Items where Subject is "Section 3: Means of escape – flats"

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.1 Introduction

Separate guidance applies to means of escape within the flat and within the common parts of the building that lead to a place of safety. Flats at ground level are treated similarly to dwellinghouses. With increasing height, more complex provisions are needed.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.1 Table 3.1 Limitations on travel distance in common areas of blocks of flats

NOTES:
1. If travel distance is measured to a stair lobby, the lobby must not provide direct access to any storage room, flat or other space containing a fire hazard.
2. In the case of a small single stair building in accordance with Diagram 3.9, this is reduced to 4.5m.
3. Does not apply if all flats on a storey have independent alternative means of escape.
4. Sheltered housing may require reduced maximum travel distances.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.1 Diagram 3.1 Gallery floors with no alternative exit

NOTES:
1. This diagram does not apply where the gallery is provided with one of the following:
i. An alternative escape route
ii. An emergency escape window (where the gallery floor is not more than 4.5m above ground level).
2. Any cooking facilities within a room containing a gallery should comply with one of the following conditions:
i. Be enclosed with fire resisting construction
ii. Be remote from the stair to the gallery and positioned such that they do not prejudice escape from the gallery.
See para 3.13

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.10 Balconies and flat roofs

Where a flat roof forms part of a means of escape, it should comply with all of the following.
a. It should be part of the same building from which escape is being made.
b. The route across the roof should lead to a storey exit or external escape route.
c. The part of the roof (including its supporting structure) forming the escape route, and any opening within 3m of the escape route, should be of fire resisting construction (minimum REI 30).

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.10 Diagram 3.10 External protection to protected stairways

Configurations of stairs and external wall
Fire resisting construction
Fire resisting construction of adjacent building enclosure of protected stairway
Non-fire resisting construction
See para 3.63

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.11 Balconies and flat roofs

A balcony or flat roof intended to form part of an escape route should be provided with guarding etc. in accordance with Approved Document K.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.11 Diagram 3.11 Fire resistance of areas near to external stairs

No fire resistance required for door
1100mm zone above top landing
1100mm zone above top landing
6m maximum height of stair
Fire resisting window (minimum RE30)
1800mm zone of fire resisting construction at side of stair
Fire doorset (minimum E30)
Ground level or a roof or podium served by an independent stairway
6m maximum height of stair without weather protection
9m zone of fire resisting construction below stair
Ground level or a roof or podium served by an independent stairway
See para 3.68

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.12 Balconies and flat roofs

For flats more than 4.5m above ground level, a balcony outside an alternative exit should be a common balcony meeting the conditions described in paragraph 3.22.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.13 Galleries

A gallery should comply with one of the following.
a. It should be provided with an alternative exit.
b. It should be provided with an emergency escape window, as described in paragraph 3.6, where the gallery floor is a maximum of 4.5m above ground level.
c. It should meet the conditions shown in Diagram 3.1.

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ADB1 2022 Para:3.14 Flats with upper storeys a maximum of 4.5m above ground level

The internal arrangement of single storey or multi-storey flats should comply with paragraphs 3.15 to 3.17. Alternatively, the guidance in paragraphs 3.18 to 3.22 may be followed.
Where a flat is accessed via the common parts of a block of flats it may be necessary to provide a protected entrance hall to meet the provisions of paragraph 3.28 and Diagram 3.9.

Department for Communities and Local Government, (2019) Flats with upper storeys a maximum of 4.5m above ground level. In: Approved Document B: Fire Safety - Volume 1: Dwellings. 2019 ed. Section 3: Means of escape – flats, 1 (3.14). RIBA Publishing Publication, London, p. 21. ISBN 9781859469156

ADB1 2019 Para:3.15 Escape from the ground storey

All habitable rooms (excluding kitchens) should have either of the following.
a. An opening directly onto a hall leading to a final exit.
b. An emergency escape window or door, as described in paragraph 3.6.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.16 Escape from upper storeys a maximum of 4.5m above ground level

All habitable rooms (excluding kitchens) should have either of the following.
a. An emergency escape window or external door, as described in paragraph 3.6.
b. In multi-storey flats, direct access to a protected internal stairway (minimum REI 30) leading to an exit from the flat.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.17 Escape from upper storeys a maximum of 4.5m above ground level

Two rooms may be served by a single escape window. A door between rooms should provide access to the escape window without passing through the stair enclosure. Both rooms should have their own access to the internal stair.

