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Jonny Roberts

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  1. The ground floor storey of a modern purpose built block of flats is separate from the upper storeys.  There is an external communal entrance door that leads to a corridor, at the end of which there is a door which leads to a flat lobby with entrance doors to three flats.  There is a riser cupboard (with landlord's consumer unit and water pipes) within the entrance corridor and access panels to service duct/risers within the flat lobby.  The flats do not have alternative external exits.

    Is there any guidance that applies to this scenario in relation to means of escape, travel distances, ventilation requirements etc? (for example, is it a case of adapting the guidance for "Flats served by a single escape stairway" in the Purpose-Built Blocks of Flats guide to apply where 'outside' is effectively the stairway?)

  2. When applying the LACoRS guidance to houses converted to self-contained flats (prior to 1991) is the extent of the shared internal communal area irrelevant when counting the number of storeys (section 37)?

    For example, a three storey property has only a small communal lobby at ground floor level only with two flat entrance doors located within this lobby. Flat A occupies the ground floor only. Flat B occupies the upper two floors and the stairs are entirely within this flat (technically flat B is over three floors as its entrance is at ground floor level).

    As this is a three storey property, then Case Study D11 applies and a Grade A LD2 system (with control panel and call point) is recommended in the (small) common area linked to heat alarms in the entrance/lobby of each flat.

    Have I interpreted the guidance this correctly?

    Further, if there is a basement/lower ground floor flat in the block (flat C) that has its own separate external entrance and has no access to the communal area, does this flat also require a heat alarm linked to the communal system?

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