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  1. Lyledunn


    We don’t have AI’s here but as an erstwhile director responsible for compliance in a building refurbishment company where projects were mostly design and build, have continually found need to question determinations made by Building Control officers. I do so with the utmost respect but also with tenacity with my case founded on well-researched material. I have often been totally wrong but I have also saved my company many thousands of pounds. End of the day we all want compliant, safe and functional buildings. All parties in such disputes should be gracious rather than belligerent, which, unfortunately, can often be the case.
  2. Why would you need to divide the corridor? Division only required where alternative escape routes could be compromised. Note swing of doors should be in direction of travel, unless less than 60 occupancy. Even then, effort should be made to avoid such a situation. You might get a better outcome through BS9999 which if properly employed can allow some valuable trade-offs. Your travel distance is from the furthest point, even should it be a store or loo.
  3. The 400mm rule is a relaxation and applies only to a private stair. Private or otherwise, there is nothing in the technical booklet that would suggest consideration needs to be afforded for pocket doors on to stairs. I am in NI, still part of this completely disunited United Kingdom!
  4. Best approach is zero tolerance for anything stored in a protected stair, ditto inside meter boxes. Quite apart from the unnecessary fire load /ignition source as appropriate, such items could be a serious trip hazard for both escapees and firefighters alike. Storing items in meter cupboards could damage electrical equipment and impede safe access for maintenance operatives. Were it up to me tenants would be given 30 days notice. Thereafter, they could recover their prams, scooters, bikes, hoovers etc from the skip!
  5. 30min fire doors? No way this set up would have the joule capacity to cause concern. Sure, any electrical equipment can overheat and indeed catch fire but I would say that, providing there are no stored items in the existing cupboard, smoke filling the corridor would be more the issue. Perhaps a lift-out panel with smoke seal in the frame might be an easier option. This clap trap about plastic consumer units applies only to domestic installations. Good workmanship, proper maintenance and proper standards for plastic distribution boards would be a better course in any event. likely that wee board will be of better build quality than some of the trash available today, even of the metal clad type!
  6. We are fitting out what sounds like a similar small building to your own. I did the BC application and I wrestled with the need to show a FA system of any kind. I saw no real justification for it and I was aware that lifetime costs can be significant for small clubs. So I submitted my proposals to BC only to receive a rejection notice some time later that required the fire alarm points to be shown. I called the inspector and told him my thoughts. Fine, but he required a fire safety strategy if we were intending to omit the alarm. Not really an issue but if you are a busy designer you can understand why fire alarms are often installed needed or not!
  7. Forgive my ignorance but Regulation 38 of what? Don’t forget the United Kingdom is anything but United!
  8. I hate to say it but BC have accepted a scribble on a piece of rough paper stating that an Armstrong suspended ceiling has been selected and installed according to manufacturers instructions. The ceiling is in a large commercial kitchen below a bedroom floor in a hotel. It was required to have 60min resistance. Having had a good look at it, I am not convinced at all. Neither I nor BC were provided with specification details so I have really no way of making an informed determination. What bewilders me is that BC don’t seem to have learned anything from the tragedy of Grenfell. Are they nothing more than gatherers of certificates or is this LABC officer just a poor example. He even missed an new emergency final exit that was stuck shut! anyway, I am looking for a spec for a 60min Armstrong tile fitted below a timber joist floor.
  9. Anthony makes a good point. I do very little work in the domestic sector but I note that in HMO land this arrangement is often universal, at least here in NI. Usually mixed systems employed with 5839-1 in the common areas linked to AHDs behind flat doors and then a 5839-6 system in the flats. Care in opening a door in to a fire is a matter of education but even without ASDs in the common hall, the smell and sound of fire is likely to result in the occupants investigating anyway.
  10. I would say definitely not if it is for BC approval. It is probably reasonable to allow a standard frame but from your description the opening is 1500mm above ffl.
  11. Worth having a look at this system as an alternative to the typical grade D systems. However, the system has only one li-ion battery which provides 72hours of backup. Many housing authorities may not accept this as lots of electrical installations have card meters.
  12. We have just completed a small restaurant with kitchen to rear. Relatively large open serving hatch direct in to sales area (no shutters) with door adjacent. That is fairly typical nowadays. Client wanted to remove door for ease of access. Door is a FD30s. Only one exit to front so customers seeing a fire situation can turn their back on the fire and make an immediate exit. BC will not permit removal of door. Anyone up for wrestling with the logic?
  13. You might even do a better job than Mr Sparks or some other so-called competent enterprise. Quite often sparks don’t hang around for full 3 hour test. For some it’s just a quick flick of the test key. I know one fire extinguisher company who can arrive at 12.30pm leave at 1.45pm carry out test and maintenance on over 30 extinguishers and do a three hour test on the emergency lighting! They hadn’t the wit to alter their time of arrival / departure on their service docket. get a system going and keep good records and you’ll be grand. One thing I would caution is to keep an eye on the green charge indicators as it is very easy to switch into test and forget to switch back on again!
  14. Definitely not Tom. Delayed, phased evacuation requires stringent managerial oversight. Staff in such places are often low calibre and staff turn-over often high. Drills are seldom undertaken and if they are, they are not properly done. The consumption of alcohol is likely to be on the high side and control of numbers not properly implemented. Besides, this club has a manual fire alarm system. I have recommended upgrading to at least category L3 but it will remain simultaneous evacuation. It is interesting for me to note that no dispensation has been given to any other venue in this Council area in this regard. In fact they have insisted on making alterations at other venues, often at significant expense. Anyway, I am sticking with my view that the situation is less than acceptable. If the Club and Council view it otherwise, that is their prerogative. thank you for replying Tom.
  15. Given the availability of two other exits, I would agree with Tom. However, I would formally risk-assess the situation and record as an addendum to the FRA. Further, it could be construed as a matter that would require LABC approval through Building Control. An application in that direction, even if it is a regularisation, may be prudent.
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