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ADB1 2022 Para:3.18 Flats with storeys more than 4.5m above ground level Internal planning of single storey flats

One of the following approaches should be adopted, observing the inner room restrictions described in paragraphs 3.7 and 3.8.
a. Provide a protected entrance hall (minimum REI 30) serving all habitable rooms that meets the conditions shown in Diagram 3.2.
b. Plan the flat to meet the conditions shown in Diagram 3.3, so that both of the following apply.
i. The travel distance from the flat entrance door to any point in any habitable room is a maximum of 9m.
ii. Cooking facilities are remote from the main entrance door and do not impede the escape route from anywhere in the flat.
c. Provide an alternative exit from the flat complying with paragraph 3.19.

Department for Communities and Local Government, (2019) Flats with storeys more than 4.5m above ground level Internal planning of single storey flats. In: Approved Document B: Fire Safety - Volume 1: Dwellings. 2019 ed. Section 3: Means of escape – flats, 1 (3.18). RIBA Publishing Publication, London, p. 22. ISBN 9781859469156

ADB1 2019 Para:3.19 Flats with an alternative exit

Where access from any habitable room to the entrance hall or flat entrance is impossible without passing through another room, all of the following conditions should be met (Diagram 3.4).
a. Bedrooms should be separated from living accommodation by fire resisting construction (minimum REI 30) and fire doorsets (minimum E 20).
b. The alternative exit should be in the part of the flat that contains the bedrooms.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.2 Introduction

The provisions in this section make the following assumptions.
a. Any fire is likely to be in a flat.
b. There is no reliance on external rescue.
c. Simultaneous evacuation of all flats is unlikely to be necessary due to compartmentation.
d. Fires in common parts of the building should not spread beyond the fabric in the immediate vicinity. In some cases, however, communal facilities exist that require additional measures to be taken.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.2 Diagram 3.2 Flat where all habitable rooms have direct access to an entrance hall

See para 3.18
NOTE: Bathrooms do not need to have fire doorsets provided that the bathroom is separated by fire resisting construction from the adjacent rooms.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.20 Internal planning of multi-storey flats

A multi-storey flat with an independent external entrance at ground level is similar to a dwellinghouse and means of escape should be planned on the basis of Section 2, depending on the height of the top storey above ground level.

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ADB1 2022 Para:3.21 Internal planning of multi-storey flats

When multi-storey flats do not have their own external entrance at ground level, adopt one of the following approaches.
a. Approach 1 – provide at least one alternative exit from each habitable room that is not on the entrance storey of the flat (Diagram 3.5 and paragraph 3.22).
b. Approach 2 – provide at least one alternative exit from each storey that is not the entrance storey of the flat. All habitable rooms should have direct access to a protected landing (Diagram 3.6 and paragraph 3.22).
Approach 3 – provide a protected stairway plus a sprinkler system in accordance with Appendix E (smoke alarms should also be provided in accordance with Section 1).
d. Approach 4 – if the vertical distance between the entrance storey of the flat and any of the storeys above or below does not exceed 7.5m, provide all of the following.
i. A protected stairway.
ii. Additional smoke alarms in all habitable rooms.
iii. A heat alarm in any kitchen.

Department for Communities and Local Government, (2019) Internal planning of multi-storey flats. In: Approved Document B: Fire Safety - Volume 1: Dwellings. 2019 ed. Section 3: Means of escape – flats, 1 (3.21). RIBA Publishing Publication, London, p. 23. ISBN 9781859469156

ADB1 2019 Para:3.22 Alternative exits

Any alternative exit from a flat should comply with all of the following.
a. It should be remote from the main entrance door to the flat.
b. It should lead to a final exit, via a common stair if necessary, through one of the following.
i. A door to an access corridor, access lobby or common balcony.
ii. An internal private stair leading to an access corridor, access lobby or common balcony at another level.
iii. A door to a common stair.
iv. A door to an external stair.
v. A door to an escape route over a flat roof.
Any access route leading to a final exit or common stair should comply with the provisions for means of escape in the common parts of a flat (see paragraph 3.25).

