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Emergency route query

Guest Mat

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Hi all

I REALLY need some help with this query.............

We have recently had a LONG overdue Fire audit and the officer has deemed that our building does not comply with the maximum travel distance on two of our floors to the nearest protected staircase/fire escape route.

The officer is requesting we install a new staircase at the offending end of our building and has stated that no-one enter this part of the building until this has been done.

To give some background to our building, it is a turn of the century Old Malting building which our illustrious Council has deemed a "building of local interest".

Are her "steps that the fire authority consider necessary" non-negotiable? Do we HAVE to spend thousands on a new staircase to be installed or is something like a Saffold fold-out fire escape ladder sufficient?

I am aware of the requirement to ensure a building is fire safe but is there NO consideration for this major alterations cost or effect on the buildings status?

I would have thought the Saffold option would be less drastic & MUCH cheaper.

Thoughts/advice GREATLY appreciated!



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Hi Mat, we installed a Saffold fire escape ladder in a similar situation in an old silk mill in Chipping Campden after the Cotswold District Council approved the ladder for this application in a Listed Building Consent. Definitely worth asking your council for approval of a similar solution with the Saffold ladder. The ladder at the time had to be painted in a special colour to fit in with the setting. Regards, Harry


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Mat This sound like an audit by the enforcing authority the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and have you conducted a fire risk assessment (FRA) recently? How does your FRA compare with the enforcing officer audit and are they in writing? What is the maximum travel distances on the floors in question and which floors are they? What is the premises being used for and the maximum number of person resorting in premises. What is the size of the building, number of floors and the layout of the accommodation?

The minimum standards of safety is not negotiable but EO's can get it wrong and cost is considered against risk. You need to look at your premises against the appropriate guide and consider employing a fire risk assessor.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/regulatory-reform-fire-safety-order-2005/ for more information and

Go to http://www.firesafe.org.uk and search for " Fire Risk Assessment Overview"

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