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Fire Safety / Maisonette Apartments & Lobby Protection
« Last post by FJ on February 27, 2024, 10:20:23 PM »
I have a very small building conversion 2 storeys + basement.
The basement is accessed from external stairs only and is used for bike storage and utilities.
The ground floor has 3no. 1 bed apartments with independent direct external access to each.
The first floor has with 3no. 1bed maisonette apartments - each with a second floor at a height above ground of approximately 5.4m.
The maisonettes have an 'entrance lobby' separated from a kitchen and lounge at entrance level - but with entrance lobby stairs open to a first floor open plan bedroom at upper level.
Client is keen not to encroach on the stairs / bedroom with walls in an attempt to keep feature roof trusses exposed.
Normal practice would be to enclose the stairs to leave a protected lobby where you might have several bedrooms - but in this instance it is only 1 bedroom.

The building is very small and a common landing at first floor level discharges direct via a single flight of stairs to the ground level final exit.
The stairs are within 4.5m of the apartment entrances and the landing has an opening vent which could be automatic if required.
Again, normal practice is to have a lobbied stair but the ABD & BS examples all illustrate apartments on each level (above and below) so requirement for stair lobby protection is understandable - less so if the apartments are all on a single level.

Appreciate any thoughts on possible solutions with enhanced detection or venting?

Technical Advice / mixture of smoke seals
« Last post by bevfs on February 20, 2024, 03:45:31 PM »
Hi all,
60min fire doorset fitted on fire compartment wall, fitted with a mixture of blade smoke seals on both door leaf sides, with brush smoke seal along the top .
Apparently direct from manufacturer.
My question is do door manufacturers test with not only one type of smoke seal, but various smoke seal arrangements?
With the cost of testing with mixed smoke seals, is there any financial  benefit to the door leaf manufacturer? I know its down to confirmation test evidence of the doorset ,but is this a practice that fire door manufacturers generally test with not only one type of smoke seal but mixed smoke seals as well?

Any information would be beneficial

Fire Alarm Systems / Re: Can a fire alarm sounder be TOO LOUD?
« Last post by lyledunn on February 12, 2024, 09:08:10 PM »
I have seen a study somewhere that showed a debilitating effect on mental agility as sound levels increase. Can?t find it but it wasn?t directly related to FA devices. However, I have experienced a kind of brain numbing effect when the banshee-type sounder operated during FA testing and I wasn?t wearing ear defenders.
Better to have more sounders and a more even distribution of sound levels.
Fire Alarm Systems / Re: Can a fire alarm sounder be TOO LOUD?
« Last post by bigblockofcheese on February 04, 2024, 10:05:00 AM »
Thank you, that's really helpful.

I do think there may be valid reasons not to install super-loud sounders in locations where users cannot immediately easily leave.

It will be worth looking at the DIL switches to see if the volume can be reduced slightly, to prevent aural pain.
Fire Alarm Systems / Re: Can a fire alarm sounder be TOO LOUD?
« Last post by AnthonyB on February 03, 2024, 07:17:57 PM »
BS 5839-1 states sound pressure levels should not "not greater than 120 dB(A) at any normally accessible point"

Many current 24V sounders are usually in the 85-95dB @ 1m range. The Banshee Excel, like some, can (depending on which of the 32 tones is used) be up to 110dB but the DIL switches include volume settings where you can reduce the dB by 10dB or 20dB id required.

Excessive sound was an issue when 240V fire alarm systems were common using motor driven sirens blasting out 127dB (you'd often see single sirens covering whole floors where you might have 2-4 or more now)
Fire Alarm Systems / Can a fire alarm sounder be TOO LOUD?
« Last post by bigblockofcheese on February 03, 2024, 10:05:21 AM »
Can a fire alarm sounder be TOO loud?

I'm at a school in the UK, and there's a small staff bathroom (2.5m x 4m) that contains a toilet, cubicle shower and a sink. This room has a Banshee Excel sounder on the ceiling, positioned around 1 metre from the ears of a person using the toilet.

The other day there was a fire alarm, and a person had literally just "committed" on the toilet when the alarm sounded. This meant they needed to spend 1-2 minutes finishing the "job" / cleaning up before being able to leave the room, during which time they were subjected to the full power of the alarm sounding 1m away from their ears.

They've subsequently pointed out that the sounder itself, at this close proximity and in this small a room, could represent its own risk of auditory injury and I think they may have a point.

The UK regulations recommend sounders are a minimum of 65db or 5db above ambient room noise (though apparently running water from showers can be disregarded).

I cannot work out what the sound level from this sounder would be at a 1m distance, for 1-2 minutes, and if this could indeed be dangerous. Can anyone advise?

I note that the RNID state that "for sounds of 110?120dB, even a very short exposure time can cause hearing damage."

Any thoughts appreciated!
Technical Advice / Re: Ancillary part
« Last post by wee brian on December 14, 2023, 05:11:02 PM »
Well - I think it would be daft to have a compartment wall between the kitchen and the restaurant. But there are means of escape considerations in ADB.
Q & A / Re: Perko closers
« Last post by AnthonyB on December 07, 2023, 07:51:32 PM »
If a block of a size, occupancy & layout where notional doors generally are acceptable in guidance - where a modern FD30/30S doorset would be expected even in an existing build I might be minded to take a more conservative approach.
Q & A / Re: Perko closers
« Last post by Collegeboy on December 07, 2023, 10:30:27 AM »
Thanks Anthony
So you`d leave them in if they work ok with advice to phase out, as in no Definitive need to change out ?
Q & A / Re: Perko closers
« Last post by AnthonyB on December 06, 2023, 08:46:43 PM »
Considering that they have been frowned upon in guidance such as that produced by the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers for over 30 years due to not being adjustable and prone to failure I was surprised the Government Guides didn't deprecate them, but they only specifically mentioned rising butt hinges.

Most fail the Section 10 basic checks as they fail to overcome the latch at either fully open or 15 degree open so get recommended to be replaced by an EN1154 closer anyway - for those that pass I still point out their issues and suggest phasing out as they fail.

What doesn't help is the fact that they can be found used on post 2000 & even post 2010 builds when you would have thought they should have known better than to fit them (even where an overhead closer cannot be fitted, there are EN1154 approved adjustable double cam/chain versions of the Perko they could use, but they stick to the cheap single chain version)
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