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.23 Air circulation systems in flats with a protected stairway or entrance hall enclosure

For systems circulating air only within an individual flat, take all of the following precautions.
a. Transfer grilles should not be fitted in any wall, door, floor or ceiling of the enclosure.
b. Any duct passing through the enclosure should be rigid steel. Joints between the ductwork and enclosure should be fire-stopped.
c. Ventilation ducts serving the enclosure should not serve any other areas.
d. Any system of mechanical ventilation which recirculates air and which serves both the stair and other areas should be designed to shut down on the detection of smoke within the system.
e. For ducted warm air heating systems, a room thermostat should be sited in the living room. It should be mounted at a height between 1370mm and 1830mm above the floor. The maximum setting should be 27°C.
NOTE: Ventilation ducts passing through compartment walls should comply with the guidance in Section 9.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.24 Live/work units

For flats serving as a workplace for both occupants and people who do not live on the premises, provide both of the following.
a. A maximum travel distance of 18m between any part of the working area and either of the following.
i. The flat entrance door.
ii. An alternative means of escape that is not a window.
If the travel distance is over 18m, the assumptions in paragraph 3.2 may not be valid. The design should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
b. Escape lighting to windowless accommodation in accordance with BS 5266-1.

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ADB1 2022 Para:3.25 Means of escape in the common parts of flats

The following paragraphs deal with means of escape from the entrance doors of
flats to a final exit. They do not apply to flats with a top storey that is a maximum
of 4.5m above ground level (designed in accordance with paragraphs 3.15 to 3.17).
Reference should also be made to the following.
a. Requirement B3 regarding compartment walls and protected shafts.
b. Requirement B5 regarding access for the fire and rescue service.

Department for Communities and Local Government, (2019) Means of escape in the common parts of flats. In: Approved Document B: Fire Safety - Volume 1: Dwellings. 2019 ed. Section 3: Means of escape – flats, 1 (3.25). RIBA Publishing Publication, London, p. 26. ISBN 9781859469156

ADB1 2019 Para:3.26 Number of escape routes

A person escaping through the common area, if confronted by the effects of a fire in another flat, should be able to turn away from it and make a safe escape via an alternative route.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.27 Number of escape routes

From the flat entrance door, a single escape route is acceptable in either of the following cases.
a. The flat is on a storey served by a single common stair and both of the following apply.
i. Every flat is separated from the common stair by a protected lobby or common protected corridor (see Diagram 3.7).
ii. The maximum travel distance in Table 3.1, for escape in one direction only, is not exceeded.
b. The flat is in a dead end of a common corridor served by two (or more) common stairs and the maximum travel distance given in Table 3.1, for escape in one direction only, is not exceeded (Diagram 3.8).

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.28 Small single stair buildings

For some low rise buildings, the provisions in paragraphs 3.26 and 3.27 may be modified and the use of a single stair, protected in accordance with Diagram 3.9, may be permitted where all of the following apply.
a. The top storey of the building is a maximum of 11m above ground level.
b. No more than three storeys are above the ground storey.
c. The stair does not connect to a covered car park, unless the car park is open sided (as defined in Section 11 of Approved Document B Volume 2).
d. The stair does not serve offices, stores or other ancillary accommodation. If it does, they should be separated from the stair by a protected lobby or protected corridor (minimum REI 30) with a minimum 0.4m2 of permanent ventilation, or be protected from the ingress of smoke by a mechanical smoke control system.
NOTE: For refuse chutes and storage see paragraphs 3.55 to 3.58.
e. Either of the following is provided for the fire and rescue service.
i. A high-level openable vent with a free area of at least 1m2 at each storey.
ii. A single openable vent with a free area of at least 1m2 at the head of the stair, operable remotely at the fire and rescue service access level.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.29 Flats with balcony or deck access

Paragraph 3.27 may be modified using the guidance in clause 7.3 of BS 9991.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.3 Introduction

Provisions are recommended to support a stay put evacuation strategy for blocks of flats. It is based on the principle that a fire is contained in the flat of origin and common escape routes are maintained relatively free from smoke and heat. It allows occupants, some of whom may require assistance to escape in the event of a fire, in other flats that are not affected to remain.
Sufficient protection to common means of escape is necessary to allow occupants to escape should they choose to do so or are instructed/aided to by the fire service. A higher standard of protection is therefore needed to ensure common escape routes remain available for a longer period than is provided in other buildings.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.3 Diagram 3.3 Flat with restricted travel distance from furthest point to entrance

