The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Safety Legislation – Part 5

August 5, 2019 1:06 pm

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 discussed the Building Regulations 2000 in general and Regulation B1 and B2. In part 4, LWF will continue looking at the Building Regulations with parts B3, B4 and B5.

Regulation B3 of the Building Regulations 2000 addresses those measure which should be taken to limit the spread of fire within a building and to prevent building collapse due to fire. Its requirements include:

– A requirement that the building remain stable for a ‘reasonable period’ of time in case of a fire.
– A necessity for some types of large buildings to be sub-divided into fire-resisting compartments and/or to be provided with a suitable automatic fire suppression system.
– A requirement that all concealed spaces be limited inside the building to help prevent the spread of fire and smoke.
– A requirement that party walls be fire-resisting to avoid the spread of fire from one building to any adjoining building.

Regulation B4 of the Building Regulations 2000 concerns itself with preventing the spread of fire from one building to another. While Regulation B3 addresses party walls, Regulation B4 looks to external walls and roofs to provide adequate fire resistance to prevent the spread of flame and avoid the potential of a fire in one building spreading to a nearby building.

Regulation B5 lays out requirements for access to the building and any other necessary measures to assist the Fire Service. The measures are intended to contribute towards life safety rather than property protection. The measures include:

– Appropriate access to the building for fire appliances and firefighters
– In buildings where it is deemed necessary (ie. Those above a certain height or a certain depth below ground) measures are to be provided to facilitate firefighting, such as firefighting lobbies, fire mains, stairs and potentially firefighting lifts.
– Measures to be carried out which will assist with the removal of heat and smoke in basement levels, as this is one of the most hazardous areas for firefighters to enter when a fire has started in an underground level.

LWF will continue this blog series in part 6, which will look at the functional requirements of the five regulations. 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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