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Guest Phil

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Hi there,

I’m a firefighter embarking on study in fire safety but I have come across a problem beyond my skill set and was hoping someone can help! My father-in-law currently lives in a two storey one bedroom detached property which is grade II listed. The bedroom is on the second floor and the windows do not open enough to be used as an escape route. The stairs are open to, and discharge into, the living room therefore a fire in the living room would affect egress from the bedroom. Could anyone tell me the best way to improve this given the listed nature of the building. Also, he is looking to move out in the future and rent the building out, what would then be the requirements in terms of means of escape? Any help would be very much appreciated.


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Legally the absolute minimum for renting (England) is just a smoke detector to each landing and a carbon monoxide detector in any room with a solid fuel appliance.

Single dwellings, even if rented, have quite minimal fire safety requirements and most modernisation comes about under the Building Regulations should a premises be altered significantly enough to warrant application of current standards.

Voluntarily the sky is the limit of course. Interlinking detectors, increasing detector cover to more rooms is quite low level additions, extremes are protecting the stair (old school method, enclose it up to the hall) or automatic suppression (the modern way, but as listed may need to be mist based and even self contained units rather than standard residential sprinklers)

Of course free of charge are the various fire prevention measures for the home to reduce the risk of fire in the first place but I'm sure you are already well on top of that!

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