Foyer sofa

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Should the sofa be removed?

Yes, it's a significant hazard/risk.
3
50%
No, why should the sofa catch fire?
3
50%
Don't know, can I have an easier question?
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 6

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bernicarey
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Foyer sofa

Post by bernicarey » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:52 pm

Discussion Point...

A friend from a networking group has a workshop in a shared building and the landlord recently had an FRA carried out.
My fiend's business premises are on the ground floor, directly opposite the entrance.
The entrance foyer contains a sofa and occasional table, which the Assessor says must go as they are a 'Fire Risk'; my friend asked my opinion as the landlord is reluctant to remove the leather sofa.
My view is the table should almost certainly go, as a trip hazard on an escape route as much as anything else (there is about a metre gap between the table and the wall to the left, exit is to doorway on right), but as to the sofa.....
20180213_113250.jpg
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Re: Foyer sofa

Post by Jack Kane » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:04 pm

I'm not a fire guru on here at all, but in my humble experience it looks like the risk of catching fire is kinda low. But, we can't see what's above the sofa, I'm guessing a roof with lights, so if they and their associated electrics catch fire there is a risk of falling debris. There could be a printer, tea machine, cleaner's hoover or whatever above that sofa. If they catch fire and left to do their own thing over night, the sofa won't help matters that's for sure.

I've also had an experience at one of our modern office spaces where the electrics inside the walls overheated and caught fire. There was smoke, but fire was hidden away. The fire service had to use heat detection equipment to see into the walls.

I see light switches and security swipe card systems in the hall, so electrics around somewhere.

I see a sign to keep the area clear.

I see a sofa along an emergency escape route which looks like a bit of totally unnecessary fire loading.

There's something odd about seeing flammables on an emergency escape route, I just don't like it. I also don't like the sofa :lol:

That's my thinking :D Unlikely scenarios, over the top? I don't care, I would move it.
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Re: Foyer sofa

Post by Messy » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:08 am

There's really insufficient information to make any sort of judgement.

If it's a single staircase premises 3 floors or more I would suggest it needs to go. Some premises have to adopt a protected route strategy. This is where travel distances to a place of ultimate safety (outside) cannot be achieved.

In these cases, you have to create places of relative safety within the building and measure your travel distance to that point. Once within a protected route, the escapee must stay in that protected environment until outside the building

A protected staircase will be enclosed in fire resisting materials, be fitted with fire doors with door closers and be kept free from combustible items and ignition sources.

Sofas in protected routes are usually discouraged. It is fair to say you need an ignition source and a combustible item to create a high risk, but for me , as a protected route is supposed to be as close to the level of safety one would find if outside the building, there are few examples where a sofa would be permitted.

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Re: Foyer sofa

Post by bernicarey » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:06 am

I can add that its a 2 story brick construction, I'd estimate late 1930's build, it reminds me a lot of typical government building of the period, like many on RAF Stations I've served at in the UK.
It's an addition to a slightly older building, which was probably requisitioned to be part of a nearby WWII 'expansion' airfield hastily built in 1940/41.
I've not taken a good look at the interior, but what I have seen looks pretty bare along the corridor. Aside from carpets, that's probably the only other item in the shared spaces.
I'm not even sure of the purpose of the sofa, aside from perhaps clients waiting area. There's no refreshment facilities anywhere nearby. .salut
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Re: Foyer sofa

Post by stephen1974 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:53 pm

It's a large source of fuel in an escape route and it doesnt need to be there. - It's unlikely to catch fire, but what if it did? If you want seating there, there are better options. Sell the sofa for £50 and buy a couple of metal frames chairs.


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Re: Foyer sofa

Post by baywaves » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:07 pm

stephen1974 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:53 pm
It's a large source of fuel in an escape route and it doesnt need to be there. - It's unlikely to catch fire, but what if it did? If you want seating there, there are better options. Sell the sofa for £50 and buy a couple of metal frames chairs.
I agree clapclap

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Re: Foyer sofa

Post by hammer1 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:19 pm

bernicarey wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:52 pm
Discussion Point...

A friend from a networking group has a workshop in a shared building and the landlord recently had an FRA carried out.
My fiend's business premises are on the ground floor, directly opposite the entrance.
The entrance foyer contains a sofa and occasional table, which the Assessor says must go as they are a 'Fire Risk'; my friend asked my opinion as the landlord is reluctant to remove the leather sofa.
My view is the table should almost certainly go, as a trip hazard on an escape route as much as anything else (there is about a metre gap between the table and the wall to the left, exit is to doorway on right), but as to the sofa.....20180213_113250.jpg

You may leave comments in addition to the poll if you wish.... ;)

The following is C&P from the fire safety guidance offices and shops;

Reception areas

Reception or enquiry areas should only be located in protected stairways where the stairway is not the only one serving the upper floors, the reception area is small (less than 10m2) and is of low fire risk.


AFD coverage needs to be assessed, is there smoke detection in this communal area? Also travel distance, if 2 storey what is the travel distance from furthest point?

In regards to robust management, obviously it conflicts with the sign and as mentioned storage of combustibles is discouraged from protected routes. Mitigate the risk by replacing as mentioned.
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Re: Foyer sofa

Post by Messy » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:58 pm

This guidance is a legacy measure from the FP Act guidance. Something to consider was receptions used to be a desk, some chairs and a typewriter. Now there will be at least one pc, tv's, printer, scanner and coffee machine.

I rarely see a reception without these items and in many cases they are unacceptable in a protected route.

Then if there's a lobby approach where there is more than one staircase, you don't have to discount a staircase when determining the max occupancy figure.

Placing a combustible reception in these circumstances may lead to inadequate capacity in the alternative staircase where the other is now untenable due to a reception fire

Risk is more complicated than applying rigid rules, so a reception may be possible. It's just a little tricky in some circumstancrs

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Re: Foyer sofa

Post by abarnett » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:04 pm

Interesting that the signage says to keep clear yet there are the sofa and table.

Looking at it in isolation, it would appear that the table is providing an obstruction to the escape route (assuming the doorframe to the right of the picture)

Also, in isolation, assuming this is the only escape route from upstairs then I'd be loath to have a source of fuel there.

For me the mitigating factors in terms of risk would be sources of ignition and what the detection system is - but I'm no fire expert!
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