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FT 19 FIRE PHASE

MEANS OF ESCAPE (Part III)


OBJECTIVE 1. To explain the techniques of escapes from a building and their characteristics for a building to have a means of escapes. REFERENCE 2. Manual of Fireman ship Book 9.

CONTENTS 3. Enclosed Stairs. Such stairs are ready passageways for the spread of fire and smoke. TL may possible to accept such stairs if there are at least two and they are separated from each other at every floor level. Normally it will be necessary to ensure that any much open stair is enclosed with fire resisting materials. 4. Fully Enclosed Stairs. It should always be borne in mind that an enclosed staircase may not be enclosed with fire resisting retains its integrity for the required period time. Check plans carefully to ensure enclosures shown are fire resistance. 5. Protection of External Stairs. This is usually achieved by the use of self closing fire resisting access doors and fire resisting glassing to all adjacent windows. 6. One Stair Only Protected. This arrangement can be acceptable but is not entirely satisfactory. See figure 1 and 2. Staircase A would be immediately affected throughout its height. Staircase B would remain available but reliance is placed completely on one door. Should a door fail for any reason, both stairways would be affected on all floors above the source of fire and possibly below the source. 7. Passing Head of Protected Stairs. It must be ensured that, if escape could be cut off from one staircase, it is possible to pass the affected stairway and reach the alternative. The arrangement of enclosing doors shown in figure 3 is such that persons in the lead end conditions A or B could not reach their alternative staircase. By enclosing in the manner shown in Fig 4, this problem is eradicated. 8. Single Separation between Stairs. This term describes those conditions where two fire checks are provided to separate each stair from risk area. In Fig 6, this is achieved by the use of lobby approach stairway. Fig 7 shows how this arrangement can be achieved using the doors off the corridor to form the first check to a fire. In Fig 8, an arrangement is shown which is often used in flats where flat entrance door opens onto the stair enclosure. In this case, the doors to the room within the flat provide the first fire check. This arrangement cannot be used if there is no lobby between that flat entrance door and the rooms within the flat. 9. Single Stair Building. Before accepting single staircase building, particular care must be paid to the fire factors already discussed. Only if you are satisfied that reasonable means of escape is possible using only on staircase, should your accept this arrangement.

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10. Smoke Stopping. Before going on to consider in detail the movement of smoke, it is necessary to understand what is meant by the term smoke stop and also ways in which this may be achieved. 11. If one considers on ordinary light panel door which fits smartly into its frame then, provided the door is closed, it will stop smoke to some extent. Even though the door includes light glassing, some measure of smoke stopping will be achieved. However, more careful thought will show that there are two major disadvantages inherent in this type of door. a. b. No guarantee exists that the door will be closed when fire occurs. The door will collapse fairly rapidly when subjected heat.

12. Obviously therefore, a smoke stopping door must be self closing and also have some degree of fire resistance. 13. The degree of the resistance normally required for means escape purposes is 30 minutes. This standard is chosen because longer standard exists which is assessable by test. 14. There are three types of door which, in conjunction with resisting portions, will afford the necessary degree of protection. a. Fire Resisting Door (1 Hour Standard). Constructed to the standards of B.S.S 476 Pts I or 8 as appropriate. Where tested will maintain stability and integrity for a minimum of 30 minutes. b. Fire Check Door (1 Hour Standard). Constructed the standards of B.S.S. 459 Pt.3. A door leaf which together with its frame provides an effective barrier to the passage of flame for 30 minutes (stability) and meets the fully integrity requirements for a minimum of 20 minutes. c. Nominal Hour Door. Any door which is either of substantial construction or which has been adapted to afford a degree of fire resistance and which you can nominally assess as giving the necessary fire resistance. d. 15. All doors must be self closing if they to perform their function satisfactorily.

Horizontal Protection: a. Fire In Circulation Areas. Circulation areas will form, in most cases, the main escape routes. Therefore, it should be ensured so for as is possible of practicable, that fire cannot break out in or spread into, these areas. To this end all lining of such areas should be class O or non combustible. Furnishings, display units and all forms of storage should be discharged. b. Use of Self Closing doors. As previously stated, doors are to perform a smoke stop function must be self closing. They are used to break corridors into sections and thereby reduce the area of smoke logging, to separate stairs from the remainder of the floor area, to confirm an outbreak of fire to its origin place of origin and generally to ensure compartmentation. c. Alternative Exits. If one considers a small room, may 3m x 4m, with two occupant and a low fire risk, it is fairly certain that an alternative from that room will not be required so far as a fire in that room is concerned. When however, the risk to these occupants from fire in another part of the building is considered, an alternative may will be vitally necessary. This question can, therefore, only be decided in each particular case and no hard and fast rules can be made. Where alternative are required, they should always be kept separate from each other. This guidance is expressed in various ways but means that if any two exits are, in relation to the

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direction of travel, substantially the same, then they are not considered alternatives. The figure expresses as the minimum angle apart is 45 degrees. 16. If wherefore be seen that, if two exits are more then 45 degrees apart from any point of an area, then they may be accepted as alternatives to each other. The following diagrams illustrate this rule. Note: That these diagrams are in relation to one point of the floor area only. The 45 degrees rule must be observed from all point of the available floor area. 17. Dead End Conditions. As stated previously, a dead end condition exists where escapes is possible in one direction only. (Excluding small rooms). In planning means of escape from a proposed building, you should strive to either avoid dead ends buildings and limitation of travel distance may be the only solution. Where this is the case, most recent codes recommended a maximum of 12.2 mm travel distance although the Hotels Guide recommends a maximum of 76.m. 18. Long Corridors. Such corridors should be broken into sections by the use of fire check partition and doors across the corridor at intervals. The distance between such fire breaks will be determined by your assessment of the risk and the maximum travel distance through smoke you are prepared to accept. Reference to codes of practice will be most helpful, e.g. F: No 2/1964 which deals with old Persons Homes recommended a maximum 9m to the furthest separating door. The types of occupancy particularly whether is a sleeping risk or not, will be the deciding factors in setting the limits for the sitting of such doors.

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