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1 Usage categories

Usage category 4 comprises building sections for night time occupancy, in which the people who occupy the building section are
familiar with the escape routes from the building section and are capable of taking themselves unaided to a place of safety.
Usage category 4: Blocks of flats, student and youth accommodation and single-family houses, semi-detached houses, terraced and
linked houses, cluster houses and holiday homes.

5.2 Escape routes and rescue provisions

Buildings must be laid out so as to facilitate safe, easy evacuation via escape routes or directly to the outside. Evacuation must be to
ground level outside or to a safe place in the building. Suitable provision must be made in livestock housing for both the livestock and
the emergency services.

A corresponding safety level can be achieved by, for example, providing at least two escape routes that are
independent of each other.
In this context a fire-resisting unit might be a room, a fire compartment or a fire section.
In traditional buildings, exits to escape routes should be located at or immediately next to opposite ends of the
room, and the distance from any point in the room to the nearest exit or door to an escape route should be no more
than 25 m.

The number of rescue openings in a fire-resisting unit must be appropriate for the number of people for which the room is designed.
Rescue openings must be located and formed in such a way that people can make their presence known to the emergency services. They
must also be formed such that people can be rescued via emergency services ladders or by themselves, unless the building is laid out as
specified in 5.2(8).

(5.2(7)) Fire escape windows should be easy to identify, reach and use. Fire escape windows cannot replace exits or escape

Width of escape routes, access doors and doors in escape routes.

According to Building Regulations 2015, part 3.2 concerning accessibility, the doors in common access routes shall have a
minimum width 77 cm. Also, the corridors in common access routes shall have a clear width of minimum 1.3 m and staircases
shall have a clear width of minimum 1.0 m.

5.4 Fire safety installations

Each residential unit in building sections in usage category 4 must have a smoke alarm system that is connected to the power supply and
has battery backup.

At least one smoke alarm should be fitted in each dwelling, but at least one on each floor. Dwellings that have their own burners should
also have a smoke detector installed in the room where the burner is placed. Smoke detectors should be interconnected. Fitting more than
one smoke alarm in the dwelling permits the individual occupants to be given a quicker, more timely warning. It is important not to leave
too great a distance between smoke alarms.

Capacity criteria:
The fire resistance of a building material and a building component can be described on the basis of the following
capacity criteria:
R – for load bearing capacity Is relevant for load bearing building components: The requirements are related to deformation and
deformation speed.
E – for integrity Is relevant for separating building components. Three aspects are evaluated:
1. Cracks and crevices exceeding certain dimensions.
2. The ignition of a piece of cotton fabric on the unexposed side.
3. Continuous flaming for more than 10 seconds on the unexposed side.
I – for insulation Is relevant for separating building components. As a general rule the temperature increase on the unexposed side
must not exceed:
- 140 °C at average
- 180 °C average at any point.

Classification of building components

The registered time span for maintaining capacity criteria at a standardized fire test is indicated in minutes, for
example 30, 60, 90, 120. The classification is described below:
Load bearing building components
REI time - the time span where all three criteria, load bearing capacity, integrity and insulation are fulfilled
RE time - the time span where the two criteria, load bearing capacity and integrity, are fulfilled
R time - the time span where the criteria load bearing capacity is fulfilled.
Non load bearing building components
EI time - the time span where the two criteria, integrity and insulation, are fulfilled
E time - the time span where the criteria integrity is fulfilled

Fire partitioning
In buildings with 2 storeys and a basement the storey partition above the basement must be constructed minimum as class REI 60. The
basement staircase must therefore be separated in fire resisting terms from the basement or ground floor with a component minimum class EI 60
[BD-building component 60] and with a door minimum class EI2 30-C.

Building component EU fire classification Materials used

Ground slab basement Fire resistance R 60 100mm concrete
250mm insulation
150mm gravel
External walls basement Fire resistance R 60 Prefabricated sandwich elements 500 mm:
Outer leaf 100mm concrete
Insulation 250 mm
Inner leaf 150 mm concrete
Loadbearing internal wall Fire resistance REI 60 Prefabricated lightweight concrete element
150 mm
Storey partition above Fire resistance REI 60 Sound deck elements LAC 140/1750 –
lightweight concrete
Basement door to staircase Fire resistance EI2 30C Fire resistant door width 91cm (>77cm)

External walls ground and 1st Fire resistance R 30 Outer leaf 108mm brick
Insulation 250 mm
floor Inner leaf 150 mm prefabricated concrete
Loadbearing internal wall Fire resistance REI 30 Loadbearing internal wall
ground floor basement
Storey partition above ground Fire resistance REI 30 I joists - 220 x 89 mm spaced at 450 mm
with 100mm Rockwool insulation an 120
floor mm spray foam insulation
Roof coverings Reaction to fire Class BROOF(t2) Roof slates on wood battens and plywood
(Collated examples of fire safety measures in buildings 2012)