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Whitepaper on Temporary Change to UK Guidance for Simultaneous Evacuation of Flats

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A whitepaper from Howler considers updated evacuation guidance issues by the National Fire Chiefs Council in response to shortcomings identified following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in the UK.

NFCC Guidance: Temporary Change to Simultaneous Evacuation in Flats highlights NFCC recommendation: “The safest and most effective way of ensuring [that residents can escape safely] is by installing a suitable common fire detection and alarm system conforming to British Standard 5839 Part 1 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings – Code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises (BS 5839-1).”

Managing Director, Gary Askew, explains “Following the unprecedented national tragedy at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) issued guidance to property managers about steps to be taken where there were concerns around cladding issues. As time went by and more information became available, the guidance was updated and refined. Our whitepaper takes a good look at that guidance examining the problem and the solutions available.

What occurred at Grenfell was that fire separation failed completely and there is now an awareness amongst Fire Risk Assessors that there may be times when a stay-put is not adequate, and instead a building must be immediately, or ‘simultaneously’, evacuated in the event of a fire.

“With the news reporting on various councils up and down the country failing to meet fire safety standards, the whitepaper comes at an important time.

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“Thousands of blocks of residential flats in the UK still have a ‘stay-put’ policy in the event of fire. This simply means that residents are safely able to ‘stay-put’ in their flat in the event of a fire in another flat in the same block. This policy is only possible if the building has been designed and constructed in such a way that each flat is a separate fire compartment with fire separation being provided in accordance with the Building Regulations.

“What occurred at Grenfell was that fire separation failed completely and there is now an awareness amongst Fire Risk Assessors that there may be times when a stay-put is not adequate, and instead a building must be immediately, or ‘simultaneously’, evacuated in the event of a fire.

“We’ve been installing fire safety solutions for over 30 years and responding to the NFCC’s guidance have just launched ‘Howler Special Services’ which has been designed to include the installation of radio linked Fire Alarm systems specifically to facilitate the change in the evacuation strategy of large residential buildings. The systems typically replace a Waking Watch service and can either be removed once the remedial works are complete or be upgraded to a permanent BS8629 evacuation system.”

NFCC-Guidance-Howler-Whitepaper

Visit https://howleruk.com.

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Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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  • Staff Reporter

    FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

    View all Articles

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