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Fire safety in mixed use building

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hi

i have been asked to install a fire alarm system in a mixed use building covering all 5 floors, ground and Ist floor offices and 2nd to 5th floor residential flats. ground  floor office has separate entrance ,1st floor has separate and combined entrance with the residential floors. do i do as bs 5839, part 1 or bs 5839 part 6, which regs does it go under and what grade and category.

please advice

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You have not been given sufficient information and the Responsible Person (RP) should provide more details from the Fire risk assessment (FRA). The offices will be a part 1 system and the category will be decided by the RP. The common areas of the flats will be a part 1 system with heat detector in the hall of each flat and the flats will be a part 6 system, a grade D most probable. The need for a fire alarm should be detailed in the FRA showing the areas of cover or a fire alarm risk assessment with you and the RP involved.

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If the flats are to be part 6, grade d then is it necessary to install part 1 with heat detectors in each flats,instead how about part 1 in the common corridors of each floor  as the flats  are sharing the common corridors and lift. there are 3 flats in each floors. and the main fire alarm panel will be  in the ground floor entrance  

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If the FRA require a fire alarm you should install, a Grade L2 coverage in the common areas and a heat alarm in each flat in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route (interlinked); and Grade D: LD3 coverage in each flat (non-interlinked) smoke alarm in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route) to protect the sleeping occupants of the flat.

The reason is if a flat is unoccupied and there was a fire in the flat it could get out of control, breaking into the common areas making the common areas untenable for the rest of the tenants.

 

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Guest Steve Cuthbert

In relation to mixed use buildings
A number of 2 level structures  made up of  a range of food outlets with kitchens and above are Flats/holiday lets.
There is no access or egress for disabled persons which is presently being contested by the council.
The access egress to the flats/holiday lets is made up of a wooden deck way.

We have made a number of queries about this because in the event of a fire  the only logical access egress point is itself flammable. however since we have identified this issue the local authority now claim the fire evacuation  from the flats can be achieved via the windows above the shop fronts and into the street.
The windows they refer to do not lead out onto any form of balcony or access egress emergency ladder or stairway, therefore there is only one alternative for anyone caught  in a blaze  and that is to jump.

Because the buildings are mixed use ie: commercial downstairs and flats / holiday lets above surely the FRA should be based against the highest risks within the structure?

Could you give me some clarification please?

Kind Regards

Steve
 

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I cannot give a definitive answer without a full survey of the said premises but what the council have said appears correct and in accordance with building regulations.

The FRA,s are for each independent premises (Food outlets) and the common areas of the flats / holiday lets, but they are required to cooperate and coordinate with each other.

There needs to be 60 minutes separation between the outlets and the flats and a wooden floor can achieve this. 

Check out https://www.firesafe.org.uk/regulatory-reform-fire-safety-order-2005/ and Approved Document B (fire Safety) volume 2: Premises other than Dwelling Houses may be usful.

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Guest AP1

Hi - I have recently purchased a mixed use freehold with a shop on ground floor and 3 flats on 1st floor accessed via a separate doorway/stairwell. The flats all have a linked domesticated fire alarm with smoke and heat detectors. The buildings inspector insisted on a smoke vent above the stairwell and has passed the conversion of the flats from offices since.

i believe there is 60 minute separation between the ground floor shop and flats.

do I need to link the shop fire alarm to the flats alarm? 

As the flats alarm is a residential system with no alarm panel - can this system be extended into the shop or does the shop need a commercial system with a panel? 

Thanks in advance 

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If the separation is to 60 minutes the shop doesn't need to be linked to the flats and that is why Building Control didn't require it.

The shop can then be assessed in isolation & if a small unit where a fire is going to be readily detected by the staff and small enough for a simple alarm of a shout, whistle, horn or gong to be heard throughout the unit, then it doesn't require a fire alarm system.

If it's larger then a commercial fire alarm system to BS5839-1 (the flats have a  residential system to BS5839-6) would be required with the legal minimum for a shop being called Category M consisting of manual call points ('break glasses'). Whether detection is required is based on layout and use or whether early warning for property protection (not a legal requirement, purely a business & insurance decision) is desired.

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