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Guest HarrietP

How many fire exits do we need?

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Guest HarrietP

Hi I wonder whether you could give me some advice, we have recently opened a new business and we are based in an office with dimensions of 7.7m x 3.95m. There is a short dividing wall 2/3 of the way down the space. We have 5 employees. Please could you let me know how many fire escapes we need as we currently have 2 but are hoping to be able to block one off with a cupboard. Many thanks.

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Are you part of a multi-occupied building, what is the fire resistance of the walls ceiling, floor and doors, does the fire escape lead directly to a place of comparative safety, is there any highly flammable materials stored in the premises. As you see there are many question that need to be answered and without a physical inspection it is almost impossible to give reliable advice.

You can conduct a fire risk assessment yourself by using the official guide https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-safety-advice-documents

http://www.firesafe.org.uk/regulatory-reform-fire-safety-order-2005/

http://www.firesafe.org.uk/fire-risk-assessment/

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Guest GenetteA

I am after some information if possible , if we are building a new unit that is 4.3m x 13m does it need to have another exit for fire regulations, as we were only going to put on a main door. Can you help, please?



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Without a detailed plan it is impossible to give a definitive answer but it is possible that one exit could be satisfactory it all depends on the layout. As it is a new build you are subject building regulations and the guidance is Approved Document Part B Fire Safety for means of escape.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/fire-safety-in-new-extended-or-altered-buildings/ for more guidance.

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Guest lizah

Our office has just moved to a new building ( we located in the lower ground floor) and we only have the main entrance as the fire exit. I was wondering if we should have more fire exits and where can I find the answer for that.

Liza

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Guest BillCoo

Hi, I wonder if you could help me? We currently use an office space that caters for upto 30 people which when originally built had two fire escape exits. One double door which is also the entrance to the office which leads to the main stairwell and a second which is not fit for purpose. Due to the number of occupants do we need to develop a second alternative exit. Also, is a fire escape route acceptable if it passes though a small adjoining room into a second office space and ultimately to the main fire exit?
many thanks,

Bill

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In general there should normally be at least two escape routes from all parts of the premises but a single escape route may be acceptable in some circumstances (e.g. part of your premises accommodating less than 60 people or where travel distances are limited).
Providing the two escape route are separated by a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistance and terminate in an alternative final route it would be acceptable.

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Guest Vanessa

Hello, I'm not sure if you can help me but I have a question - we have an office space of 294 square meters and I've been asked how many people are allowed to work in an office of this size to comply with fire/building regulations.

I can't seem to find any information on this, just that you should have 2 fire exits if there are more than 60 people in an office (we have 2 fire exits).

We currently have around 50 people and are looking to hire a few more, are there any regulations that I should be looking into?
Many thanks

Vanessa

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The 6 sq m per person from the document in the above submission is an arbitrary figure based on estimation and is not a requirement of any legislation. But you are controlled by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 which controls room dimensions and space. This requires each person to have a minimum of 11 cu m space, consequently limits the number of employees in the workplace.

Depending on the height of the office and the width of the doors it may increase the number you are allowed. Therefore check out page three of http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg244.pdf and the regulation if necessary to see if you can increase the numbers.

Check out http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/3004/contents/made for more information.

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Guest DeanCa

I've just taken over as maintenance manager for a law firm. We have a small office in Devon. Their only means of escape in case of fire is through the front reception door. I have been asked to have a door closure device put on as it blows open in the wind, however am I allowed to fit one due to fire regulations? Maybe we need to order a fire escape ladder, can someone please advise?

