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Author Topic: Help needed with a common sense approach...  (Read 1074 times)
Fairway123
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« on: January 20, 2017, 04:50:45 PM »

Hi All,

Second post in a week with occupancy quandaries - apologies.

We have a premises that is mainly used as office accommodation and is sparsely occupied. The building has L2 AFD and a very high standard of management. Someone wishes to hold an event on the first floor. The first floor is served by 2 protected staircases, and a large accommodation staircase. It is quite grand, and the bottom of the staircase is open hallway/foyer which is large and has no combustibles or anything constituting a hazard. It is basically marble and ornaments. the layout of the room means that it is highly unlikely for a fire to block 2 of the 3 available fire escapes. In the event of a fire people are going to use the accommodation staircase unless that is unusable. 

It seems mad that in this instance we would have to discount 2 of the staircases on the basis of none of them being lobbied and that one is an accommodation staircase. 

9999 states that you can use an accommodation staircase as a means of escape, and the CLG guide says that you can use it subject to a fire risk assessment.

So, on the basis of the facts that:

AFD is present, there are excellent levels of management (inc additional fire wardens for the event) limited combustibles near the accommodation staircase on both levels and the extremely unlikely event that a fire were to render 2 of the staircases inaccessible. the travel distance is less than 45m to the final exit using the accom staircase. Do you think it is reasonable to up the occupancy capacity by say 15% of the capacity of the accom staircase (which would be 40 people).

I have to say on a balance of probabilities that I think it is - but wanted to double check with the wisdom on here before I proceed. And I won't proceed with it if you think its a bad idea.

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nearlythere
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2017, 08:57:12 AM »

Hi All,

Second post in a week with occupancy quandaries - apologies.

We have a premises that is mainly used as office accommodation and is sparsely occupied. The building has L2 AFD and a very high standard of management. Someone wishes to hold an event on the first floor. The first floor is served by 2 protected staircases, and a large accommodation staircase. It is quite grand, and the bottom of the staircase is open hallway/foyer which is large and has no combustibles or anything constituting a hazard. It is basically marble and ornaments. the layout of the room means that it is highly unlikely for a fire to block 2 of the 3 available fire escapes. In the event of a fire people are going to use the accommodation staircase unless that is unusable. 

It seems mad that in this instance we would have to discount 2 of the staircases on the basis of none of them being lobbied and that one is an accommodation staircase. 

9999 states that you can use an accommodation staircase as a means of escape, and the CLG guide says that you can use it subject to a fire risk assessment.

So, on the basis of the facts that:

AFD is present, there are excellent levels of management (inc additional fire wardens for the event) limited combustibles near the accommodation staircase on both levels and the extremely unlikely event that a fire were to render 2 of the staircases inaccessible. the travel distance is less than 45m to the final exit using the accom staircase. Do you think it is reasonable to up the occupancy capacity by say 15% of the capacity of the accom staircase (which would be 40 people).

I have to say on a balance of probabilities that I think it is - but wanted to double check with the wisdom on here before I proceed. And I won't proceed with it if you think its a bad idea.


From what you say F123 you seem to have carried out a fire risk assessment already on the stairway situation.
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We're not Brazil we're Northern Ireland.
lyledunn
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2017, 09:16:30 AM »

Hi Fairway,
Seems a hell of a lot safer than one of the venues that I look after. Licensed for 500 on each of two floors but they cram them in such that the clicking system used for counting is as dizzy as the drunken students!
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lyledunn
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Posts: 289


« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 09:23:48 AM »

Ought to point out that I am far from relaxed about the situation described in my comment above. Council officials have visited on occasions and accepted door persons figures.
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kurnal
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 12:47:19 PM »

The benchmark figures in the guidance relating to exit capacity, door and staircase width are usually based on a 2.5 minute exit time. You might perhaps argue that the management and fire detection lead to early detection and response - as set out in 9999. This could lead to increased evacuation times and an increased capacity?
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Fairway123
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Posts: 21


« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2017, 03:54:28 PM »

Thanks for the responses all. Certainly some things to think about.

Much appreciated
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wee brian
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 12:59:07 PM »

The guides are for general activity - if this is a one off event and you've identified that there is adequate escape capacity, subject to managing the fire risk adjacent to the accom stair then that's what you do.  Write it down. Make sure somebody actually understand the issues. Job done.
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