The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel-Fire Safety Legislation Part 4

July 29, 2019 11:10 am
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 3, we continued with an overview of the history of fire safety legislation and looked at who is responsible for the building regulations in England and Wales; Scotland; and Northern Ireland. In part 4, we will discuss the Building Regulations 2000.
The Building Regulations 2000 apply to the majority of new buildings and those buildings to which material alterations are made, including material changes of use in England and Wales. Some buildings are exempt:
– Those buildings which are covered by the Explosives Acts 1957 and 1984
– Those on sites requiring a licence under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965
– Ancient monuments
– Agricultural buildings and greenhouses of limited size, with adequate separation from other buildings
– Temporary buildings
– Small detached buildings and detached buildings which would not normally be entered by people, with adequate separation from other buildings
– Some other very small buildings with no sleeping accommodation.
In addition, building control does not have the power to enforce the regulations in relation to Crown buildings, however the government policy is that Crown buildings should comply with the regulations.
The Building Regulations are not technical documents in that they do not provide detailed technical requirements. They provide information on functional requirements which can be seen as fundamental fire safety objectives.
In England and Wales, there are five functional requirements contained within part B of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2000. They are often referred to as Regulations B1, B2, B3, B4 and B5.
Regulation B1 requires that all buildings are designed and constructed with adequate means of giving early warning of fire and appropriate means of escape from the building to a place of safety outside the building. This does not apply in prisons which have different fire safety regulations.
Regulation B2 relates to the potential for fire spread over internal surfaces, such as walls and ceilings. It requires that flame-resistant materials be used to avoid the spread of fire and in some cases, if unavoidably ignited, the rate of heat release will be within certain reasonable parameters.
This regulation does not apply to floor coverings and it should be noted that an existing building which undergoes an alteration to internal linings is not subject to the ‘material alteration’ status which would require approval under the Building Regulations.
LWF will continue this blog series in part 5, which will look at regulations B3, B4 and B5. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 0800 410 1130.
Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings. 

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.
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