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Everything posted by AnthonyB

  1. Simple answer usually yes (unless the manufacturer of the doorset states that frame and door combination can tolerate a larger gap and still perform correctly). Are they closing in a rebate and do they have intumescent seals?
  2. Which country - Scotland, England or Wales? Do you occupy the flat or let it out? Do they want the systems in each flat linked to each other or not? This will assist in replying. Whilst there are no communal areas and the Fire Safety Order does not apply the Housing Act does and this does include the ability to require fire safety improvements inside a flat.
  3. As a joint freeholder I would suspect you are liable for your share of costs - the applicability of the Fire Safety Order to your flat isn't the issue, it's more a property law issue vis a vis the liabilities as a joint freeholder - the freeholder is responsible for the managmeent of the communal space and associated costs be it fire safety or any more general maintenance and as you are one of them (& possibly as a result a director of the TMC if there is one??) you could be liable for your share of the cost.
  4. No internal communal space by the sounds of it so no.
  5. A lot of lazy or under-trained fire risk assessors will just take a yes/no approach to if there is a fire alarm system, despite the mere presence of one not ensuring it is suitable or sufficient. If the layout of a system meets a category it should be described as such, however some existing systems expanded piecemeal over the years don't meet any (although many fall in between two categories a common one being L4 plus specified additional detector heads) in which case guessing or pushing it into a category is wrong and a simple summary of areas covered is more appropriate. Plenty of guidance out there on minimum categories for various types of premises, BS5839-1 itself gives a good summary, it's often less than people expect with many places still only requiring manual call points
  6. Unless it is so small a shout, hand bell or similar can be heard clearly throughout the premises it should have an electrical manual fire alarm system of 'break glass' manual call points and alarm sounders.This has been a requirement of schools design for over 60 years. Schools used only during the school day and not for extra curricular uses and that aren't of the CLASP construction (a cheap modular construction type popular for local authority buildings in the 50's - 70's that allows for rapid fire spread through voids) don't usually require much if any detection but must have the call points. Usually the fire alarm and class change bell system were combined. Ask to see the Fire Risk Assessment for the school and how it gets around the question of adequate means of fire detection & warning
  7. This is the guide that you should use to determine what you need https://www.rla.org.uk/docs/LACORSFSguideApril62009.PDF
  8. Can't see why doing that would be a problem.
  9. Not necessarily, they should be marked 'fire door keep locked shut' and of course locked. Cupboards don't always need a closer.
  10. If you've underdrawn the stair but not enclosed the area it's almost pointless as fire effluent and heat can still render the escape route untenable quickly, way before the burning of the stair would be an issue. Quite a proportion of house fires, including fatal fires, start in white goods like these so it's no surprise they are taking the approach they are.
  11. No you should clear the exits!
  12. All in here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/422175/9449_Offices_and_Shops_v2.pdf
  13. There is no statutory bar unlike with the old Fire Precautions Act - if the risk requires modernisation of precautions so adequately control it so be it (conversely if the old standard of precautions can be demonstrated to still give tolerable protection then it needn't automatically be modernised). British Standards are not law, in theory (& practice) you can deviate but you fully accept the onus for demonstrating why it doesn't compromise safety.
  14. Life or property? Water mist has the advantages of easier to meet water supply requirements than traditional sprinklers - where are you putting the tanks for a traditional system? It seems it's preferred in the hotel sector too: http://www.watermist.com/en/case-studies/hotels-dorsett-regency/
  15. Sounds reasonable if no staff, the monitoring would be key possibly for life safety too as you can't ensure the fire service would be called or people would evacuate or stay evacuated, contact with the FRS regarding their AFA policy would be advisable too.
  16. Both BB7 the old design guide for fire safety in schools & BB100 the current guide take a different approach to fire doors than you would see in other types of building. Classrooms off a corridor that isn't a dead end don't require to be fire doors (unless an area of high risk like some labs) - so whilst they often still install fire door blanks with vision panels anyway they don't require self closers.
  17. As a 'protected stair' it won't be blocked by a fire whilst people are in the building as if the fire is on one of the floors the doors and structure will hold back the fire and smoke for up to 30 minutes, plus also as a protected stair it is required to be free from combustibles and ignition sources so a fire doesn't ever start in it - this is why smaller buildings can still be built with just one stair.
  18. Don't use intumescent foam unless specifically for door frame sealing (like Blue60) . One of the biggest fire safety issues is the misuse of the cheap fire rated foam outside of it's limited test scope and hundreds of thousands of pounds is spent each year having to remediate incorrect use. LACORS is guidance, but also a benchmark for enforcers and courts, and whilst you can depart from it you would have to justify why it still provides an adequate level of safety (which can be done just as with other fire safety guidance, but on a case by case basis). If the HO won't listen you can make an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) if a Notice has been issued for the works. If you are putting in a new door LABC guidance would look to new doors and frames, even if FD20 was acceptable (which is usually for single dwellings), there is scope for upgrading of the existing doors and frames, but again usually only where FD20 is acceptable (or in heritage premises)
  19. 5 years according to the sole manufacturer http://kerrfire.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/6786-Kerr-Fire-MONNEX-Datasheet.pdf
  20. AnthonyB

    Fire escape

    As long as it has a simple fastening not requiring a key or code and opens in the direction of escape (ideally) it's not necessarily prohibited. I'd check to see what consent they need to build on a shared courtyard - who owns it, what rights are in leases, etc.
  21. Building control bodies have a chequered history of relaxing and overlooking things without suitable mitigation - just because they didn't object doesn't mean it's correct. I'd go off the FRA as that would be the most recent look at the building and that assessor would carry the can if wrong not the AI/BCO. Stick to the guidance in your observations - if they choose not to implement them that's on their head not yours.
  22. The law only requires life safety, so a P Category system would only be required by an insurance company or as a business continuity decision by the Responsible Person.
  23. You only usually need an alarm system if the premises conversion doesn't meet the stay put construction requirements - which is usually the case in house conversions. In which case you would usually need full coverage
  24. Depends when they were fitted, when intumescent seals first started to widely appear in the 80's they replaced rebate only doors but smoke brushes weren'r widely used, it's not uncommon to find original build doors from that era that would today require smoke seals only having intumescent.
  25. A P1 system will have longer standby battery supply duration and must be monitored. An L1 system has a shorter battery supply duration and doesn't need monitoring (unless high risk such as a care home, hospital, shopping centre or similar) A P1 system does not incorporate manual call points or sounders (or just a couple of strategically placed sounders) as it's not there for life safety (picture for example a telecommunications transmitter station - it's in the middle of nowhere, is rarely occupied and even when it is is small enough not to need an electrical fire alarm for life safety but it is quite critical to the owner's business that a fire is detected and help sent ASAP). In many buildings however there is a requirement for the minimum life safety electrical fire alarm system (Category M, just call points and sounders) so if a P1 (or for that matter a P2) is required for property protection only (most buildings don't actually need detection for life believe it or not) in these buildings it has to have call points and full sounder coverage and would thus be a P1/M system (or P2/M)
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