See para 3.18
Flat entrance
Kitchen area
Bath

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.30 Escape routes over flat roofs

Where a storey or part of a building has multiple escape routes available, one may be over a flat roof that complies with all of the following.
a. It should be part of the same building from which escape is being made.
b. The route across the roof should lead to a storey exit or external escape route.
c. The part of the roof (including its supporting structure) forming the escape route, and any opening within 3m of the escape route, should be of fire resisting construction (minimum REI 30).
d. The route should be clearly defined and guarded by walls and/or protective barriers to protect against falling.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.30(d Escape routes over flat roofs

Where a storey or part of a building has multiple escape routes available, one may be over a flat roof that complies with all of the following.
d. The route should be clearly defined and guarded by walls and/or protective barriers to protect against falling.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.31 Common escape routes

The following paragraphs deal with means of escape from the entrance doors of flats to a final exit.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.32 Common escape routes

Escape route travel distances should comply with Table 3.1.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.33 Common escape routes

An escape route should not pass through one stair enclosure to reach another. It may pass through a protected lobby (minimum REI 30) of one stair to reach another.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.34 Common escape routes

Common corridors should be protected corridors. The wall between each flat and the corridor should be a compartment wall (minimum REI 30 where the top storey is up to 5m above ground level, otherwise REI 60).

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.35 Common escape routes

Divide a common corridor connecting two or more storey exits with a fire doorset fitted with a self-closing device (minimum E 30 Sa). See Diagram 3.8. Associated screens should be fire resisting. Site doors so that smoke does not affect access to more than one stair.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.36 Common escape routes

A fire doorset (minimum E 30 Sa) fitted with a self-closing device (and fire resisting screen, where required) should separate the dead-end portion of a common corridor from the rest of the corridor (Diagrams 3.7a, 3.8b and 3.8c).

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.37 Common escape routes

Ancillary accommodation should not be located in, or entered from, a protected lobby or protected corridor forming the only common escape route on that storey.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.38 Headroom in common escape routes

Escape routes should have a minimum clear headroom of 2m. The only projections allowed below this height are door frames.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.39 Flooring of common escape routes

Escape route floor finishes should minimise their slipperiness when wet. Finishes include the treads of steps and surfaces of ramps and landings.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.4 Introduction

Paragraphs 3.6 to 3.23 deal with the means of escape within each flat. Paragraphs 3.25 to 3.89 deal with the means of escape in common areas of the building (including mixed use buildings in paragraphs 3.76 and 3.77). Guidance for live/work units is given in paragraph 3.24.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.4 "Diagram 3.4 Flat with an alternative exit, but where all habitable rooms have no direct access to an entrance hall"

See para 3.19
NOTE: The bedrooms are not classified as inner rooms because escape is possible in two directions.
Fire doorset
Fire resisting construction (minimum REI 30) between living and bedroom accommodation
Alternative exit

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.40 Ramps and sloping floors

A ramp forming part of an escape route should meet the provisions in Approved Document M. Any sloping floor or tier should have a pitch of not more than 35 degrees to the horizontal.

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ADB1 2022 Para:3.41 Lighting of common escape routes

Except for two storey blocks of flats, all escape routes should have adequate artificial lighting. If the mains electricity power supply fails, escape lighting should illuminate the route (including external escape routes).

Department for Communities and Local Government, (2019) Lighting of common escape routes. In: Approved Document B: Fire Safety - Volume 1: Dwellings. 2019 ed. Section 3: Means of escape – flats, 1 (3.41). RIBA Publishing Publication, London, p. 30. ISBN 9781859469156

ADB1 2019 Para:3.42 Lighting of common escape routes

In addition, escape lighting should be provided to all of the following.
a. Toilet accommodation with a minimum floor area of 8m2.
b. Electricity and generator rooms.
c. Switch room/battery room for emergency lighting system.
d. Emergency control rooms.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.43 Lighting of common escape routes

Escape stair lighting should be on a separate circuit from the electricity supply to any other part of the escape route.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.44 Lighting of common escape routes

Escape lighting should conform to BS 5266-1.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.45 Exit signs on common escape routes

