Fire regulations for Loft Conversions
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If you’re considering extending your home by adding a loft conversion. The Fire regulations will apply to you and there’s a few things you’ll need to consider implementing into the your loft conversion design.
If your existing home already consists of two storeys (Ground level and First Floor Level). Adding an additional Second floor level will require compliance with the UK fire regulations. When you turn a two-storey building into a three-storey building. The fire regulations will apply to your home.
The following items will need to be implemented into your loft conversion design to ensure your property is compliant and a completion certificate is achieved and provided by the local building control inspector once your loft conversion is completed.
Any door along the main route of egress from the loft to the front door (main route for escaping in the event of a fire), will need to be upgraded to fire rated doors).
A smoke alarm will need to be installed on each floor level (Ground, First Floor & Second Floor Loft Area).
The smoke alarms must be all connected. So, if one goes off. They all go off to alert anyone residing within your home of the present danger of fire or smoke.
Create a Lobby Area on the ground floor
The reason why a lobby would need to be implemented is to create a segregated stairwell from the ground floor up to the loft area. So, in the event of a fire starting on the ground floor. This would reduce the spread of smoke from travelling up the stairwell from the ground floor onto the first and second floors. If you didn’t want to install a lobby area due to open plan designs being affected on the ground floor. It is possible to alternatively install a mist alarm (see below).
Mist Alarms can be fitted to reduce the spread of smoke and fire. In the event of a ground floor fire starting the mist alarms would release a mist which would dampen smoke and fire to prevent the smoke and fire from rising.
Fire Rated Plaster Gyproc Fire line 15mm Plasterboard is used mainly used due to its fire rated qualities which means it lasts longer in the event of a fire. This type of board is mainly used to encase steel lintels.
In loft areas a 12.5mm vapour panel board is commonly used due to it having a foiled backing which prevents dampness from passing through the board. So, in the event of a slipped roof tile allowing rainwater ingress. The rainwater would travel down the foiled back vapour plaster board panel. As opposed to soaking through the more common type of plaster board used internally in your home.
If 12.5mm type of plaster board was used in the construction of your loft. You would need to double board the loft area and the underside of the newly fitted staircase to reduce the spread of fire.
By double boarding a 12.5mm board. You’re essentially achieving the fire rated requirements in most instances.
12.5mm Plaster boards would also need to be stepped when over boarding to reduce smoke and fire from passing through gaps on the joints of the plasterboard. It is important this process is executed to comply with the fire regulations.
For more information
For more information and guidance on fire the regulations associated with loft conversions contact Gibbons Construction Management.
Gibbons Construction Management
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