E-Books:Means of Escape from Fire
 

E-Books:Means of Escape from Fire

The purpose  is to set out in detail the principal legal controls over means of escape in new and altered buildings. It has already been shown that means of escape legislation tends to be applied to a building at various stages during its life cycle, when a `change of state’ takes place. Therefore if the relevant legislation is examined it is possible to determine:

  • what requirements need to be met;
  • when the requirements are applied to the building;
  • who is the controlling authority and what are their powers of enforcement;
  • which design standards are applied and what is their legal status.This last point is dealt with in detail in the subsequent chapters of this book since often there are a number of ways of satisfying the legal requirements using various codes, standards and other guidance documents.

The Building Act 1984 and the Building Regulations 2000

  • Building Regulations ± control over means of escape The Building Act 19841 (as amended) contains the statutory framework for the building control system generally, covering the making, application, administration and enforcement of building regulations. Certain sections of the Act are highly relevant to means of escape and are discussed in more detail below.
    The primary control over fire safety in general and means of escape in particular in new and altered buildings is through the medium of The Building Regulations 20002 (as amended) which came into force on 1 January 2001.
    Building Regulations are made under powers contained in section 1 of the Building Act 1984 by the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and may be made for the following broad purposes:
    (1) securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in or about buildings and of others who may be connected with buildings;
    (2) furthering the conservation of fuel and power; and
    (3) preventing waste, undue consumption, misuse or contamination of water.
    The Regulations so made, may cover the design and construction of buildings and the provision of services, fittings and equipment in or in connection with
    buildings.
    When considering means of escape, we are concerned only with (1) above and Regulation 8 makes it clear that the power of the Secretary of State to make regulations about means of escape is limited to securing reasonable standards of health and safety for people who use buildings. The legal requirement for means of escape is contained in Schedule 1 to the 2000
    Regulations, paragraph B1:

`The building shall be designed and constructed so that there are appropriate provisions for the early warning of fire, and appropriate means of escape in case of fire from the building to a place of safety outside the building capable of being safely and effectively used at all material times.’



escape-of-fire

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Abbreviations xii
1 Means of Escape ± The Background 1
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Means of escape and the building life cycle 2
1.3 Means of escape and the new building 3
1.4 Means of escape and the building in use 4
1.5 Criticism of the current systems of control 7
1.6 Means of escape ± the way forward 9
1.7 References 11
2 New and Altered Buildings ± the Statutory Requirements 12
2.1 Introduction 12
2.2 The Building Act 1984 and the Building Regulations 2000 12
2.3 Exempted buildings and work 16
2.4 The application of Building Regulations to projects 19
2.5 Building Regulations ± control by the local authority 22
2.6 Building Regulations ± supervision otherwise than by
local authorities 27
2.7 The Building Act and means of escape ± additional
provisions 31
2.8 Local Acts of Parliament 33
2.9 The London Building Acts 38
2.10 Houses in multiple occupation 41
2.11 References 41
3 Buildings in Use ± the Statutory Requirements 42
3.1 Introduction 42

3.2 Buildings in use ± certification, licensing and registration
of premises 43
3.3 Fire certification ± the Fire Precautions Act 1971
(as amended) 43
3.4 Certification ± other statutory controls 50
3.5 Licensing controls 51
3.6 Registration 58
3.7 The Building Act and means of escape in existing
buildings ± additional provisions 62
3.8 The London Building Acts 63
3.9 Houses in multiple occupation 64
3.10 References 64
4 Means of Escape ± General Principles 66
4.1 Introduction 66
4.2 Building use and means of warning and escape 67
4.3 Management of the building and the means of escape 70
4.4 Means of giving warning 71
4.5 General requirements for means of escape 73
4.6 References 76
5 Means of Escape ± Principles in Practice 77
5.1 Introduction 77
5.2 A strategy for design 77
5.3 General construction provisions 104
5.4 References 116
6 Dwellinghouses, flats and maisonettes 118
6.1 Introduction 118
Dwellinghouses 118
6.2 Fire alarm and detection systems in dwellinghouses 119
6.3 Means of escape in dwellinghouses 125
Flats and maisonettes 135
6.4 Fire alarm and detection systems in flats and maisonettes 135
6.5 Means of escape in flats and maisonettes 136
6.6 References 151
7 Application to Buildings other than Dwellings 153
7.1 Introduction 153
7.2 Houses in multiple occupation 153
7.3 Hostels, student halls of residence and buildings with
similar uses 155

7.4 Hotels and boarding houses 156
7.5 Residential health care premises 157
7.6 Small premises 168
7.7 Offices and other buildings with exits in a central core 170
7.8 Schools and other educational buildings 172
7.9 Assembly and recreation buildings 173
7.10 Shopping complexes 178
7.11 Means of escape and atria 183
7.12 Disabled people 185
7.13 References 189
8 Modification of the Basic Principles of Means of Escape 191
8.1 Introduction 191
8.2 The evacuation process 192
8.3 Is escape really the right move? 192
8.4 Strategies 193
8.5 Basic data on movement in escape routes 193
8.6 Balancing exit capacity and travel distance 193
8.7 Improving the occupants’ response to fire warning 197
8.8 Providing an earlier warning of fire 199
8.9 Mechanical aids to movement 201
8.10 The benefits of fire suppression systems 203
8.11 Dealing with smoke 206
8.12 References 210
9 New Approaches 1: BS 9999 : Part 1 Means of Escape 212
9.1 Introduction 212
9.2 A time and risk-based approach 213
9.3 Minimum fire protection measures 215
9.4 Travel distance and time 216
9.5 Stairway sizing 219
9.6 Other topics 220
9.7 Conclusion 220
9.8 References 220
10 New Approaches 2: Fire Safety Engineering 221
10.1 Introduction 221
10.2 A new approach to fire safety 224
10.3 Basic objectives 225
10.4 What is fire safety engineering? 225
10.5 Fire safety engineers 230
10.6 `Time line’ analysis of the escape process 236
10.7 Footnote: architects and fire safety specialists 245
11 Management of Fire Safety 246
11.1 Introduction 246
11.2 Managing fire safety 246
11.3 Fire safety design and its effect on later management 253
11.4 Fire risk assessment 254
11.5 Conducting a fire risk assessment 258
11.6 Conclusion 269
Appendix A Means of Escape Case Study 270
Appendix B Fire Risk Assessment Case Study 281
Index 288

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