ACCESS FOR FIREFIGHTERS – 1

Provision should be made in design to allow firefighters good access to the building in the event of a fire, and to provide facilities to assist them in protecting life and property.
Sufficient access to the site for vehicles must be provided to allow fire appliances are ladders, hydraulic platforms and pumping appliances. Access roads for fire appliances should be at least 3.7m for pumps and 4.0m for high-reach appliances is required. The respective turning circles of these appliances are 17m and 26m between curbs. Allow 5.5m wide hardstanding adjacent to the building, as level as possible (Not more than 1:12) with a clearance zone of 2.2m to allow for the swing of the hydraulic platform.
Firefighters must be able to gain access to the building. The normal escape routes are sufficient in small and low buildings, but in high buildings and those with deep basements additional facilities such as firefighting lifts, stairs and lobbies, contained withing protected shafts, will be required.
Fire mains in multi storey buildings must be provided. These may be wet or dry risers (fallers in basements).
A means of venting basements to disperse heat and smoke must be provided. In basements, flames, gases and smoke tend to escape via stairways, making it difficult for firefighters to gain access to the fire. Smoke vents (or outlets) are needed to provide an alternative escape route for these emissions directly to the outside air and allow the ingress of cooler air. Regulations stipulate the positions and sizes of vents. Either natural venting or mechanical venting in association with a sprinkler system may be used.

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