The provisions of Part B of the Building Regulations deal with different aspects of fire safety with the following aims:
- Ensure the satisfactory provision of means of giving alarm of fire and achieving a satisfactory standard of means of escape for the occupants in event of fire.
- Limiting the spread of fire over internal surfaces in the building.
- Ensuring the stability of buildings in the event of fire. Ensuring the satisfactory standard of fire separation within buildings and between adjoining buildings. Inhibiting the unseen spread of fire in concealed spaces in buildings.
- Ensuring that external walls/roofs have adequate resistance to spread of fire over the external building surfaces.
- Ensuring a satisfactory provision for access for fire appliances to buildings together with the provision of facilities in buildings to assist fire-fighters in saving lives.
Means of escape/warning
With regard to achieving a satisfactory standard of means of escape for the building occupants the following issues are the salient points:-
- Routes to be provided of sufficient number and capacity which are suitably located to enable persons to escape to a place of safety in the event of fire.
- Routes to be sufficiently protected from the effects of fire by enclosure where necessary.
- Routes to be adequately lit.
- Exits from the building to be suitably signed.
- Appropriate facilities provided to either limit the ingress of smoke into escape routes or to restrict the fire and remove the smoke.
- Sufficient means of giving early warning of fire provided for the people in the building.
The above points relate to the construction of new buildings and alterations/extensions to existing buildings. They assume that in the design of the building reliance is not to be placed upon external rescue by the fire service. All guidance is prepared on the basis that in an emergency the occupants of the building should be able to escape safely without any external assistance.
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