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Guest JoS

plastic electric meter cabinets in common parts

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Guest JoS

Hello, I work for a local authority and I have been asked to review the professional FRAs of their flats which were done a couple of years ago, to see if there are any new or outstanding issues. All the flats are  two or three storey purpose built general needs, with single protected stairs serving max six flats per block, built between 1965 and 1985, so I am using the LGA 2011 Purpose Built flats guidance. Many of the blocks have the flat's electric meter in a plastic cabinet built into the wall next to the flat door, part of the original design. These cabinets are in the common parts, sometimes within lobbies serving two flats. The cabinet doors are often open and the holes where the cables pass into the wall are sometimes over 40mm and unsealed. There is zero tolerance to any items in the common parts, the housing officer inspects monthly, flat doors are self-closing FD30s  and grade D LD2 systems have been installed (recommended in FRA in 2009, prior to LGA 2011) with heat dets in the flats. None of the previous FRAs mention the electric meter cabinets, but from the work I usually do with HMOs and the posts I've seen on this forum I would expect the meters to be in 30 minute cabinets.  Our helpful local fire safety officer has said for the second floor they should be 30mins as per BRegs. I can't find anything in the 2011 guidance to help me work out if that is reasonable. I would appreciate any advice.

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My view would be that the meter cubicles should be fitted with 30min fire resistant door with CSS. The hole through which the miains cables travel in to the flat should be sealed with an intumescent material compatible with thermoplastic. 

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