This article focuses on the amendments made to both volumes of the approved document B; Fire Safety, Volume 1 – Dwellings and Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellings and how this might affect the management of apartment blocks and flats in England & Wales.
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The approved documents were approved and issued on 26th May 2020, but do not take effect until 26th November 2020.
The first change includes a trigger height for the provision of sprinklers within blocks of flats, reducing the threshold from 30m to 11m. It means that any block of flats with a storey over 11m above the lowest ground level must be provided with a sprinkler system.
The second change includes recommendations for floor indicator and flat signage which again applied to blocks of flats over 11m above the lowest ground level.
While the legislation does not appear to cater retrospectively for blocks of flats with a storey over 11m, in a hypothetical scenario where a ten storey building is approved to erecting a further two storeys on the top, and in the process is required to deposit those plans with Local Authority. The new legislation will apply, and a sprinkler system including floor and flat indictor signage would therefore apply.
A link to further information on the changes can be found at;
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