Safety should be a key consideration in every building project, especially ones that make a significant change to your home such as a loft conversion. That’s why building regulations have a number of requirements to ensure that you and your family are safe inside your home and have easy ways to leave the building in case of fire.
In some occasions, these requirements might make the room a little less attractive or may add cost onto the build, but they are essential to pass building inspection and to provide peace of mind for you and your family.
Fire doors need to be installed in a loft conversion and any existing doors in the loft will need to be changed to fire doors. There needs to be a safe corridor from your loft to the outside of the building in case of fire, and the best and cheapest way to do this is to add fire doors to the escape route to your external door.
The only alternative to this is to escape to the exterior of the building directly from the loft conversion, but this would be considerably more costly and would require planning permission to build.
Adding Door Closers
Door closers are no longer a requirement, which is a relief to many clients who disliked the way they looked and the inconvenience they can sometimes cause. However, this does mean that your family will need to remember to close fire doors for them to do their job in an emergency.
Your Loft Windows
There are also requirements for the windows – if for some reason the stairs don’t offer a safe exit, one of the windows needs to be large enough to exit through. Building regulations set this at 450mm or wider, so there is a minimum size for at least one of your loft conversion windows. Fortunately, most of our clients opt for windows this size or smaller purely because of the aesthetics and desire to let in as much light as possible. Unlike other windows, your ‘escape window’ should be as close to the eaves as possible to allow rescue from the outside.
Your escape window also needs to feature non-locking fasteners, and while release restrictors aren’t a requirement they are recommended.
If you would like any enhanced safety features or are concerned about what happens to people in the loft in case of fire, please get in touch and we can discuss your options and concerns.