Every doorway or other exit providing access to a means of escape, other than exits in ordinary use (e.g. main entrances), should be distinctively and conspicuously marked by an exit sign in accordance with BS ISO 3864-1 and BS 5499-4. For this reason, blocks of flats with a single stair in regular use would not usually require any fire exit signage.
Advice on fire safety signs, including emergency escape signs, is given in the HSE publication Safety Signs and Signals: Guidance on Regulations.
Some buildings may require additional signs to comply with other legislation.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.46 Protected power circuits

To limit potential damage to cables in protected circuits, all of the following should apply.
a. Cables should be sufficiently robust.
b. Cable routes should be carefully selected and/or physically protected in areas where cables may be exposed to damage.
c. Methods of cable support should be class A1 rated and offer at least the same integrity as the cable. They should maintain circuit integrity and hold cables in place when exposed to fire.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.47 Protected power circuits

A protected circuit to operate equipment during a fire should achieve all of the following.
a. Cables should achieve PH 30 classification when tested in accordance with BS EN 50200 (incorporating Annex E) or an equivalent standard.
b. It should only pass through parts of the building in which the fire risk is negligible.
c. It should be separate from any circuit provided for another purpose.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.48 Protected power circuits

Guidance on cables for large and complex buildings is given in BS 5839-1, BS 5266-1 and BS 8519.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.49 Smoke control in common escape routes

Despite the provisions described, it is probable that some smoke will get into the common corridor or lobby from a fire in a flat.
There should therefore be some means of ventilating the common corridors/lobbies to control smoke and so protect the common stairs. This means of ventilation offers additional protection to that provided by the fire doors to the stair, as well as some protection to the corridors/lobbies.
Ventilation can be natural (paragraphs 3.50 to 3.53) or mechanical (paragraph 3.54).

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.5 General provisions Mixed use buildings

In mixed use buildings, separate means of escape should be provided from any storeys or parts of storeys used for the ‘residential’ or ‘assembly and recreation’ purpose groups (purpose groups 1, 2 and 5), other than in the case of certain small buildings or buildings in which the residential accommodation is ancillary (see paragraphs 3.76 and 3.77)

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.5 "Diagram 3.5 Multi-storey flat with alternative exits from each habitable room, except at entrance level"

See para 3.21
NOTE: This only applies where at least one storey is more than 4.5m above ground level.
Alternative exit
Bathroom
ENTRANCE LEVEL
LEVEL(S) ABOVE OR BELOW ENTRANCE LEVEL

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.50 Smoke control of common escape routes by natural smoke ventilation

Except in buildings that comply with Diagram 3.9, the corridor or lobby next to each stair should have a smoke vent. The location of the vent should comply with both of the following.
a. Be as high as practicable.
b. Be positioned so the top edge is at least as high as the top of the door to the stair.

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ADB1 2022 Para:3.51 Smoke control of common escape routes by natural smoke ventilation

Smoke vents should comply with one of the following.
a. They should be located on an external wall with minimum free area of 1.5m2.
b. They should discharge into a vertical smoke shaft, closed at the base, that meets all of the following criteria.
i. The shaft should conform to the following conditions.
• Have a minimum cross-sectional area of 1.5m2 (minimum dimension 0.85m in any direction).
• Open at roof level, minimum 0.5m above any surrounding structures within 2m of it horizontally.
• Extend a minimum of 2.5m above the ceiling of the highest storey served by the shaft.
ii. The free area of all the following vents should be a minimum of 1m2 in the following places.
• From the corridor or lobby into the shaft.
• At the opening at the head of the shaft.
• At all internal locations within the shaft (e.g. safety grilles).
iii. The smoke shaft should be constructed from a class A1 material. All vents should either be a smoke leakage (Sa) rated fire doorset (see Appendix C, Table C1, item 2.e for minimum fire resistance) or fitted with a smoke control damper achieving the same period of fire resistance and designed to operate as described below. The shaft should be vertical from base to head, with a maximum of 4m at a maximum inclined angle of 30 degrees.
iv. If smoke is detected in the common corridor or lobby, both of the following should occur.
• Simultaneous opening of vents on the storey where the fire is located, at the top of the smoke shaft and to the stair.
• Vents from the corridors or lobbies on all other storeys should remain closed, even if smoke is subsequently detected on storeys other than where the fire is located.

