Window openings - building regs question

13 Mar 2013
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United Kingdom
Our ground floor living room, a typical 2 rooms knocked into one set-up, has a wide 3 pane / window bow at the front, the rear has French doors with side windows. All are pre2001 upvc that needs replacing because the glass is fitted from the outside and most panes are now either blown or showing signs of doing so.

the front bow window has just two top opening windows on the front pane, which we wanted for security more than anything. The side Windows being fixed.

we’ve had a couple of quotes. One guy said that we can’t have fixed side windows anymore, they have to open to facilitate escape. The other guy said they don’t need to open as we have a door leading to the hall next to the front door, and we have French doors at the rear of the room.

who is correct?
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The rules technically state that you can make ventilation no worse that before, or the situation any worse than is there already , so technically as you currently have UPVC, you could put back EXACTLY the same as you have ( BUT take photos before they remove them for your records as proof of exisitng) Now we always suggest altering to facilitate Fire Escape as needed .
If you have the French door in the same room , or within one closeable doors reach ( eg door that leads to a corridor that has a door leading to the outside world) , you are covered under Fire Escape rules...

so Number one Guy is incorrect , Number 2 Guy is Correct

Is Number one from a big National by any chance?
Thanks for that.
No, surprisingly number one is from a well established local company, number 2 certainly has branches through the SE and an 0800 number to a call centre!
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Don't how big your bow window is but if guy one is saying you need to have side openers for fire egress then they should have an unobstructed openable area that is at least 0.33m² and at least 450mm high and 450mm wide so your may or may not have met regs even with side openers, luckily as Ronnie says guy one is incorrect anyway

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