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Safe as Houses?

Safe as Houses?

On 14th June 2017, more than 70 people died in one of the UK’s worst modern disasters, the fire at Grenfell Tower in London. The enquiry that followed led to many changes to fire-related legislation, many of which were long overdue. The external cladding was much talked about and there were many other contributing factors to the enormous devastation caused. New building control regulations were brought into effect in December 2018 and regulations have changed, so how about your own home? Are you aware of the potential risks and hazards around you?

Open Plan Living

Different styles of living come and go in terms of popularity. Many people adjust their living style rather than moving home. Walls come up and come down, staircases are opened up and closed in again and more space is carved out above and below. Open plan living and larger spaces are very much in vogue at the moment. Perhaps your kitchen opens up into your living or dining room, with no door between. Or you might be in the planning stages in which case there are regulations that need to be adhered to in order to have your plans approved.

In all living environments, you need to have a fire escape route clearly defined. If your escape route involves going through another room in order to exit the building, you are facing a serious risk – you may not be able to leave if the fire is in that room. You would be much better off if you could close a door on the open plan space and leave without going through it. If leaving via the open plan area is your only option, we would strongly recommend installing a fire suppression system, such as the iCO mist system, to help control any fire.

Loft Conversions

Many people are able to extend into their loft space to create more bedroom and bathroom space. But with the extra space comes extra risk. It is essential to seek expert advice on the type of building materials, insulation, doors and fire detection systems that must be fitted in order to meet building and safety regulations. An internal escape route is vital from the highest point in the house as exiting through a window isn’t a safe option for floor heights above 4.5 metres.

Other considerations

The fire service need access to put out a fire and it has been agreed that this should be within 45 metres of a property. But if this isn’t possible for any reason, a fire suppression system must be installed in order to start tackling any fires before the professional services get there. A mist system, like iCO, is the perfect solution as it will also allow any inhabitants to escape more easily. Another factor that many people don’t consider is the ratio between the height of their house and size of garden. A garden that is smaller than the height of a house poses a fire risk in terms of escape, so another element to work into your escape plan.

If you are concerned about any aspect of fire safety in your home, consult an expert and look at all the fire suppression and other fire protection options available. TM Services will be happy to help. Take a look around our site and call us on 020 8699 8113 or email enquiries@tmservicesltd.co.uk with any questions about how our products can bring you peace of mind.


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