Building Regulations Support
As a responsible Authority Avon Fire and Rescue Service are consulted on New Building Regulation applications. We have a duty to ensure that all applications meet the functional requirements for Fire Safety.
Building Regulations are statutory instruments that seek to ensure that the policies set out in the relevant legislation are carried out. Building Regulations approval is required for most building work in the UK. Building regulations that apply across England and Wales are set out in the Building Act 1984.The detailed requirements of Building regulations in England and Wales are scheduled within 14 separate headings, each designated by a letter ("Part A" to "Part R"), and covering aspects such as "structure", "fire safety", "access", "electrical", "protection from falling", "drainage", and so on.
The Regulations also specify, that some types of work must be undertaken by an appropriate qualified professional (such as works on gas or certain electrical matters), or must be notified to the relevant local authority's Building regulations approval for certification or approval. Building regulations are distinct from planning permission ; they control how buildings are to be designed or modified while planning permission is concerned with appropriate development, the nature of land usage, and the appearance of neighbourhoods. Therefore, both must be considered when building works are to be undertaken.
The Regulations consider five aspects of fire safety in the construction of buildings:
Requires safe means of escape from the building.Requires the stability of a building to be maintained in a fire, both internally and externally.
Internally - The wall lining i.e. plaster, plasterboard or wooden boards on the walls and ceiling will resist the spread of flames and give off reasonable levels of heat, if on fire.
Internal stability will be maintained during fire and fire spread will be prohibited.
Fire and smoke will be prohibited from spreading to concealed spaces in a buildings structure.
Externally - The external walls and roof will resist spread of fire to walls and roofs of other buildings.
The building will be easily accessible for fire fighters and their equipment.
Avon Fire and Rescue service Technical Fire safety officers welcome dialogue with business owners prior to the formal application stage. This allows for early discussions with architects, approved inspectors and importantly the owner to address plans that may not comply. This early dialogue and consultation may make subtle changes to the plans that may cost a small amount at this stage but may save a large amount of time effort and importantly money in the long term