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There is no fire safety reasons why you shouldn't fit a self closer to the front reception door but your means or escape situation is a different matter. All non domestic premises are subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and you should have conducted a fire risk assessment which would detail all the fire safety requirements and the means of escape. The one door could be satisfactory depending on the layout of the premises but you should consult your FRA.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/regulatory-reform-fire-safety-order-2005/ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-offices-and-shops http://www.firesafe.org.uk/fire-risk-assessment/

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Guest Paul mc donald

We are moving in a new ground floor flat & I am just wondering if it needs 2 exits for fire risks we could put a door in the kitchen if thy let us it would be a lot safer what do you think

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Guest zeus

Our office is situated in a car park on the ground floor. At the moment we have two rooms one has a fire exit. The car park has recently bee taken over by a different company. They want one of our rooms for their office. The room in which the fire exit is located. The wish to seal up the door into this room. We will then be left with a single room with only one entrance and one exit. We have been told that this is ok with the fire regulations as long as we have sprinkler system in place. My concern is smoke inhalation with no exit if there is a fire in front of the door. What I want to know is if this is allowed?
I look forward to hearing from you.

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Guest Marat

Hi

How many exits i require to have for maximum of 2 staff and maximum of 13 customers per hour? I have main entrance which will be used for both entering and fire exit. Nothing is abstracting the exit and can be easily accessed. Can you please advise me this inquiry.

Kind regards

Marat

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zeus The means of escape from your remaining office depends on the layout, travel distance, the number, width and location of the exits. I do not know who told you about the sprinklers because in most situation they would not be required you should check out the relevant guidance, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-offices-and-shops or employ a fire risk assessor to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment.

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Marat The front exit may be all you require it again depends on the layout, the travel distance, the number, width and location of the exits. Again check out the relevant guidance, https://www.gov.uk/g...fices-and-shops or employ a fire risk assessor to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment.

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Guest

Hi, I am looking for advice in terms of fire exits in a building - is there a ratio of how many are needed per certain headcount and is there a maximum walking distance that a fire exit can be away from a work area?

many thanks,
Sanda

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In essence yes! Guidance for different types of premises can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-safety-law-and-guidance-documents-for-business

This should be addressed in your Fire Risk Assessment, for which if your premises are simple can be carried out using the documents in the above link or otherwise should be carried out by a reputable Competent Person such as those accredited to BAFE SP205 or on the IFE or IFPO Registered assessors schemes.

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Guest Davie

Hi there looking for some advice on fire safety within a multi storey flat, flat has 20 floors, 6 houses on each floor= 120 homes, the flat has 2 emergency exits on the ground floor, one a front of flat the other leading to the back of the flat, there's 2 lifts both service each level but in the case of fire we're adviced not to use lifts, this only leaves one stairwell for 120 homes, the flat was built in 1960 but in this day is one emergency stairwell from level 20 to ground level suffice for 120 homes should there be any emergency ?

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You have to understand the evacuation procedure in most large blocks of flats it is called "stay put". These blocks of flats are divided into into fire resistant compartments that will resist the spread of fire for up to 60 minutes, which is sufficient time for the fire service to arrive and extinguish the fire.

This means the tenants can stay put in their flats providing it is not involved in fire or the location of the fire is such it is unsafe to do so. If the fire should spread due to bad compartmentation and if it affects any tenants they should evacuate immediately but the remainder can stay put if they choose to.

This evacuation procedure has been in use for 50 years and proved effective except in a relatively few cases were the people involved, did not understand the evacuation procedure properly. This means, the means of escape provided for you, excluding the use of the lifts, is satisfactory because of the small number of people that will need to use it.

Because of the terminology I would prefer, not to give it a title and let the people decide for themselves or call it, stay put if it is safe to do so. 

Check out http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/publications/-/journal_content/56/10180/3369777/PUBLICATION 

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Guest LaurenHS

Hello.

We have recently had a conference room built on a floor of our office.  We currently have 2 Fire escapes on our office floor.  The new room only holds a maximum of 21 people and has 1 entrance/exit door. This door is away from the nearest fire exit so if there is a fire outside this door the people inside the room would be unable to leave.  Is this legal?

Thanks in advance. 

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It is legal and is known as an inner room situation, there is three options to make it safe,

• a vision panel between the two rooms providing adequate vision to give an indication of the conditions in the outer room and the means of escape;

• a large enough gap between the dividing wall and the ceiling, e.g. 500mm, so that smoke will be seen; or

• an automatic smoke detector in the outer room that will sound a warning in the inner room.

Check out https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/422175/9449_Offices_and_Shops_v2.pdf page 70 for more information.

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