We've rebooted our Facebook Group. If groups are your thing, join up and let's make it as amazing and friendly as our forums!

Click here for HSfB's Facebook Group Image

Flats above shops

Discuss all things fire related.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Paul1979
Jnr Member
Jnr Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:19 pm
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 7 times

Flats above shops

Post by Paul1979 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:56 pm

Please could someone give me a steer on guidance to use for fire safety in mix occupancy (shop / office on ground floor and residential flat on first floor).

Not purpose built - was a 1900's dwelling converted approximately 1950's.

I've been looking at LACORS and DCLG/HM Guidance for sleeping accommodation - is there anything else? .scratch

Due to the fire separation between the commercial unit (Hairdressers) and first floor being uncertain, I wanted a guide to show what compensatory features we could use, in particular early warning, linking in to flat. But didn't know if Heat detectors in ground floor were permitted to prevent false alarms in the flat due to hairsprays and steam setting of smoke heads!

Any guidance / steer as to what guides to use would be much appreciated. .salut

User avatar
Messy
Grand Shidoshi
Grand Shidoshi
Posts: 3032
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:59 am
Occupation: Ex London Fire Brigade. Now 'retired' and providing bespoke fire safety solutions to a large worldwide portfolio of premises by an employer with long pockets and short arms!
Location: Job based in Central London
Has thanked: 48 times
Been thanked: 86 times

Re: Flats above shops

Post by Messy » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:20 pm

Thank goodness, but its been a while since I did residential fire safety - almost 10 years in fact - so I don't feel current enough to give you a steer towards the latest guidance


If you have concerns about fire separation between the two demises, you can either improve the separation or install section - or both.

In the pre smoking ban days, accommodation above pubs was a high risk. There's no place for smoke detectors in a smoky bar, but significant fire loading and risk that requires detection - especially at night. Some pubs I worked on also had escape routes through the bar to add to the complications.

One route I often used was more expensive that the usual smoke detection, but often cheaper than upgrading separation. This was particularly the case in pubs as the floors between the bar and cellar are often holed like Swiss cheese.

Instead I would suggest multi sensor detector heads with a time related capacity in the control panel. The heads would be combination heat and smoke, but with heat only detection from when the pub opened until an hour after closing. Then the smoke detection would take over automatically. There was also a manual override if required (for local ins I suppose, but I didn't ask!!)

Alternatively do you need smoke/any detection in the hairdressers in working hours? The shops are usually always occupied with no lunch breaks where the shops empty. Would a time related system work that isolated smoke detection during working hours, leaving just manual call points. Staff will always detect a fire quicker than a smoke head so it is not necessarily a retrograde step. The panel would automatically switch on detection at close of business providing detection when the shop is empty but those above are sleeping (high risk)


Note: I do not intend providing a solution to this issue, as only you can properly risk assess the building, its use, its condition and the management standards. But this may be options you might wish to consider

User avatar
Paul1979
Jnr Member
Jnr Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:19 pm
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 7 times

Re: Flats above shops

Post by Paul1979 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:03 pm

Thank you very much messy.

User avatar
bernicarey
Anorak Extraordinaire
Anorak Extraordinaire
Posts: 8690
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:50 am
Twitter: @bernicarey
Industry Sector: Consultancy/Training
Occupation: Safety, Health, Environment and Fire Consultant.
Location: The heart of the East Midlands...
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 136 times
Contact:

Re: Flats above shops

Post by bernicarey » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:47 pm

I can give you a steer towards the thinking of a Fire Officer about 4-5 years ago when a client of mine had a similar property.

It was an old late 1800s/early 1900s premises, comprising a basement, with ground floor shop and a 1 bed flat above.
Bare floor boards between the basement and shop, i.e. open joists in the basement ceiling.
Old plaster ceiling to the shop, presumably still lath & plaster, not pink board.
Flat was on the fire alarm system of the shop, simply because the combined premises had previously been used as a Doctors surgery on both floors.
Flat had it's own entrance door with an enclosed staircase from the side street.

The only significant concern the Fire Officer had was ensuring the '30 minute' protection of the flat's entrance hall & stairway.
She originally wanted the entire basement ceiling pink plaster boarding.
When I questioned that degree of boarding over (because she said it was only to protect the stairway of the Flat), and suggested that we just board the area below the entrance hall and stairs plus a comfortable margin of a couple of floor joists worth, which amounted to only about 20% of the area she had asked for (it was a very narrow but long/deep property), she was happy enough. So that's what happened.

So my fire officer wasn't concerned about the separation between the retail aspect and the sleeping accommodation, only the protection of the escape route.
Make of that what you will... .scratch
www.belvoirsafety.co.uk

Tomorrow - your reward for being safe today...

Image

User avatar
witsd
Anorak Extraordinaire
Anorak Extraordinaire
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:37 pm
Occupation: Fire safety officer
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Flats above shops

Post by witsd » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:25 pm

Just on the off-chance that this one slipped by:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland- ... t-50372285

Seeing as it's a 5 minute walk from where I used to live, it's pretty central in my mind at the moment.
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.'

Post Reply

 

Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Find us on on LinkedIn

Terms of Use Privacy Policy