An important update to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 has been made following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 Report.
FOR HIGH RISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS OVER 18 METRES IN HEIGHT:
Floor Plans and Building Plans
An up-to-date electronic floor plan identifying key fire fighting equipment must be made available and shared with the local fire and rescue service. A plan will need to be prepared for each floor, however where floors are identical, only one plan needs to be produced.
An additional single page building plan must also be provided which includes the location of all key fire fighting equipment, access points and environs.
Churches Fire & Security can mark up existing drawings/plans with the fire equipment and provide an electronic copy to the customer, but will not create new drawings where no initial drawings exist.
Secure Information Boxes
UK contact details of responsible person/s, copies of floor plans identifying fire fighting equipment, a single page block plan identifying key fire fighting equipment must be made available, with access granted to the fire and rescue service.
Boxes should be maintained and contents kept up-to-date annually by the customer. Churches Fire & Security can provide these and fit them, however the maintenance and the contents are the responsibility of the customer.
This signage must include clear markings identifying floor and individual flat numbers.
The floor identification signs should meet all of the following conditions:
a. The signs should be located on every landing of a protected stairway and every protected corridor/lobby (or open access balcony) into which a firefighting lift opens.
b. The text should be in sans serif typeface with a letter height of at least 50mm. The height of the numeral that designates the floor number should be at least 75mm.
c. The signs should be visible from the top step of a firefighting stair and, where possible, from inside a firefighting lift when the lift car doors open.
d. The signs should be mounted between 1.7m and 2m above floor level and, as far as practicable, all the signs should be mounted at the same height.
e. The text should be on a contrasting background, easily legible and readable in low level lighting conditions or when illuminated with a torch.
The wording used on each floor identification sign should take the form Floor X, with X designating the number of the storey, as intended for reference by residents. The floor number designations should meet all of the following conditions:
a. The floor closest to the mean ground level (see Diagram D4 on page 143) should be designated as either Floor 0 or Ground Floor.
b. Each floor above the ground floor should be numbered sequentially beginning with Floor 1.
c. A lower ground floor should be designated as either Floor –1 or Lower Ground Floor.
d. Each floor below the ground floor should be numbered sequentially beginning with Floor –1 or Basement 1.
All floor identification signs should be supplemented by flat indicator signs, which provide information relating to the flats accessed on each storey. The flat indicator signs should meet all of the following conditions:
a. The signs should be sited immediately below the floor identification signs, such that the top edge of the sign is no more than 50mm below the bottom edge of the floor identification sign.
b. The wording should take the form Flats X–Y, with the lowest flat number first.
c. The text should be in sans serif typeface with a letter height of at least half that of the floor indicator sign.
d. The wording should be supplemented by arrows when flats are in more than one direction.
e. The text and arrows should be on a contrasting background, easily legible and readable in low level lighting conditions or when illuminated with a torch.
Churches Fire & Security can provide signage solutions and fit them.
NOTE: In the case of multi-storey flats with two or more entrances, the flat number should only be indicated on the normal access storey.
FOR RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS WITH STOREYS OVER 11 METRES IN HEIGHT:
Undertake a quarterly check of all fire doors in the common parts and a best endeavour annual check of all flat entrance doors that lead onto common parts.
Churches Fire & Security will carry out the quarterly check, along with the yearly and half yearly checks currently in place. The quarterly check must be carried out by a responsible (competent) person and must include:
- If there has been any alterations or damage to a door’s glazing apertures or air transfer grille
- If there are any gaps around the door frame and that seals and hinges are fitted correctly
- That the door closer shuts the door
- That the door closes correctly around the whole frame
- That there is no visible damage (either deliberate or from wear and tear) to the door or door closer
Whilst the following changes also apply, Churches Fire & Security will not take responsibility for ensuring the plans/documents/information are put in the required locations or distributed to tenants, so we are unable to assist in the following two points.
FOR MULTI-OCCUPIED RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS WITH TWO OR MORE SETS OF DOMESTIC PREMISES (AND WHICH HAVE COMMON PARTS):
Fire Safety Instructions
Instructions to be shared with residents in a format they can understand. Must include how to report a fire, the evacuation strategy and any other information telling residents what to do in the event of a fire. They must be displayed in common areas and given to residents. Must be re-provided annually.
Fire Door Information
Must provide residents with information on the importance of fire doors to a building’s fire safety, including the importance of keeping them closed, that doors and self-closing devices are not tampered with and that any faults or damage to the doors should be raise immediately. This must be provided when they move in, and reiterated annually.
OTHER UPDATED LEGISLATION AND GUIDANCE:
Evacuation Alert Systems
These systems are recommended by the British Standards for all new build tall buildings containing flats with a storey located at a height of 18 metres or more; this is mandatory in Scotland and England. There is no recommendation to retrofit them.
Churches Fire & Security can design, install and maintain these systems and are accredited to BAFE SP207.