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Flashcards in Element 4 - Fire Protection in Buildings Deck (36)
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Building regulations

Building regulations 2010
Building regulations Northern Ireland 2012.
Building (Scotland) act 2003
Part B - fire safety.
Regulatory reform (fire safety) order 2005.
Dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres regulations 2012 (DSEAR).


5 major areas covered by part b

Means of warning and escape.
Internal fire spread e.g. walls and ceiling linings.
Internal fire spread (structure).
External fire spread.
Access and facilities for the fire service.


Elements of structure

A member forming part of the structural frame e.g. beams and columns.
A load-bearing wall or part of wall.
A floor
A gallery
An external wall
Fire resisting compartment walls


In a fire structural elements should be resistant to:

Fire and smoke penetration.
Transfer of excessive heat.
Fire doors should hold the spread of fire e.g. 30 minutes, FD30.
Glazing should not allow the transfer of flame or hot gases or heat.


Fire stopping

A seal to stop restrict the progression fire/ smoke (but may need to allow for thermal expansion if necessary).


Poor fire stopping leads to:

Reduction in the level of fire resistance.
Passage of heat and combustion products through the holes.
Potential for fire to spread easily between the fire compartments.
Potential for heat and combustion products to inhibit employees' escape.


Reasons for reduced effectiveness of compartmentation in a building:

Poorly maintained or fitted fire doors.
Fire doors wedged open.
Absence or damage to intumescent seal.
Absence or poorly maintained shutters in ducting.
Poorly fitted or damaged ceiling tiles in fire resisting false ceiling.
Absence or damage to fire resisting glazing.
Absence or damage to cavity barriers.


Two types of fire resisting dampers in ducting.

Mechanical - can be linked to alarm system


Surface linings and their risk to fire spread depend on:

Rate of surface flame spread and Heat release.
Amount of smoke produced.
Propensity to produce flaming droplet.


To minimise the risk of from fire, surface lining materials should:

Resist ignition.
Have a low rate of surface flame spread and Heat release.


Examples of low risk surface lining materials.

Exposed block work and brickwork.
Mineral fibre board.
Wood wool slabs.
Plasterboard and skim.
Intumescent linings.


External wall fire spread between buildings depends on:

Size and intensity of the fire.
Distance between buildings.
Fire protection given by the facing sides of the buildings.


Fire can spread externally between buildings by:

Flame spread.
Radiated heat.
Burning embers.
Effect of wind.


Methods of minimising external fire spread between buildings:

Adequate distance between buildings.
External walls constructed a fire resisting material.
Roof coverings that provide fire protection.
Limiting the number of openings in adjacent buildings.
Provision of external drencher.


Definition of Means of Escape

Structural means whereby in the event of Fire the safe route is provided for persons to travel from any point in a building to a place of safety.


Maximum travel distance

"The actual distance to be travelled by a person from any point within the floor area to the nearest storey exit having regard to the layout of walls partitions and fittings".
Industrial normal risk - 25m and 45m
Industrial high risk - 12m and 25m
Shop and commercial - 18m and 45m
Office - 18m and 45m


Storey Exit

"A final exit, or doorway giving direct access to protected stairway, fire fighting lobby, or external escape route".



Available Safe Egress Time
Required Safe Egress Time.


Internal escape stairs requirements

Protected within in a fire resisting enclosure.
Protected lobby/ protected corridor/ smoke control system.
Discharged to a final exit.
Adjoining protected stairways need to be separated by an enclosure.
Should be kept free of all sources of ignition and fuel.
External walls may need additional protection if situated at an internal corner with projection.
Should not have Gas service pipes.
Stairs should not continue down to basement.


External escape stairs requirements where there is a least one internal escape stair

Door to escape stair must be fire resisting and self-closing.
Adjacent external wall of the building must be fire resisting.
Weather protection must be provided if more than 6 m in vertical height.


Structure of passageways, corridors and doors on escape routes should meet the following:

Openings into rooms off escape corridors should be fitted with doors.
Headroom should be at least 2 m.
Floor surfaces should be chosen to minimise slipperiness.
Ramps should be designed for access for disabled people. Slopes should not be greater than 35 degrees.
Fire exits should be at least as wide as the minimum required for the escape route and sited to aid rapid escape from building, e.g. into street.


Items that should not be located on protected routes.

Portable, gas, or flame heaters.
Cooking appliances.
Upholstered furniture.
Coat racks.
Electrical equipment.
Lighting using naked flames.
Gas boilers, pipes or meters.
Unprotected notice boards and display material.
Open shelving with documents.


Features of a fire resisting door.

Fitted with three hinges.
A positive self closing device.
A keep closed sign at eye level.
Intumescent strips and smoke seals.
A good fit to the frame and closes correctly.
Any window made from Georgian wire or insulated glass.


Checks that should be carried out on a fire resisting door

The door closes effectively from any angle using only the door closer.
There are no objects obstructing the door.
Any smoke seals are correctly fitted and undamaged.
The doors not dropped on its hinges.
Door closing arm is effective.
Glazing secure and intact.
Door hold open devices are working correctly.
Doors not wedged open.
No large gaps around frame that will allow smoke and Fire.


Reasons fire resisting doors may not provide adequate protection.

The door is wedged open.
Gaps exist around door frame due to poor fitting.
Smoke seals and intumescent strips damaged or removed.
Glazing is damaged or replaced with inadequate glass.
The door is warped or does not close properly.
Poor maintenance work damages fire integrity.
Door hinges have failed.
Door is painted with solvent based paints


Where is emergency escape lighting required in workplaces:

In underground windowless areas.
Internal corridors more than 30 m long.
Open plan areas more than 60 m square.
Most stairways.


Emergency escape lighting should:

Provide enough light to allow people to move along the route.
Clearly indicate the escape route itself.
Allow for easy location fire call point.


To maintain means of Escape the following must be avoided:

Fire doors left wedged open.
Corridors and exits blocked with furniture.
Fire exit left locked.
Combustibles stored under stairs.
Failed emergency lighting.
Damaged wall/ ceiling linings.


Vulnerable person's are defined as:

Over 60.
Children under 10.
Mentally or physically impaired.
Mentally ill or depressed.
Persons on medication.
Substance abusers.


Considerations when positioning fire extinguishers

Placing conspicuous positions along escape routes near exit doors.
If possible group into a fire point.
Top should be around 1M of the ground or on a base plate.
Locate specialist extinguishers close to their respective risk.
Site extinguishers in similar position on each floor.
Avoid locations where there are extremes of temperature or corrosive environments.