Loft hatches

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Loft hatches

Post by Paul1979 »

Is there anyone that can give me a steer in the right direction - where in building regs or FRA guidance does it make it clear when a roof / loft access hatch must be fire rated??

In particular, residential care home corridors and stairways??

Our FRA states that ADB doesn’t require loft hatches in a care home we manage to be fire rated as it’s only first and ground floors….but they are on protected routes used for PHE….and all doors to rooms and cupboards are FD30s….

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Re: Loft hatches

Post by Messy »

Why be steered by ADB and FRA guidance?

If in your professional opinion, the PHE, the mobility impairments/vulnerability of the residents, the expected speed of fire spread, staff numbers (esp at night) all pushes towards FR loft hatches to provide a resilient fire compartment, then advise it.

Greenfell has shown that holding evacuees inside a building is fraught with risk, so if your advice is seen as belt and braces. why not?

Heath Technical Memorandum HTM 05-02 (I think, but its been a while!) talks about fire resisting loft hatches on NHS premises where progressive horizontal evacuation is being used, especially where a fire can overtop a compartment wall and into an area where patients are being held or compartment walls in the loft area are poor (and they often are)

I am not familiar with ADB's requirement - but I would also look in BS9999.

Good luck
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Re: Loft hatches

Post by witsd »

What's in the loft? If there are minimal electrics, no storage, and no links to other areas then why treat it any different from an empty cupboard?

If it's passing over multiple flats / other areas, then I'd be asking for a 60m hatch AND a confirmation that the floor partition is also 60m rated (maaaaaaybe 30m under certain circumstances, with good alarm coverage etc.).

I really have never understood why people get so hung-up on 'official' guidance. Just imagine the worst feasible case, and work out how long the slowest person would need to get out safely. If the numbers don't match, recommend a change that will improve at least one of those (skateboards for every resident?).
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'
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