From listed toilets to grand buildings such as Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London, around our country we have some of the oldest buildings in the world with the most outstanding architecture. These buildings are often priceless and filled with irreplaceable antiques. Often these buildings are used as hotels, university buildings, government buildings or just open to the public to enjoy.
In recent years over 400 of these priceless buildings have been damaged or completely lost as a result of a fire. For example, the Claremont Hotel in Eastbourne, a Grade II listed building, which had to be demolished due to the extent of the damage from fire.
Despite the aged building being used as hotels, offices, universities, or places for the public to visit, they still have to comply with the RRFSO 2005 and the responsible person must still carry out fire risk assessments and ensure fire safety measures are in place and maintained.
It is essential that the compartmentation of these buildings are maintained. The majority of these buildings are either timber framed or in brick built historic buildings, floors and panelling are wooden. Many have thatched roofs and with these being centuries old and being very dry, in the event of fire will combust very easy and fire would spread rapidly. We can’t rebuild history, so we must protect it.
Frequently asked questions
The most likely answer is yes. If your building is a domestic dwelling and a single private dwelling with no communal areas it is not required, if unsure, review Article 6 of the RRFSO.
Whatever type of evacuation policy your building has, it is important that it is split into compartments so that any fire is restricted within a certain area for a certain time which would allow the occupants to move to an area of safety.
In some cases, fire doors can be repaired using approved techniques, but this depends on several factors and expert advice should be sought.