Firefighting access

Other fixed installations

There are a number of other fixed installations including water mist, gaseous, deluge and fixed powder systems. If your premises have a fixed firefighting system that you are unfamiliar with, then please contact us for advice.

Where a fixed firefighting system forms an integral part of your fire safety strategy, it should be maintained in accordance with the relevant British Standard by a competent person.

Other facilities (including those for firefighters)

Building regulations and other Acts, including local Acts, may have required firefighting equipment and other facilities to be provided for the safety of people in the building and to help firefighters. Fire safety law places a duty on you to maintain such facilities in good working order and at all times.

These may include;

Access for fire engines and firefighters.

Firefighting shafts and lifts.

Fire suppression systems e.g. sprinklers, water mist and gaseous.

Smoke-control systems.

Dry or wet rising mains and firefighting inlets.

Information and communication arrangements e.g. fire telephones and wireless systems and information to brief the fire and rescue service when they arrive.

Firefighters switches.

Access for fire engines and firefighters

Buildings that have been constructed to modern building regulations or in accordance with certain local Acts will have been provided with facilities that allow fire engines to approach and park within a reasonable distance so that firefighters can use their equipment without too much difficulty.

These facilities may consist of access roads to the building, hard standing areas for fire engines and access into the building for firefighters. It is essential that where such facilities are provided they are properly maintained and available for use at all relevant times.

Where a building is used by a number of different occupants you will need to ensure co-operation between the various "responsible persons" to maintain fire and rescue service access. In exceptional cases, where access is persistently obstructed, you may need to make additional arrangements.

Firefighting shafts and lifts

Firefighting shafts are provided in larger buildings to help firefighters reach floors further away from the building`s access point. They enable firefighting operations to start quickly and in comparative safety by providing a safe route from the point of entry to the floor where the fire has occurred.

Entry points from a stairway in a firefighting shaft to a floor will be via a lobby, through two sets of fire and smoke-resisting doors and walls. Many people will use the stairway for normal movement through the building and it is important that the safety features are not compromised by doors being wedged open.

Most firefighters shafts will also incorporate a firefighting lift which opens into the lobby. The lift will have a back-up electrical supply and car control overrides. The primary function of the lift is to transport firefighting personnel and their equipment to the scene of a fire with the minimum amount of time and effort. It may also be used to help evacuate less mobile people.

Alterations that might affect the shaft should not be made without first liaising with other responsible persons, any owners or managing agents and the enforcing authority. Any proposed changes will require Building Regulations approval from a Building Control Body.Where a firefighting shaft is provided, it should be maintained by a competent person.