2nd floor apartment with single escape stair, Kew Road, London.

The client wished to change the disused second floor to residential use and eliminate an alternative stair so as to achieve a larger sitting room. I inspected the building with the builder and discussed a range of fire safety strategies. By relocating the kitchen, use of automatic door hold-open devices actuated by the fire detection and alarm system, subdividing the layout to provide a protected corridor to the single stair, and the provision of two emergency egress widows etc I ...

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Reduction of the number of pitched roof cavity barriers, social housing, Enfield.

My client was adding lightweight steel-framed pitched roofs above existing flat roofs in blocks of 3-4 storey residential flat/maisonettes as part of an upgrade.  The client considered that it did not need to provide cavity barriers at every party wall location, and had appealed to the local building control authority. ADB Volume 2 recommends that the separating elements of adjoining flats possess a one hour fire resistance according to BS 476, and with most timber-joisted roof construction this would mean ...

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Apartment in Devonshire Place, Regents Park, London.

My client wished to omit a lobby to the exit from her two-storey flat onto the common stair of the 6-storey building. The building control authority had suggested that in the absence of an intrusive internal lobby a fire shutter should be used to protect against effluent getting onto the common stair should a fire occur in her flat – a lobby is a normal regulatory requirement in multi-storey blocks of flats. I was able to argue that because there ...

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Mews house in Ebery Mews, Belgravia

ebery mewsThis 4-storey house was being redeveloped to include a basement storey and this resulted in a means of escape problem because part of the single staircase would be unprotected adjacent to the front door at ground level. The small footprint of the building meant that, to satisfy building regulation guidance, valuable space would be taken up with partitions and doors and this ...

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Residential conversion of Brentford Magistrates Court, London

This multi storey building was being converted into flats. One of the uppermost flats was beyond reach by a normal fire service ladder magistrates court  section mar 2014access and within that 2-storey flat (duplex) there was no protection to the single escape stair. Fortunately all bedrooms were on the lower storey and could be regarded as low risk in relation to the ...

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Fire safety advice for Listed flat near Hyde Park, London W2

A 6-storey terraced house had been divided into flats.  My client, the owner of a middle flat, discovered that the secondary fire escape stair inside the building leading to the roof which had existed for many years and been approved by the local authority, had been cut off by the flat owner above. My job was to assess the fire safety risk introduced by the absence of the secondary fire escape route and come forward with a recommendation; the primary ...

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Fire safety design of proposed Working Men’s Club affordable housing, Erith.

I was asked to look at the fire safety design for use by wheelchair users who are to be accommodated on the first floor of this proposed building of affordable housing. The building comprises 5 storeys above ground providing 40 units of accommodation. On the ground floor is car parking within the footprint of the building above. There is no accommodation at ground floor level. The plan was to house disabled persons on the first floor but there were no ...

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New private housing development, Corbets Tey Rd, Upminster, London

I was asked to find a remedy for the inadequate fire service access to a site to be used for new housing (low rise flats and houses providing 9 dwelling units). The furthest point on the site was approximately 90m from the public highway with an entrance gate too narrow, approx. 2.8m, to allow a normal fire appliance to enter the site. The client had been advised by the London Planning Authority that the project might be viable if all ...

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Fire advice for private apartment, Perham Rd, Barons Court, London W14

I was asked to help the client get building approval for recent alterations involving the introduction of an open plan area which communicated the kitchen with the sitting room and escape corridor. There was an existing fire detection and alarm installation comprising a heat and smoke alarm but this provided inadequate coverage and reliability for likely fire scenarios identified. With the installation of a new and improved fire detection and alarm system, preferably wireless-based to eliminate damage to finishes, compliant ...

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