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Approved Document B Vo1. Dwellings: Fire Service Access and the 45-metre hose pipe reference


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I joined this forum as I'm hoping someone has experience of the 'Building Regulations 2010 - Approved Document B - Vol1. Dwellings' and Requirement B.5 Access and Facilities for the Fire Service', specifically Section 13 Vehicle Access. Under paragraph 13.2(a) it states " 13.2 For flats, either of the following provisions should be made. (a) Provide access for a pumping appliance to within 45m of all points inside each flat of a block, measured along the route of the hose."

I'd be grateful for any guidance on how this paragraph is interpreted/applied. I live in a low-rise block of flats where we don't have any dry risers or a sprinker system. This Fire Service Access point has never come up in a Fire Risk Assessment, and yet the statement seems to infer that the fire hose has to reach 45-metres/~150 ft from the fire engine to the uppermost flat.  (1) Should our next the Fire Risk Assessment include this measurement? (2) What happens if the distance to the furthest flat exceeeds 45-metres?  Does that mean we would have to advise the fire brigade that a longer hose is needed? 

Any experience of how this requirement works in practice would be much appreciated.  

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The Building Regulations relate to new builds - there will be plenty of legacy buildings that, although to the standards of the time they were built, may not meet current standards.
Building Regulations are not retrospective and the Provision of Access and Facilities for the Fire Service is outside the scope of the Fire Safety Order, other than in respect to the maintenance of such facilities if they have been provided under other legislation so it's not unreasonable for this not to appear in an FRA.

The fire service is legally responsible for collecting risk data (usually by local crew visits) affecting their tactics although as a lower risk building you probably haven't had a visit.

It's not a matter you have to worry about, although if you have concerns you can always contact the fire service.

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