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High or Normal Risk

Jason T

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Hello all

Just after some clarification. I recently completed a fire risk assessment to a residential property for disabled persons, the property was three floors with an open staircase with a dead end situation resulting in single direction of travel, L2 fire alarm in place with fire doors to all bedrooms. The travel distance to reach the final exit was measured at 23m from the top bedroom. I made a requirement for a sprinkler system to be installed to protect the escape route, bedrooms etc. Due to rural location the fire service have a response time of around 20 - 30 minutes.

Whilst I was happy with my assessment, I had a visit by the fire safety inspector from the local fire service and he stated that the building would be classed as normal risk in accordance with the CLG guide and that sprinklers in his opinion were not required as the 18m distance could be extended based on L2 fire alarm (would not put this in writing).

My opinion is that the building would be classed as high risk as the residents have some form of disability and require assistance during an evacuation and that single direction of travel was required.  I appreciate that you could justify the extended travel distance based on L2 fire alarm, fire doors but I based the travel distance on 9m I am now confused as to the classification of risk?

opinions would be a great help


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The care quality commission class the property as residential. Support staff sleep on a night and the residents have some form of mental disability. There are a number of buildings that were built from 1880 to 1960, mostly converted farm buildings / barns whilst many have been refurbished they were not constructed to approved document B.

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Unfortunately the level of risk is subjective and many more considerations which need to be considered to decide what the level is. There is not enough information above to come to a decision and without seeing the premises it would be impossible to give a definitive response.

I see you have posted on FireNet where you are likely to get a fuller answer and as was suggest check out DCLG guidance, it has a chapter on assessing the risk.

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