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Fire escape window regs

  • 24-10-2013 10:10am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 37


    Hi,

    We have just had some windows replaced. All good, mostly side hinged with typical escape openings about 500 wide and plenty high.
    Just one bedroom window to the front of the house has a top hinged window to match other window in the hall etc. The opening is quite large about 1.1m x 1.2m and the bottom of the opening is at 900mm or so from the floor. It just doesnt look like a great setup if one was to attempt to get out it. The top hinge allows it to open to about 45 degrees.
    Does this meet the requirements of the regs re fire escapes?
    Reading the regulations myself, it appears as long as there is 450mm clear in one direction and 0.33 m2, it should be ok but am I missing something. The clear opening Im thinking should be measured off the base of the opening and up and out to hit the frame (of handle), measuring at 90 degress to the opened window?


Comments

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,133 Mod ✭✭✭✭BryanF


    Ashevlin wrote: »
    The clear opening Im thinking should be measured off the base of the opening and up and out to hit the frame (of handle), measuring at 90 degress to the opened window?
    and what is that measurement?


  • Registered Users Posts: 37 Ashevlin


    I will check it tomorrow on site.
    I meant to say frame or handle there is the bit you quoted. Im guessing the handle should be the point to measure to with it being the limiting dimension as such.
    Anyway just to confirm that there is nothing wrong with the top hinge window opening out to 45 degrees being used as a fire escape subject to correct dimension being available.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,709 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo


    Openable area of 0.33 Sq. M and height from the ground at min 800mm and max 1100mm IIRC

    Edit, i would assume the 450mm is an unobstructed measurement, so when the window is fully open, the unobstructed area should be min of 450x450

    _598.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 37 Ashevlin


    kceire wrote: »
    Openable area of 0.33 Sq. M and height from the ground at min 800mm and max 1100mm IIRC

    Edit, i would assume the 450mm is an unobstructed measurement, so when the window is fully open, the unobstructed area should be min of 450x450

    _598.jpg

    Those are the regs im familiar with. It's just the top hinged window im wondering about. It certainly looks much more awkward to get out of than the side hinged window as shown there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,300 ✭✭✭martinn123


    I remember speaking to a Building Inspector from N. Irl a few years ago
    He used a simple trick, a cardboard Box.
    He had a box 450mm X 750mm X 750mm long I think, and if he could get the box through the window, it complied.
    Your problem seems to be with the Top hung window, opening to 45deg, what is the clear opening before a person would be obstructed by the handle/frame.

    Remember the Reg's are designed not just for exit, but for a Fireman in full equipment, to gain access through the window.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,884 ✭✭✭✭Riskymove


    Ashevlin wrote: »
    Hi,

    Just one bedroom window to the front of the house has a top hinged window to match other window in the hall etc.

    we got our upstairs front window to match the downstairs too...however, it is a dummy top part

    that way it is a full escape opening and also fits in


  • Registered Users Posts: 37 Ashevlin


    Riskymove wrote: »
    we got our upstairs front window to match the downstairs too...however, it is a dummy top part

    that way it is a full escape opening and also fits in

    Yes that is what Im typically seeing around here, a dummy rail or whatever.
    I just thought it was a little odd as Ive rarely if ever seen this top hung fire escape.


  • Registered Users Posts: 589 ✭✭✭ArraMusha


    Hi, I have a downstairs bedroom planned with a window 1400m wide by 1700mm height and it is 400mm from the ffl, it is sash style and it is planned to have the top half section as casement openings, is it impossible to meet the fire regs i.e. bottom of the opening must be between 800-1100mm, whereas the bottom of this window opening will be 1250mm.

    please see image attached..

    I dont want to modify this gable window if possible as this will impact the front windows, which are the same size, so I may have to change use of this room to an office or could I refer to the ensuite window as an 'alternative means of escape' as mentioned in the TGD document section 1.0.4

    :confused: thanks for reading.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,612 ✭✭✭Dardania


    martinn123 wrote: »
    I remember speaking to a Building Inspector from N. Irl a few years ago
    He used a simple trick, a cardboard Box.
    He had a box 450mm X 750mm X 750mm long I think, and if he could get the box through the window, it complied.
    Your problem seems to be with the Top hung window, opening to 45deg, what is the clear opening before a person would be obstructed by the handle/frame.

