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Converted Manor House - Fire Break between the basement and first floor flats


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We have just taken on the management of a converted manor house into flats. In the communal area there is one door which leads down to a basement containing the boiler system and electric meters etc. The ceiling in the basement is not plaster boarded at all and the floorboards to the flats above are visible.

My understanding is that this would need a lot of work to bring it up to standard. Is there any way around this?

It has been mentioned that by implementing a full Evacuation Policy with a Fire Alarm System could be the way around this? This will probably be required anyway as the Property is not likely going to be able to support a 'Stay Put' policy, however my understanding is that the Communal Area (including the basement) will still need to be 100% compliant regardless of Fire Action Signage advice.

Please let me know your thoughts


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Obviously for a definitive answer I'd need to inspect the site to look at the overall situation to give advice, it sounds like a decent pragmatic FRA is required.

Detection & full evacuation can compensate to some degree, although it depends on how bad the situation is as to whether it would overcome the basement situation entirely. Even in workplaces with awake occupiers there has for many decades been a requirement to provide structural fire separation of basements.

Some work may be indicated even with an evacuate strategy albeit potentially to a lesser level of protection (e.g. 30 minutes instead of 60)

100% compliance is determined by the FRA - this doesn't necessarily mean it has to follow current recommended standards, the legislation is deliberately framed to allow different solutions as long as it can be justified as to why it's still effective.

PM me if you want to explore me assisting more formally.

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