Pre-planning fire safety strategy and advice on six houses with difficult access.

I was approached by the architect for fire advice on a new contemporary private mews (six 3-bed houses over 3 floors) development in East London. The site had two points on entry, one used for entry and the other for exit. The planners had been very positive. Now was the time to develop a fire and emergency strategy for the site, and I became involved. My report was principally intended to assist in gaining planning approval and, later, contribute towards building control approval for the proposed fire safety precautions and provide documentation on the building for future reference under Regulation 17 of the building regulations.

The principal difficulty with the site was access for the fire service and because the normal fire appliance would not be able to gain entry it would be necessary to run hose from the pavement to the furthest most house entrance door, a distance of approximately 35-40m.

The proposed design, according to the drawings and the active fire precautions called for in my fire safety strategy report were considered to comply with building regulations B1 to B5, 2010.
The houses would, because they are not easily accessible to a fire appliance, need special provisions according to BS 9991: 2015 ie the installation of an automatic sprinkler/water mist system in each house according to the relevant code, and the foot of the single stair in each house would need a fire curtain to ensure a protected stair was formed over the entire height.
My strategy report also covered fire detection and alarm and other fire safety measures.
Client: Thomas-McBrien, Fig Row studio, London E1