Publication - Advice and guidance

Practical fire safety guidance for existing high rise domestic buildings

Published: 4 Dec 2019

This guidance provides practical fire safety advice on how to prevent fires and reduce the risks from fires in high rise domestic buildings.

77 page PDF

1.2 MB

77 page PDF

1.2 MB

Contents
Practical fire safety guidance for existing high rise domestic buildings
Annex 4: Glossary

77 page PDF

1.2 MB

Annex 4: Glossary

Definitions to assist readers in understanding some of the technical terms used in this guidance. In some cases, the definitions relate specifically to this guidance and may therefore differ from other definitions.

AOV (automatically opening vent)

A vent provided for smoke control in common areas, which opens automatically when smoke is detected by smoke detectors.

Cavity barrier

A construction provided to close a concealed space against penetration of smoke or flame, or provided to restrict the movement of smoke or flame within such a space.

Common areas

Those parts of a block of flats used by occupants of more than one flat for access and egress.

Emergency escape lighting

Lighting that provides illumination for the safety of people leaving the building when the normal lighting fails.

Escape route

Route forming part of the means of escape from any point in a building to the final exit.

Fire damper

Mechanical or intumescent device within a duct or ventilation opening, which is operated automatically in the event of fire, to prevent the passage of fire. (Where there is a need to prevent the passage of smoke, the fire damper needs to satisfy additional criteria.)

Firefighters lift

A lift, designed to have additional protection, with controls that enable it to be used under the direct control of the fire and rescue service.

Fire-fighting shaft

A fire-resisting enclosure containing a fire-fighting stair, rising fire mains, fire-fighting lobbies and a firefighters lift.

Fire resistance

The ability of a component or construction of a building to satisfy, for a stated period of time, some or all of the appropriate criteria of relevant fire test standards.

Fire stopping

A seal provided to close an imperfection of fit or design tolerance between elements or components, to restrict the passage of fire and smoke.

Fire-resisting door

A door which, with its frame and furniture, and when closed, is intended to restrict the passage of fire and smoke to a specified level of performance.

Means of escape

A route or routes provided to ensure safe egress from the premises to a place of total safety.

OV (Openable vent)

A vent provided for smoke control in the common areas, that can be opened by the fire and rescue service by means of hardware or a control (which may be located remotely) provided for the purpose.

Protected corridor or lobby

A corridor or lobby that is protected from fire in adjoining accommodation by fire-resisting construction.

Protected route

An escape route that is protected from the rest of the building by fire-resisting construction.

PV (Permanent vent)

A permanently open vent provided for smoke control in the common areas.

Rising fire main

A water supply pipe installed for fire-fighting purposes, fitted with landing valves at specific points. The main may be ‘dry’, in which case it is fitted with inlet connections so that it can be charged with water from a fire service pumping appliance. In taller blocks, the main is ‘wet’ and is permanently charged with water from a pressurised supply.

Self-closing device

A device that is capable of closing a door from any angle and against any latch fitted to the door.

SFRS

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Simultaneous evacuation

A procedure in which all parts of a block of flats are evacuated after the actuation of a common alarm of fire.

Smoke containment

A method of smoke control involving physical barriers to the spread of smoke, usually in combination with vents, primarily to prevent the passage of smoke into escape stairways.

Smoke dispersal

A method of smoke control used in older blocks of flats (now deprecated). Vents are sited to achieve uninterrupted natural cross-ventilation of corridors and lobbies in an endeavour to dilute and disperse smoke in these areas.

Spandrel panel

An external wall panel between window openings.

Stay put

The principle on which high rise building design is based.  It is an evacuation strategy where only the residents of the flat of fire origin need to escape initially, while other residents may remain in their own flats if unaffected by fire or smoke.

Travel distance

The distance to be travelled by a person from any point within a specified area, to the nearest exit leading to a place of relative safety.

Guidance documents

CP3 Chapter IV-1:1962 Code of basic data for the design of buildings. Precautions against fire. Fire precautions in flats and maisonettes over 80 ft in height (superseded)
CP3 Chapter IV-1: 1971 Code of basic data for the design of buildings. Precautions against fire. Flats and maisonettes (in blocks over two storeys) (superseded)
BS 5588-1:1990 Fire precautions in the design, construction and use of buildings. Code of practice for residential buildings (superseded)
BS 9991:2011 Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings. Code of practice (superseded)
BS 9991: 2015 Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings. Code of practice

Other British Standards referenced

BS EN 81-72: 2015 Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts - Particular applications for passenger and goods passenger lifts Part 72: Firefighters lifts
BS 5266-1:2016 Emergency lighting. Code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises’
BS 5266-8: Emergency escape lighting systems (BS EN 50172: 2004)
BS EN 1634-1:2014 Fire resistance and smoke control tests for door and shutter assemblies, openable windows and elements of building hardware. Fire resistance test for door and shutter assemblies and openable windows
BS EN 1634-2:2008 Fire resistance and smoke control tests for door, shutter and openable window assemblies and elements of building hardware. Fire resistance characterisation test for elements of building hardware
BS EN 1634-3:2004 Fire resistance and smoke control tests for door and shutter assemblies, openable window and elements of building hardware. Smoke control test for door and shutter assemblies
BS EN 13501‑1:2018 Fire classification of construction products and building elements. Classification using data from reaction to fire tests
BS EN 62305-2:2012 Protection against lightning. Risk management
BS EN 62305-3:2011 Protection against lightning, physical damage to structures and life hazard
BS 476-22:1987 Fire tests on building materials and structures. Method for determination of the fire resistance of non-loadbearing elements of construction
BS 5446-3:2015 Detection and alarm devices for dwellings. Specification for fire alarm and carbon monoxide alarm systems for deaf and hard of hearing people
BS 5839-6:2013 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for the design, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises
BS EN ISO 7010:2017 Graphical symbols. Safety colours and safety signs. Registered safety signs
BS 7273-4:2015 Code of practice for the operation of fire protection measures. Actuation of release mechanisms for doors
BS 7273-6:2019 Code of practice for the operation of fire protection measures. Fire detection and fire alarm systems. Interface with ancillary systems and equipment
BS 8214:2016 Timber-based fire door assemblies. Code of practice
BS 8629 (under development at time of print) Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation systems for use by fire and rescue services in buildings containing flats or maisonettes
BS 9251:2014 Fire sprinkler systems for domestic and residential occupancies. Code of practice
BS 9990:2015 Non-automatic fire-fighting systems in buildings. Code of practice
BS 9999:2017 Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings. Code of practice

Other guidance

‘Code of practice for the in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment’, third edition, Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2008.
‘Requirements for electrical installations: IEE wiring regulations’, 18th edition (BS 7671: 2018). Institution of Engineering and Technology 2018
‘BR 135 Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi-storey buildings’
‘Code of practice: Refurbishment of communal buildings and the fire risk of multi-layer paints’, Warringtonfire, 2005


Contact

Email: FireDivision@gov.scot