Department for Communities and Local Government, (2019) Smoke control of common escape routes by natural smoke ventilation. In: Approved Document B: Fire Safety - Volume 1: Dwellings. 2019 ed. Section 3: Means of escape – flats, 1 (3.51). RIBA Publishing Publication, London, p. 32. ISBN 9781859469156

ADB1 2019 Para:3.52 Smoke control of common escape routes by natural smoke ventilation

A vent to the outside with a minimum free area of 1m2 should be provided from the top storey of the stair.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.53 Smoke control of common escape routes by natural smoke ventilation

In single stair buildings, smoke vents on the storey where the fire is initiated, and the vent at the head of the stair, should be activated by smoke detectors in the common parts.
In buildings with more than one stair, smoke vents may be activated manually. The control system should open the vent at the head of the stair before, or at the same time as, the vent on the storey where the fire is located. Smoke detection is not required for ventilation purposes in this instance.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.54 Smoke control of common escape routes by mechanical ventilation

Guidance on the design of smoke control systems that use pressure differentials is available in BS EN 12101-6.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.55 Refuse chutes and storage

Refuse storage chambers, refuse chutes and refuse hoppers should be sited and constructed in accordance with BS 5906.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.56 Refuse chutes and storage

Refuse chutes and rooms for storing refuse should meet both of the following conditions.
a. Be separated from other parts of the building by fire resisting construction (minimum REI 30 in buildings with a top storey up to 5m above ground level; otherwise REI 60).
b. Not be situated within a protected stairway or protected lobby.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.57 Refuse chutes and storage

The approach to rooms containing refuse chutes or for storing refuse should comply with one of the following conditions.
a. Be directly from the open air.
b. Be through a protected lobby with a minimum of 0.2m2 of permanent ventilation.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.58 Refuse chutes and storage

Access openings to refuse storage chambers should not be sited in the following areas.
a. Next to escape routes or final exits.
b. Near the windows of flats.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.59 Common stairs Number of common stairs

A building should provide access to more than one common stair if it does not meet the criteria for a single common stair (see paragraph 3.26 and 3.27).

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.6 Emergency escape windows and external doors

Windows or external doors providing emergency escape should comply with all of the following.
a. Windows should have an unobstructed openable area that complies with all of the following.
i. A minimum area of 0.33m2.
ii. A minimum height of 450mm and a minimum width of 450mm (the route through the window may be at an angle rather than straight through).
iii. The bottom of the openable area is a maximum of 1100mm above the floor.
b. People escaping should be able to reach a place free from danger from fire.
c. Locks (with or without removable keys) and opening stays (with child-resistant release catches) may be fitted to escape windows.
d. Windows should be capable of remaining open without being held.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.6 Diagram 3.6 Multi-storey flat with protected entrance hall and landing

See para 3.21
NOTE: This only applies where at least one storey is more than 4.5m above ground level.
Fire doorset
Fire resisting stair enclosure(minimum REI 30)
Alternative exit

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.60 Width of common stairs

A stair of acceptable width for everyday use will be sufficient for escape purposes. If it is also a firefighting stair, it should be at least 1100mm wide. The width is the clear width between the walls or balustrades. Any handrails and strings intruding into that width by a maximum of 100mm on each side may be ignored.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.61 Protection of common stairs

Section 7 provides guidance on avoiding the spread of fire between storeys. For a stair that is also a firefighting stair, guidance in Section 15 should be followed.

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ADB1 2022 Para:3.62 Enclosure of common stairs

Every common stair should be a protected stairway. Where the protected stairway passes from one compartment to another, it should be within a protected shaft.

Department for Communities and Local Government, (2019) Enclosure of common stairs. In: Approved Document B: Fire Safety - Volume 1: Dwellings. 2019 ed. Section 3: Means of escape – flats, 1 (3.62). RIBA Publishing Publication, London, p. 33. ISBN 9781859469156

ADB1 2019 Para:3.63 External walls adjacent to protected stairways

With some configurations of external wall, a fire in one part of a building could subject the external wall of a protected stairway to heat (for example, where the two are adjacent at an internal angle in the façade, as shown in Diagram 3.10).

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.64 External walls adjacent to protected stairways

If a protected stairway projects beyond, is recessed from or is in an internal angle of the adjoining external wall of the building, then the minimum distance between an unprotected area of the building enclosure and an unprotected area of the stair enclosure should be 1800mm.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.65 External escape stairs

Flats may be served by an external stair if the provisions in paragraphs 3.66 to 3.69 are followed.

