The purpose of building and fire regulations is to ensure that anyone wishing to design, construct or alter a building does so to a set of national standards.
LOFT CONVERSIONS – means of escape in the event of a fire.
If you propose to convert the roof of your two storey house to add a third storey then a means of escape regulation is required in the event of a fire. If your property is a bungalow and you plan to convert the roof space then the requirements will be less troublesome but in both cases building regulation application will be required.
When considering the means of escape provision for a two storey house with a converted loft space there are many possible ways in which to achieve compliance with the regulations.
The following provision applies where the conversion is not more then 50m2 in floor area and not raising above the existing ridge level.
ENCLOSURE OF THE EXISTING STAIR – The stair in the ground and first storeys should be enclosed with walls and/or partitions which are fire resisting and the enclosure should extend to a final exit.
DOORWAYS – Every doorway within the enclosure of the existing stair should be fitted with a self closing device where the door leads to a habitable room. Any new doors should be fire doors, FD20 type with a self closing device.
GLAZING – Any glazing within the enclosure to the existing stair should be fire resisting.
NEW STAIR – The new stair leading to the new storey should meet the requirements of part K – stair ramps and guardings.
FIRE SEPARATION OF NEW STOREY – The new storey should be separated from the rest of the house by fire resisting construction.
ESCAPE WINDOWS – Each room in the new storey should be provided with an openable window for escape or rescue purposes. In a two room loft conversion a single escape window can be accepted providing both rooms have their own access to the stairs and a communicating door should be provided between the 2 rooms so that it is possible to gain access to the window without passing through the stair enclosure.