Chapter 7: Fire Safety
When adding an extra storey to your house, fire safety is absolutely vital, from doors which give more time to escape to the early warning from smoke alarms, everything that can be done must be fitted to the safety standards required.
In addition, from April 2015, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to manage safety on building projects of any size, from a health and safety plan.
All loft conversions must have an escape window fitted in case of fire; the idea being that if the stairs are impassable, escape through the loft window is a clear, alternative way out, and if located at eaves level, will also help firefighters with rescue. To meet Building Regulations, window openings must be 450mm or wider. The windows should be supplied with non-locking fasteners.
Even if you have an escape window fitted, you should also have fire doors (FD20 grade) where needed, as a fire door can hold the fire back for around 20 minutes and give you precious extra time to escape, with the addition of intumescent fire seals, which expand on exposure to heat, and also prevent the spread of smoke.
Smoke detectors are an essential part of fire safety, giving a much needed early warning if a fire breaks out, and must be fitted to meet building regulations. They must be wired into the mains electricity with a battery back-up. Each storey of the house should have at least one smoke alarm, depending on the size of the building.
County Lofts is a family business with a great deal of experience in loft conversions. If you have any concerns about fire safety, do give us a call on 0800 046 1995.