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ADB1 2022 Para:3.66 External escape stairs

Where a storey (or part of a building) is served by a single access stair, that stair may be external provided both of the following conditions are met.
a. The stair serves a floor not more than 6m above the ground level.
b. The stair meets the provisions in paragraph 3.68.

Department for Communities and Local Government, (2019) External escape stairs. In: Approved Document B: Fire Safety - Volume 1: Dwellings. 2019 ed. Section 3: Means of escape – flats, 1 (3.66). RIBA Publishing Publication, London, p. 34. ISBN 9781859469156

ADB1 2019 Para:3.67 External escape stairs

Where more than one escape route is available from a storey (or part of a building), then some of the escape routes from that storey or part of the building may be by way of an external stair provided all of the following conditions are met:
a. There is a at least one internal escape stair from every part of each storey (excluding plant areas).
b. The stair serves a floor not more than 6m above either the ground level or a roof podium which is itself served by an independent protected stairway.
c. The stair meets the provisions in paragraph 3.68.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.68 External escape stairs

Any external escape stair should meet all of the following conditions (Diagram 3.11).
a. Doors to the stair should be fire resisting (minimum E 30) and be fitted with a self-closing device, except for a single exit door from the building to the top landing of a downward-leading external stair, provided it is the only door onto the landing.
b. Fire resisting construction (minimum RE 30) is required for the building envelope within the following zones, measured from the flights and landings of the external stair.
i. 1800mm above and horizontally.
ii. 9m vertically below.
iii. 1100mm above the top landing of the stair (except where the stair leads from basement to ground level).
c. Fire resisting construction (minimum RE 30) should be provided for any part of the building (including doors) within 1800mm of the escape route from the foot of the stair to a place of safety. This does not apply if there are alternative escape routes from the foot of the external escape stair.
d. Glazing in areas of fire resisting construction should be fixed shut and fire resisting (in terms of integrity but not insulation) (minimum E 30).
e. Stairs more than 6m in height above ground level (e.g. where they are provided above a podium) should be protected from adverse weather. Protection should prevent the build-up of snow or ice but does not require full enclosure.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.69 External escape stairs

Access to an external escape stair may be via a flat roof, provided the flat roof meets the requirements of paragraph 3.30.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.7 Inner rooms

An inner room is permitted when it is one of the following.
a. A kitchen.
b. A laundry or utility room.
c. A dressing room.
d. A bathroom, WC or shower room.
e. Any room on a storey that is a maximum of 4.5m above ground level which is provided with an emergency escape window as described in paragraph 3.6.
f. A gallery that complies with paragraph 3.13.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.7 Diagram 3.7 Flats served by one common stair

See paras 3.27 and 3.36
NOTES:
1. The arrangements shown also apply to the top storey.
2. See Diagram 3.9 for small single stair buildings.
3. All doors shown are fire doorsets.
4. Where travel distance is measured to a stair lobby, the lobby must not provide direct access to any storage room, flat or other space containing a potential fire hazard.
5. For further guidance on the fire rating of the fire doorsets from the corridor to the flat and/or stairway refer to Appendix C ,Table C1.
F Flat
Shaded areas indicate zones where ventilation should be provided in accordance with paragraphs 3.50 to 3.53(An external wall vent or smoke shaft located anywhere in the shaded area)

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.7 Diagram 3.7 (b) Flats served by one common stair

See paras 3.27 and 3.36
NOTES:
1. The arrangements shown also apply to the top storey.
2. See Diagram 3.9 for small single stair buildings.
3. All doors shown are fire doorsets.
4. Where travel distance is measured to a stair lobby, the lobby must not provide direct access to any storage room, flat or other space containing a potential fire hazard.
5. For further guidance on the fire rating of the fire doorsets from the corridor to the flat and/or stairway refer to Appendix C ,Table C1.
F Flat
Shaded areas indicate zones where ventilation should be provided in accordance with paragraphs 3.50 to 3.53(An external wall vent or smoke shaft located anywhere in the shaded area)

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.70 Separation of adjoining protected stairways

The construction separating two adjacent protected stairways (or exit passageways leading to different final exits) should be imperforate.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.71 Basement stairs

If a building does not meet the criteria of paragraph 3.28, an escape stair forming part of the only escape route from an upper storey should not continue down to serve a basement storey. The basement storey should be served by a separate escape stair.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.72 Basement stairs

