Fire safety - existing care homes: practical guidance

Guidance for those who have responsibility under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 for ensuring fire safety in care homes in Scotland.

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Chapter 10: Fire and Rescue Service Facilities

292. To comply with building regulations or other legislation, premises may have been provided with facilities, equipment and devices for use by, or protection of, fire-fighters. Fire safety law includes a duty requiring maintenance of such features. Some general information is included below, current provision standards can be obtained from the Building Regulation Technical Handbook.

293. The Fire and Rescue Service should be notified of any changes affecting existing facilities for fire-fighters.

Fire and Rescue Service Access

294. Buildings may be provided with facilities such as access roads and hard standing areas that allow Fire and Rescue Service vehicles to approach and park within a reasonable distance. Vehicle access to the building exterior may enable high reach appliances, such as turntable ladders and hydraulic platforms to be used, and to enable pumping appliances to supply water and equipment for fire-fighting and rescue. Table 8 shows access dimensions.

Table 8 - Access route dimensions for Fire and Rescue Service vehicles
High reach appliance Pumping appliance only
Minimum width of road between kerbs 3.7m 3.7m
Minimum width of gateways etc 3.5m 3.5m
Minimum clearance height 4m 3.7m
Minimum turning circle between kerbs 26m 16.8m
Minimum turning circle between walls 29m 19.2m
Minimum axle loading 14 tonnes 14 tonnes

Water Supply for Fire and Rescue Service Use

295. Fire-fighting operations often depend on a sufficient supply of water to control fire growth External water hydrants provide a water supply for use by the Fire and Rescue Service. Where no adequate piped water supply is available, an alternative supply may have been provided such as a fixed water tank, or access to a spring, river, canal, loch or pond, with suitable access for a Fire and Rescue Service pumping appliance.

Smoke Ventilation

296. Smoke ventilators or outlets may be provided for the specific purpose of assisting Fire and Rescue Service personnel with smoke control and clearance. These may be located in basement storeys and stairs, and may be openable windows.



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