire Safety Order as well as the Housing Act so you could contact the Fire Service. Also under the new HMO legislation that came in in October 2018 these premises are now subject for Mandatory Licensing.
  16. Sounds like there should be a mixed system, but there is only the common provision. Usually the Grade A common system has heats in the bedsit to prevent building wide false alarms (but alerting still if there is a fire when that occupier is out) and each bedsit has local Grade D smoke alarms to protect the life safety of the occupier (but being local only cooking and other false alarms only disrupt that occupier) https://www.rla.org.uk/docs/LACORSFSguideApril62009.PDF
  17. That's because a compliant risk assessment requires a lot of information - a relatively short example is in here https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/422175/9449_Offices_and_Shops_v2.pdf
  18. I'd agree, if it's the original hard wired kitchen device it will be a heat alarm, not a smoke alarm - look here for the differences in appearance https://www.safelincs.co.uk/smoke-alarms/
  19. Your tenant is wrong - the Grade A communal system need only provide a heat detector and sounder in the hallway of each flat to support the full evacuation strategy required as a pre 1990's flat conversion. The self contained Grade D system already in the flats is there for the individual flat occupiers protection from a fire in their demise and if installed previously is likely to have been to the minimum standard of the time, LD3, which would only require a smoke alarm in the hall. New installations in flats would usually be LD2, as would upgrades for existing and this is when you would get a heat alarm in the kitchen linked to the hall smoke alarm (not the common system) Both Grade A & Grade D systems are common as wireless linked systems which might be an option.
  20. Did the person telling you that you would be shut down work for a furniture or fire treatment company? You wouldn't get a Prohibition Notice for that and it's not even checked during routine audits. Some guidance is here https://www.fira.co.uk/images/FIRA-Contract-Flammability-Guide-2011.pdf
  21. Yes, external emergency lighting has been required for decades and has always been subject to the same testing regime as other emergency lights as set down in BS5266. Either your previous company wasn't doing a proper job (quite possible, sadly) or they were fine before.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
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