Where multiple escape stairs serve the upper storeys, only one needs to end at ground level. Other stairs may connect with the basement storeys if there is a protected lobby or a protected corridor between the stairs and accommodation at each basement level.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.73 Stairs serving ancillary accommodation

Except in buildings described in paragraph 3.28, common stairs forming part of the only escape route from a flat should not serve any of the following.
a. Covered car park.
b. Boiler room.
c. Fuel storage space.
d. Other ancillary accommodation of similar fire risk.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.74 Stairs serving ancillary accommodation

Where a common stair is not part of the only escape route from a flat, it may also serve ancillary accommodation from which it is separated by a protected lobby or protected corridor (minimum REI 30).

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.75 Stairs serving ancillary accommodation

Where a stair serves an enclosed car park or place of special fire hazard, the lobby or corridor should have a minimum 0.4m2 of permanent ventilation or be protected from the ingress of smoke by a mechanical smoke control system.
NOTE: For refuse chutes and storage see paragraphs 3.55 to 3.58.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.76 Flats in mixed use buildings

In buildings with a maximum of three storeys above the ground storey, stairs may serve both flats and other occupancies, provided that the stairs are separated from each occupancy by protected lobbies (minimum REI 30) at each storey.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.78 Use of space within protected stairways

A protected stairway should not be used for anything else, except a lift well or electricity meters.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.79 Electricity meter(s) in protected stairways

In single stair buildings, electricity meters should be in securely locked cupboards. Cupboards should be separated from the escape route by fire resisting construction.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.8 Inner rooms

A room accessed only via an inner room (an inner inner room) is acceptable when all of the following apply.
a. It complies with paragraph 3.7.
b. The access rooms each have a smoke alarm (see Section 1).
c. None of the access rooms is a kitchen.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.8 Diagram 3.8 Flats served by more than one common stair

a. CORRIDOR ACCESS WITHOUT DEAD ENDS
b. CORRIDOR ACCESS WITH DEAD ENDS
The central door may be omitted if maximum travel distance is not more than 15m.
1. The arrangements shown also apply to the top storey.
2. For further guidance on the fire rating of the fire doorsets from the corridor to the flat and/or stairway refer to Appendix C ,Table C1.
Fire doorset provided in accordance with paragraphs 3.50 to 3.53(An external wall vent or smoke shaft located anywhere in the shaded area)
See paras 3.27 and 3.36

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.80 Gas service and installation pipes in protected stairways

Gas service and installation pipes and meters should not be within a protected stairway, unless installed in accordance with the Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996 and the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Eprints 341 not found.

ADB1 2019 Para:3.81 Exits from protected stairways

Every protected stairway should lead to a final exit, either directly or via a protected exit passageway. Any protected exit corridor or stair should have the same standard of fire resistance and lobby protection as the stair it serves.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.9 Basements

Basement storeys containing habitable rooms should have one of the following.
a. An emergency escape window or external door providing escape from the basement (see paragraph 3.6).
b. A protected stairway (minimum REI 30) leading from the basement to a final exit.

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ADB1 2019 Para:3.9 Diagram 3.9 Common escape route in small single stair building

a. SMALL SINGLE STAIR BUILDING
*If smoke control is provided in the lobby, the travel distance can be increased to 7.5m maximum(see Diagram 3.7, example b).
b. SMALL SINGLE STAIR BUILDING WITH NO MORE THAN TWO FLATS PER STOREY
The door between stair and lobby should be free from security fastenings.
If the flats have protected entrance halls, the lobby between the common stair and flat entrance is not essential.
NOTES:
1. The arrangements shown also apply to the top storey.
2. If the travel distance across the lobby in diagram (a) exceeds 4.5m, Diagram 3.7 applies.
3. Where,in Diagram (b), the lobby between the common stair and the dwelling is omitted in smal lsingle stair buildings, an automatic opening vent with a free area of at least 1m2 is required at the top of the stair,which is operated automatically on detection of smoke at any storey in the stair.
4. For further guidance on the fire rating of the fire doorsets from the corridor to the flat and/or stairway refer to Appendix C, Table C1.
Fire resisting construction
Openable vent at high level for fire service use (1.0m2 minimum free area); see paragraph 3.28eSee para 3.28
Diagram 3.9

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This list was generated on Wed Aug 17 13:25:57 2022 UTC.