kitchen fire escape route

Fire risk

The Building Regulations in England and Wales, and also those in Scotland, are framed quite flexibly. Although the statutory requirements of the regulations are not laid out in great detail, they allow innovations both in terms of new products and in terms of unusual layouts, provided that the building remains adequately safe. In addition, specific guidance is provided in order to "set the bar" appropriately. The same is true of the Housing Act and the Fire Safety Order, when it comes to the ongoing operations of a building.


Studio Flat Example

Let's take the example of a studio flat which has its kitchen area near the exit. Approved Document B prescribes that kitchens should not have an opening directly onto a hall leading to the final exit in certain circumstances. However, with fire suppression installed, it may be acceptable to vary this layout, and there can be good reasons to do so. For example, placing the kitchen remotely from the door may compromise a view, destroying the architect's concept for the premises, or a twodio layout may place a shared kitchen/dining space near the flat entrance. The flexibility inherent in UK law allows layout variations as long as they are coupled with fire suppression (or other appropriate measures) to render them appropriately safe. When Automist is used in this way, its use may need to be supported with a risk assessment or fire engineer's report, and the authorities will evaluate such projects on a case-by-case basis. It should be noted that there may be specific additional requirements dependent upon local authority building regulations and/or fire authority.

  View some case studies - Automist used to mitigate a fire risk.