Assessment of fire safety in proposed sleeping/rest pods

I was commissioned to discuss the fire safety aspects of this design of pod which could be installed in buildings, e.g. hostels, to provide a secure private place for temporary rest or sleep. The design was based on a 2m long horizontal cylinder with double doors at one end for access by one person; they can be stacked on top of each other, each having fixed ladder access for the uppermost occupant. I considered all the fire safety aspects and, bearing in mind the materials, geometry and ventilation at head end (which I recommended be increased in area), I could foresee no unacceptable fire hazards in their design – they would be, approximately, as safe in fire as curtained two-storey bunk beds which are already in the market place. The main provisos were that: that the subject building is fitted with a fire detection and alarm system which gives the required dB level in the room in which the pods are situated; the mattress ,and sheet if any, satisfy the flammability requirements of the UK Furniture Regulations; the building management operate a strict no smoking policy; the pods should be arranged on the floor so that they did not increase the travel distance to the exit from the room accommodating them (this would be the responsibility of the building owner/manager; that the flammability of the internal lining of the pod was acceptably low and that the ladder was positioned such that it did not obstruct or delay the occupant of the lower pod from escaping. This interesting product was undergoing trials at the time of my involvement in late 2011. See

Client: Podtime, London SW11.