Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Fire safety rules and Building Regulations explained

When talking about Fire safety rules we can suddenly be caught up in a whirlwind of regulations. What we have to start with is to identify the different groups. 

Firstly, you have the regulations for the site itself. These will keep your site running smoothly and safely and ultimately should be self explanatory. 

Then you also have the fire safety regulations for the build itself. These are the rules and regulations that you need to comply with to ensure that you build a safe and secure home. These are outlined in Part B of the Building Regulations. They aim to provide the following; escape routes, preventing the spread of fire inside the home and also to any neighbouring properties and allowing access to the fire brigade.

Unfortunately, we have witnessed in recent times, situations such as Grenfell. No one can forget the destruction and devastation caused and ultimately the highest price paid; lives. This is a tragedy that shouldn't ever have happened. If we can take anything from this, it is the importance of fire safety in buildings and why we should take every step seriously. I know how difficult these compliances can be and how much stress they can cause but just remember you can seek advice and help along the way should you need it. 

I could talk about fire safety forever, with all the different things you can do but I will name just a few. Essentially each build will need its own assessment. For all new homes and extensions you should have mains operated smoke alarms fitted. These should be fitted and placed within the requirements of the regulations. If you have any open plan areas then these should also have an interlinked heat detector. 

You will need to create access for emergency vehicles. Fire engines must be able to get close enough to the building. There should be an adequate supply of water that is accessible for the emergency services. There should be access to every part of your build. This can and should be considered at the design stage. It is a vital part of your build and regulations. If emergency vehicles don't have access to each section of the build and a fire was to break out, it could easily take over and spread.

To ensure the safety of others you will need to make sure that there are no combustible materials close to a boundary. This should help to contain a fire should one break out and stop or at least slow it down from spreading to any neighbouring properties.  

There are so many ways in which you can ensure that your property is compliant and as safe as possible. I have just briefly laid out a couple of points here and barely scratched the surface. The home that you're building will require its own assessment. The rules and regulations can vary slightly depending on the building. For a more in depth look into fire safety and building regulations, check out this site  they have some excellent information. 

Always ensure that you abide by these rules and don't cut corners. Safety isn't something to cut back on! Plan ahead, research and get help if and where you need it. There is no shame in asking for advice. 

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