FQA - Fire Questions Answered

Structure of Buildings

Protecting structural steelwork - We are constructing a new build block of flats with open parking under at ground floor level & 3 storeys over. The ground to first floor structure is steel frame and I would like some advice regarding provision of suitable fire protection to the steel frame.

Composite fire safety panels - I have a technical enquiry - to achieve 30 minutes fire delay within a North light Glazing system over a partition wall we are proposing a composite fire safe panel. How far from the wall should the panel extend?

Compartmentation in roof spaces - I am a trustee of an Almshouse and would like some advice about whether we need to put passive fire protection breaks in our roof space.

I am reviewing some fire risk assessments that were carried out by a dear colleague who passed away last year. He was a retired fire officer of many years standing, and I have no reason to doubt the quality of his fire risk assessments. However, what we don’t have is any access to the thinking behind his assessments.

One of the areas that is exercising our thoughts at the moment is the question of stairways that extend to the basement. There are quite a number of older office buildings where this is the case and where there are no fire-resisting lobbies or corridors. This has not been identified as a problem in his fire risk assessments, and we suspect that he took a view that, because the buildings concerned are provided with smoke detection, then this would reduce the risk to the extent that fire-resisting lobbies would not be necessary. Is this a reasonable view to take?

We would like some advice regarding what we believe to be a fire risk in the property we are renting.

We are currently living in a two bedroom council house. There is no door separating the hall and kitchen, although there had been one prior to this. The hall also leads onto the stairs where our 6 month old baby daughter sleeps in her nursery.

The council have refused to fit a new door and as you can imagine we are very concerned.

I'm acting as CDMC for the construction of a (small) passivhaus, timber framed, two storey office building with a 'open plan' design which features fully open area (atrium?) between the ground and first floor. I'm wondering what fire guidance I should be reviewing and particularly thoughts on sprinkler systems.

Would it be possible to get some help with determining minimum fire resistance periods for insurance purposes for office buildings.

We have carried out checks on an office block to BS 9999 and found that 15 minutes fire resistance is required. However, I am not certain how insurers will view this.

In the LPC design guide it looks like the minimum fire resistance period required is 30mins. Since this was published in 1999 I'm not sure if it is the current practice. In your experience do insurers ask for a longer period of fire resistance?