Basic fire safety requirements are a vital part of general building regulations. Any construction project that requires approval under building regulations must pass inspection by the local authority's building control department. An alternative is to engage the services of a private approved inspector, but any reports issued by third parties such as this must still be passed by the local authority.
All building work, whether an extension, structural alteration or a new build property must be constructed in accordance with The Building Regulations 2010, Fire Safety, Approved Document B.
Approved document B (known as Part B) of the building regulations was divided into two separate volumes as part of the 2006 revision of the document. Following this revision, which was applied from April 2007 onwards, volume 1 specifically covers properties defined as 'Dwellinghouses', with volume 2 covering 'Buildings Other Than Dwellinghouses'.
This split allowed for the expansion of guidance on topics specific to non-domestic properties, though it is interesting to note that, in respect of the structural aspect of fire safety, many of the regulations in volumes 1 and 2 are very similar. This is because passive fire protection measures are implemented with the common purpose of containing or retarding the spread of fire, regardless of the use or function of a building.
Following on from the changes made in 2006, there have been a number of updates since and the most recent version of this document is now the 2019 edition. Volume 1 was renamed and now refers to 'Dwellings' whilst Volume 2 continues to reference 'Buildings Other Than Dwellings'.
Both volumes of part B of the building regulations dictate in detail the minimum levels of fire resistance required, and emphasise the importance of robust compartmentalisation in building design and construction. They also give guidance relating to a range of specific circumstances, and the appropriate passive fire protection measures required.
Passive fire protection is directly referenced in the following subsections of both volumes of approved document B:
There are also numerous references to PFP concepts such as protected areas throughout the parts of the regulations referring to escape routes. This shows how integral passive fire protection is to almost all aspects of construction, and underlines the importance of the concept.
Reviewed: 19/11/2019 (doc:101 V1.1). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.