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Dean

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  1. Thank you for your response, Anthony. It has been a while since I posted this question and some work has been completed on the communal meter cupboard in our building to improve the compartmentalisation. Installation of 30m fire resistant door Door edge lined with intumescent strip Door fitted with a key operated lock The new door does not have a self-closing device but does have a lock which ensures the cupboard is closed at all times. Does a communal meter cupboard require a self closer or should a lock operated door suffice for compliance with safety regulations? Inside the cupboard a partition wall exists but needs to be repaired, based on your advice I am recommending the installation of Gypsum Glasroc board (glass reinforced) on to the existing wooden stud, example: http://www.british-gypsum.com/products/glasroc-f-firecase I will also recommend the installation of the same Gypsum Glasroc board to the ceiling of the cupboard. Combined, the new door, lining of the ceiling and the upgrading of the partition wall will compartmentalise the cupboard, providing fire resistance from the wooden stairway construction above. Behind the partition there is a power supply to which we need access for servicing. I am recommending an aperture to be cut in the partition and the installation of a fire rated access panel, example: http://www.jupiterblue.co.uk/access-panels-and-access-hatches-c1/plasterboard-c41/bfs-plast-beaded-frame-access-panel-with-plaster-door-p115 Does this seem to be a sound approach, can you see any faults with my design? At the edges/joins of the partition, fire rated panel and ceiling lining I assume fire resistant sealant should be used, is this correct? Thank you in advance, the advice received on this forum to date has been invaluable.
  2. I am looking for some help understanding fire protection requirements for a communal meter cupboard located in the property in which I live. The property consists of: 5 self contained flats over 5 floors of a converted period building 4 of which share a communal main entrance and hallway (including staircase) leading to the individual flat entrances, this staircase forms the only escape route for these 4 flats 1 flat has its own external main entrance (basement flat) and does not share any of the communal space, the flat opens directly to the outside space The flats are a mixture of owner occupied and rented A fire safety inspection was undertaken. The inspector identified the property as an HMO which will influence fire protection requirements. The following requests were made as part of the report: Meter cupboard to be bought up to BS 476 standards The meter cupboard requirements are very light on detail, only mentioning the BS 476 standards. I need to ensure work undertaken provides the necessary protection. I have completed some research online and in particular within this useful forum. Posts I believe to be relevant are: It seems as though many factors may influence the requirements: Age of the premises Condition of the property Evacuation strategy for the building Combustibles in the vicinity Any additional risks posed by other equipment in addition to the meters Guidance that was contemporary at the time the premises was altered The internal construction of the cupboard The location of the cupboard under the stairs which form the only escape route for flats above All of the above points will influence the requirements; I understand that without visiting the property and viewing the cupboard it would be difficult to specify exactly what is required. However, would anyone be able to provide a basic overview of: What is required as a minimum, based on the facts outlined above Additional requirements which will need to be investigated, based on the specific construction/location/condition etc. of the current cupboard Any help would be gratefully received. Thanks, Dean
  3. Thank you for responding, Tom. I see you are very active on this forum and always provide sound advice, I am glad you have taken the time to review my questions. I expected the automated system to fulfil the test requirements, I suppose my concerns were more with the method of supplying permanent power to each light and the fact that tenants in each flat could kill the power to the associated light by playing with their fuse box In reality, they would not play around with fuse boxes to intentionally kill the power to a light and in any case we would be made aware of this by the indicators on the light itself. However, I wondered if regulations state that this should not be possible. I have a follow on question which I hope you can help with. I believe an emergency lighting system must receive a number of certifications to ensure it is compliant: Installation quality Photometric performance Declaration of satisfactory test of operation I believe the electrician performing the installation should supply evidence of the installation quality, they should also provide instructions on how to test the system. However, the system has been designed by myself based on advice from various electricians, suppliers of emergency lighting and through my own learning using on-line resources. I am unable to provide evidence of compliance with light levels, nor am I able to confirm that the system will comply with all requirements imposed by the various regulations. Therefore, I would assume I need to hire a professional to perform such work. Apologies for my ignorance, but do you have any advice on locating a professional who may review the design, check it ticks all the right boxes and also test the system for photometric performance? Additionally, are you aware of any other certificates or evidence we must collate? Thanks again for your time.
  4. I am looking for some help regarding an emergency lighting system for the property in which I live. The property consists of: 5 self contained flats over 5 floors of a converted period building 4 of which share a communal main entrance and hallway (including stairwell) leading to the individual flat entrances 1 flat has its own external main entrance (basement flat) and does not share any of the communal space A fire safety inspection was undertaken which identified the property as an HMO; one request of the fire safety report is for an emergency lighting system to be installed. The property is listed, therefore approval for any modification needs to be sought from the council. For this reason we are trying to minimise the impact to the building and its historic features. Our current lighting consists of: Individual lighting units on each floor of the communal hallway Each lighting unit is powered by a separate circuit, fed from the light's adjacent flat The lighting units react to movement to become illuminated for day-to-day use The system we wish to install consists of: Directly replacing existing units i.e. retaining the separate power circuits for each light fed from the adjacent flats Replacement units will include: 3 hour battery backed emergency lighting Switchable emergency lighting: Permanent live to charge battery and indicate failure of local circuit (adjacent flat) or entire building power, resulting in illumination Switchable circuit to provide motion based illumination for everyday use Self-test feature: Monthly test Duration - 2 minutes - Tests on battery, inverter and lamp Six monthly test Duration - 1 hour - Tests on battery capacity, inverter and lamp Annual test Duration - 3 hours - Tests on battery capacity, inverter and lamp FYI: The lighting unit is similar to this but with LED lighting: http://www.safelincs.co.uk/decorative-slimline-circular-emergency-bulkhead-light-with-self-test-xl-st/ The questions I have are as follows: Each unit is powered by a separate circuit which runs from its adjacent flat; if the power fails in a single flat the related emergency lighting will illuminate while other lighting units will remain unlit. Is this OK? There are no switches available to switch off each light i.e. we cannot easily cut power to the permanent supply for each unit. The self test feature will perform monthly, six monthly and annual automated tests without intervention. Is this sufficient? Each flat has its own fuse board, residents in each flat will be able to cut power to their local light via the fuse board causing the single light to illuminate. Is this OK? Any help would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance! Dean
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