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Eli

Concierge offices & waiting areas

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Concierge desks with parcels & lots of paper etc which are often not enclosed or even if they are the window hatch that opens up is normally flimsy & not considered a Fire resistant hatch - What would the recommendation be for these areas as they are almost always directly on the path to the main entrance / exit by their very nature...

Same again for waiting areas close to the concierge sites, often with magazines, pamphlets etc right alongside to the main entrance/escape routes what recomendations should be given in these situations ?

TIA

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The office guide states,

Where more than one escape route is available and depending on the findings of your risk assessment, items such as those below may be acceptable if the minimum exit widths are maintained and the item presents a relatively low fire risk:
• non-combustible lockers;
• vending machines;
• small items of electrical equipment (e.g. photocopiers); and
• small coat racks and/or small quantities of upholstered furniture which meets BS 7176 or the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

However allowing a desk, phone and waiting areas in escape routes, providing the seating is fire retardant has been accepted for years, unfortunately give an inch take a mile which will usually happen, consequently strict management is required. If you consider this acceptable then it must be subject to a strict fire risk assessment and I would ensure if there is a fire everybody would be able to turn their back on the fire to escape. I would also check the time the area would remain tenable and ensure people could reach a safe area, plus there would be other considerations.

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