Author Topic: Purpose Built Flats  (Read 16133 times)

jakespop

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Purpose Built Flats
« on: December 19, 2013, 08:53:45 PM »
I have been asked to assess common parts of a two storey purpose built block of flats. Small building with two flats on each floor with common stairwell access.Built in 1971. Flats individually owned. Management company looks after common areas. No fire alarm in common areas, each owner responsible for their own detection so some have battery, some have mains.
The LGA guide would seem to suggest that no alarm reqd in common areas, just ensure structural separation is adequate.
I tend to think that a mains powered interlinked system should be installed in stairwell connected to heat detector in each flat.
LGA guide suggests that a part 1 system should be installed, if any.

I would appreciate any comments from learned colleagues.

Offline Dinnertime Dave

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 09:55:23 PM »
Don't see the need, follow the guidance in the LGA guide.

Unneeded detection in common areas of flats leads to all kinds of problems.

Offline Mike Buckley

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 09:57:20 AM »
I agree with Dave, provided there is adequate separation there is no need for a fire alarm in the common areas.

If you do put a fire alarms in the common areas then you also need to look at the sound levels at the bedhead in the flats which will probably mean putting sounders inside the flats etc.

The other aspect to consider is that as it is only a two storey building the occupants of the upper floors may have the opportunity to bail out of the windows, (assuming it has not been built on the top of a cliff).

Remember that although the Guide only specifically refers to blocks of flats built later than 1992 however it can e use as guidance for earlier blocks.
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jakespop

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 11:01:17 AM »
Thanks for that. Acceptable approach. Common area clear and well managed overall. Windows could be used as escape windows as they fulfill the criteria. Doors off common area, 30 minute or 60 minute?

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 08:41:33 PM »
You've double posted this thread elsewhere(technically poor forum etiquette)

On your duplicate thread:

My way of thinking (others are of course available!)

Using the LGA Guide then as long as the doors are the original notional 30 minute doors (e.g. 20 or 30 minutes with inch rebates and no seals) with no alterations or damage and the location of letterboxes is adequate and you have openable windows to the stairs, then from a communal/FSO point of view you don't really need to change anything if it's as small as you state. I assume the other elements of structure are sound of course.

FD30S would be nice, as would emergency lighting, but more of a recommendation than a necessity if you use the benchmark guidance.

Likewise a self contained part 6 system to each flat for the life safety of the occupant would be strongly recommended, but to some extent this would be under the control of each householder.

A communal fire system isn't an answer as there isn't the control over the occupiers (presumably all private individuals) or communal site staff (concierge or similar) to manage it, it will be a false alarm/vandalism nightmare and unless you go for the near useless communal only set up with no sounder or sounder/detector provision in the flats there will be the civil law/property law nightmare of gaining access for maintenance purposes that dogs some modern developments with individual residential sprinkler systems to each flat as part of the fire strategy. There are sound reasons why communal alarms (beyond L5 to actuate a smoke management system and that's L5 without the /M so no sounders or red MCP's thank you) are a last resort.

Of course an supplier/installer (I'm not inferring this is you by the way!) could have a field day and you could install:
- L3 communal system to BS5839-1
- LD3 system to each flat to BS5839-6
- New FD30S doorsets (new frame, leaf and ironmongery) to each flat
- Full emergency lighting to BS5266
- Fire exit directional signage, fire action signage and fire equipment signage (all photoluminescent of course!)
- The obligatory 6 litre Foam extinguisher to each landing, with a 2 kilo CO2 if you can swing it as well!
You sometimes see this!

Anthony Buck
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Offline Mr. P

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 08:25:26 AM »
Any occupants with special needs? If yes, you may wish to recommend afd for common areas. If the management site extinguishers, who is going to tell the occupants to use them, train them etc? I think these are small premises?

Offline colin todd

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 09:05:04 PM »
Why would you put afd in common parts as a result of people with special needs???????????
Colin Todd, C S Todd & Associates

Offline wee brian

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014, 09:43:19 AM »
Its important to tell people, who are unable to react, that they are in a burning building. We wouldn't want them to safely sleep through a fire in the building. Where's the fun in that?  ::)

Offline nearlythere

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2014, 10:06:47 AM »
Its important to tell people, who are unable to react, that they are in a burning building. We wouldn't want them to safely sleep through a fire in the building. Where's the fun in that?  ::)
But are they not safer WB as they are more likely to stay put (providing the building design and construction allows it)?
We're not Brazil we're Northern Ireland.

Offline Dinnertime Dave

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 12:34:20 PM »
Its important to tell people, who are unable to react, that they are in a burning building. We wouldn't want them to safely sleep through a fire in the building. Where's the fun in that?  ::)
But are they not safer WB as they are more likely to stay put (providing the building design and construction allows it)?

WB - I feel your sarcasm is wasted.  ;D

P.S. It appears that little faces are the new fashion

Offline colin todd

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 08:08:51 PM »
Ah the Small Faces, there was a band indeed.  Many a time Big Al boogied away to their music down the Last Drop Disco in Bathmat Lock.  Itchycoo Park, Lazy Sunday...... the beat goes on. Old Ronnie on guitar, ah memory lane.  A band from London as I recall, the city that gave us the finest fire and rescue service in Hounsditch, and the only one in the UK to recognise that, in a single stairway block of flats it puts people at risk of death or serious injury if you dont have running man signs pointing down the stairs-foresight indeed.

And Brian is right, what fun we will have watching Rudetube videos of the poor disabled people crawling on their hands and knees down smoke filled corridors when the common parts fire alarm system operates to tell them to get out into the corridors because there is smoke in them.  it all promotes equality, because the able bodied people will have to go on their hands and knees too when the smoke layer gets too low, rather than staying in the safety of their flats.
Colin Todd, C S Todd & Associates

Offline Mr. P

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 09:31:59 AM »
Not put afd in common parts just because someone has a disability but, at least consider it. It may be beneficial, it may not, depending on what elements there are to consider. =insert crooked smilie here= !!!

Offline wee brian

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 10:25:23 AM »
Agreed - a key part of this is to think.  ;)

Offline colin todd

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 01:06:53 AM »
Havent you learned wee b, that you wont get anywhere in the civil service or English fire and rescue services by thinking.  People who think in such organisations are dangerous rebels, who will be weeded out and dealt with. No no no, thats not how it works.  The way it works is your esteemed chums produce rubbish guidance on the FSO and the FRS follow it blindly.  See, no thought required.
Colin Todd, C S Todd & Associates

Offline Mike Buckley

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Re: Purpose Built Flats
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2014, 09:28:28 AM »
Agreed Colin, I remember on a course at the College of Knowledge asking one of the instructors if on a promotion course we should be looking at decision making and how to think to be told it was no part of the college teaching! Ok it was some time ago but I would be surprised if there was any change.
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