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Building control Fire regs for a loft conversion, means of escape

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Dannyboyski, 25 Jul 2020.

  1. Dannyboyski

    Dannyboyski

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    Hi, we have a victorian brick house we are converting the loft on. Ive attached our proposed floorplan.

    One of the issues Im having trouble overcoming is the fire planning. it appears fire engineers are like hens teeth. I literally cannot find anyone to assist who is anywhere near to me.

    Anyway, we want to open up the landing area up to the loft. The fire regs appear to prefer that we didn't.

    It is a domestic residence and a sprinkler system seems overkill.

    Can an early detection mains powered, hardwired with backup battery, smoke alarm suffice for this layout?

    We are taking a bathroom out to create the new loft stairs, so there actually is a door and stud wall at the moment, which could stay for fire regs, however our preference would be to open it up.

    Can anyone point me in the direction of somebody who could assist with our fire plan? or any advice gratefully received.
     

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  3. DevilDamo

    DevilDamo

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    Are you still able to provide a protected staircase following these opening up works as I don’t quite follow the plans?
     
  4. Dannyboyski

    Dannyboyski

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    If the first floor bedroom doors meet the regs, intumescent paint etc then yes, I think so.
     
  5. tony1851

    tony1851

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    The usual approach is to provide a protected escape route down to ground level, with the staircase enclosure protected with fire doors, and an interlinked detection/alarm system at each level of the escape route.
    Some inspectors will allow you to dispense with fire doors if you have interlinked alarms in every room.
    Then as an alternative there is the water mist system, which I think is now mandatory in Wales, but not England. Yet.
     
  6. DevilDamo

    DevilDamo

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    Intumescent paint? All existing doors onto the staircase need to be min. FD20’s with intumescent strips although the majority opt for FD30’s as they can be installed and comply without the strips. Are you looking to upgrade or replace those stair doors?
     
  7. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Fit a Grade A LD1 fire detection system, or possibly Grade D. You may need a partial fire suppression system too and this may be more expedient than trying to get a protected route.
     
  8. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    This approach is normally only accepted if the existing doors are well fitting and solid timber, its a policy the DSA put together which most authorities will follow, detection is only required to the rooms with direct access onto the stairwell.
     
  9. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    Can you enclose the loft stair at first floor level with a fire door and have the 2nd floor open?
     
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  11. Dannyboyski

    Dannyboyski

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    Cheers Damo, They are thick old victorian doors, and yes I think that with modification they could be upgraded to meet the regs. (I'm told)

    I do not want to replace them with fire doors.
     
  12. Dannyboyski

    Dannyboyski

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    I like this, particularly if it doesn't include misters /sprinklers. ( I suspect it does)
     
  13. Dannyboyski

    Dannyboyski

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    Yes there is currently a L & P stud wall there at the moment. It could be upgraded to meet fire specs with lots of gypsum.

    I think this might be the easiest way.
     
  14. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    See my comment with the additional detection you will not need
    In that case just fit the additional detection and leave the doors untouched, BC will need to view them to check for fit and condition.
     
  15. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    In that case fit a fire door at the bottom of the stairwell, keep all the original doors in place and install additional detection to each room leading onto the stairwell. I have accepted this on numerous occasions as have other authorities I have dealt with on my private work.
     
  16. Dannyboyski

    Dannyboyski

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    Thank you for this frutbunn, might the Lime L & P pass in its current state?

    I'm hoping to get the L & P certified to achieve modified 30 min fire resistance. (downstairs ceilings) I think the full 30 is impossible to achieve. but if you could confirm this that would be great.



    Dan
     
  17. Dannyboyski

    Dannyboyski

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    So if I retain the original L & P wall at the bottom of the stairs and thick victorian door that fits its frame well. (location as shown in the modified floor plan.)

    Do I have to uprate the door?

    Do I have to replace lime with gypsum?

    Will a more sophisticated fire alarm help me achieve my goals. sprinklers seems OTT to me. (not to mention the cost)

    Am I correct in saying the only way to open the first floor landing up entirely (as per my original floorplan) would be to install sprinklers.

    Many thanks everyone for your help. if anyone (with the required qualifications; I get the impression there are several qualified planners on here) fancy guiding me through my fire requirements. I would be happy to reimburse for your time.

    Dan
     

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