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External Fire Exit Obstruction...


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Hi everyone, came across this forum whilst looking for regulations on fire exits but all the documentation fried my brain and left me not much wiser really.

I need to find out how far away from a fire exit you can have an obstruction externally.

We have a fire exit door from our commercial premises and we need to install an oil tank outside the building, we have been told my a plumber that we are ok to install an oil tank in the mentioned area but I wanted to clarify before we go ahead with anything.

As soon as you're out from a fire exit, how many metres, if any, have got to be left as a clear path?

I'm in Wales if that makes any difference.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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The siting of oil tanks is covered by approved document J of the building regulations in relation to fire and environmental considerations, but for means of escape from fire, the guidance on Offices and Shops state,

Final exit doors and escape away from the premises

Good escape routes to a final exit will be of little benefit if the occupants are not able to get out of the building and quickly disperse from the area to a place of total safety. It is also important to consider where people will go once they have evacuated from the premises.

The matters that you should consider include the following:

• Final exit doors should be quickly and easily openable without a key or code in the event of a fire. Where possible, there should be only one fastening. See Appendix B3 for more information on security fastenings.

• Final exit doors should not lead people into an enclosed area from which there is no further escape.

• Where a final exit discharges into an enclosed area, further access to a place of total safety should be available by means of further doors or gates that can be easily opened in a manner similar to the final exit.

Therefore I would suggest, an escape route, the minimum width of the exit door be provided to a place of total safety where persons can disperse safely.

Check out the following links to obtain further information and guides.



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