Jump to content


Power Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Lyledunn

  1. 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. 

  2. 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. 

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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! 

  6. 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.


  7. 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.

  8. We have a social club with the main entrance doors open in. The doors are on one of only two escape routes. The building has three storeys with a possibility of around 600 persons. Conditions of licence made by LABC say that either the doors are held open or they are manned. Neither condition is likely to be met as the main entrance does not have a lobby and the weather would just pour in. Manning is likely to be by a wee man who gets paid in pints and needs to visit the loo on a regular basis. My FRA rejects the situation as most unwise. Don’t know what you think but FRS didn’t either notice or comment on the arrangement, which I find strange.

  9. Travel distance for a C2 risk profile in one direction according to Table 15 in 9999 2017 is 9m. At the bottom of the same table it says; “The two-way travel distance limit for hotels is measured from the entrance to the bedroom/suite, not from the most remote part of the bedroom/suite”.

    Thus the implication is that one way travel should not be measured from the entrance door of the bedroom. That would be almost impossible to achieve and I do believe a mistake has been made in 9999 in that regard. It would seem to me that an allocation of 9m in the bedroom and 9m in the protected corridor would be appropriate. Now if we put sprinklers in, then we move down one risk profile to C1 which allows 13m in one direction. Would you read this as 13m in the bedroom and 13m in the protected corridor?

  10. Thank you Tom. My question was poorly worded and written in a rush. The kernel of the matter is that we have a marquee located only 2m from a building. The former is an exempt building under building regulations whilst the latter is an existing building of some age. If the marquee was to be determined as a building to which the building regulations did apply then it’s wall facing the existing structure would need to offer 60min fire resistance with a minimum SOF. I can find nothing prescriptive in relation to how far a marquee should be from an existing building or a relevant boundary. Six metres tends to be an advisory between tents and caravans.

  11. I have a marquee situated about 2m from an emergency exit from a hotel. The marquee has an occupancy of around 300 so that gives some idea of size. Marquees are exempted from building regulations so it would appear that any perceived risk is assessed using standard methods. Anyone have comments or had issues?

  12. I would argue that most professionals don’t need courses. That is not to say that they don’t have value where, for example, a specific qualification is being pursued. Courses also let you bump into like-minded people. However, if it is information that you seek then there is no shortage out there in google and you-tube land and it is mostly free. Many manufacturers have fantastic libraries of information all available after sign-up. Oh, and let’s not forget the forums!
    I did a five day intensive course recently, nothing to do with fire safety but I might as well been on a knitting course, the amount of information that was dumped on us could not be disseminated by any normal human. The presentation was ten thousand power-point slides! At over £1K, I was glad I wasn’t paying!.

    I have also found it useful to pick something specific that you have an interest in and build knowledge around that. My background is electrical engineering services including associated fire safety systems and I have used that as the foundation of further learning on fire safety in buildings. That particular course has been going on for over 30 years!

    I hope this doesn’t sound patronising, it certainly isn’t meant to. Best of luck.

  13. I know Tom, I am danger of becoming a forum crawler. Whilst I have a favourite pub, the landlord doesn't really mind when I have a sup in the hostelrie across the road. I often find that the company there is every bit as urbane and erudite as my usual haunt! We often have the same topics of conversation and opinions are mostly the same but at least I have comfort in the fact that if my wee place were to close, I have, at least, made myself known in an alternative haunt. 

  14. We have a proposed function room on the third floor in an existing hotel. We have two storey exits. Discounting one gives an exit capacity of around 250 which is more than we need for the intended purpose.However, when floor space factors are applied, the room occupancy could be calculated as more than double that figure. That being the case Building Control will not permit the development unless the room size is reduced to reflect the occupancy calculated from the floor space factor. Doing that would not work as the room is intended as a wedding venue. They argue that the tables could be removed and the occupancy would need to be based on that of a bar.  I have sympathy with their stance as management systems in such places can be hit and miss but guidance does imply that even in a room without fixed seating, basing occupancy on exit capacity is a feasible option. I would appreciate your opinions.

  15. I am looking for a sprinkler system to retrofit to a medium size hotel of around 60 bedrooms. Being steered by one party towards standard sprinkler system and to a water mist system by another. The ceilings of the corridors are all down at the moment. Would appreciate comments.

  • Create New...