    Remember the Reg's are designed not just for exit, but for a Fireman in full equipment, to gain access through the window.

    Great way to look at it


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,709 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo


    ArraMusha wrote: »
    Hi, I have a downstairs bedroom planned with a window 1400m wide by 1700mm height and it is 400mm from the ffl, it is sash style and it is planned to have the top half section as casement openings, is it impossible to meet the fire regs i.e. bottom of the opening must be between 800-1100mm, whereas the bottom of this window opening will be 1250mm.

    please see image attached..

    I dont want to modify this gable window if possible as this will impact the front windows, which are the same size, so I may have to change use of this room to an office or could I refer to the ensuite window as an 'alternative means of escape' as mentioned in the TGD document section 1.0.4

    :confused: thanks for reading.

    An argument could be put forward to support your proposal imo.
    If the ensuite is within the bedroom in question, and you could also put a smoke detector linked to the rest of the system in the house and that will give you advance warning of a fire within the dwelling.

    Also, you are on the ground floor so that makes it easier to escape.

    The thing is, who is signing off on the build? He will decide if you can do it or not.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 589 ✭✭✭ArraMusha


    kceire wrote: »
    An argument could be put forward to support your proposal imo.
    If the ensuite is within the bedroom in question, and you could also put a smoke detector ...

    Thanks 'kceire', I hope you are right. I'd be interested in knowing if any similar proposals have been successful and if there are any fire reg references that could be used to support this.
    For reference the ensuite is through a door at the end of the room.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,709 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo


    ArraMusha wrote: »
    Thanks 'kceire', I hope you are right. I'd be interested in knowing if any similar proposals have been successful and if there are any fire reg references that could be used to support this.
    For reference the ensuite is through a door at the end of the room.

    You have to ask your Assiged Certifier will he certify such an arrangement.

    Technical Guidance Document Part B is the rule book here, but you have to remember that it pulls most of its techs from previous and current BS Codes, BS9999 or BS5588 for example. So if you can show that what you are doing is on par with what TGD Part B states is required you should be ok.

    I've ok'd similar situations here in Dublin but every situation has to be handled independently and on its own merits.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,537 ✭✭✭✭Poor Uncle Tom


    ArraMusha wrote: »
    Hi, I have a downstairs bedroom planned with a window 1400m wide by 1700mm height and it is 400mm from the ffl, it is sash style and it is planned to have the top half section as casement openings, is it impossible to meet the fire regs i.e. bottom of the opening must be between 800-1100mm, whereas the bottom of this window opening will be 1250mm.

    please see image attached..

    I dont want to modify this gable window if possible as this will impact the front windows, which are the same size, so I may have to change use of this room to an office or could I refer to the ensuite window as an 'alternative means of escape' as mentioned in the TGD document section 1.0.4

    :confused: thanks for reading.

    Why not let the entire window openable as one unit and put a guarding inside at say 1m height?


  • Subscribers Posts: 40,482 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    ArraMusha wrote: »
    Hi, I have a downstairs bedroom planned with a window 1400m wide by 1700mm height and it is 400mm from the ffl, it is sash style and it is planned to have the top half section as casement openings, is it impossible to meet the fire regs i.e. bottom of the opening must be between 800-1100mm, whereas the bottom of this window opening will be 1250mm.

    please see image attached..

    I dont want to modify this gable window if possible as this will impact the front windows, which are the same size, so I may have to change use of this room to an office or could I refer to the ensuite window as an 'alternative means of escape' as mentioned in the TGD document section 1.0.4

    :confused: thanks for reading.

    There's no restriction on the bottom opening height of a ground floor window, typically where that dimension to the outside level is less that 1.4m.

    So as poor uncle Tom says above, let the whole window open. However in my opinion you don't need any guarding.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,537 ✭✭✭✭Poor Uncle Tom


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    There's no restriction on the bottom opening height of a ground floor window, typically where that dimension to the outside level is less that 1.4m.

    So as poor uncle Tom says above, let the whole window open. However in my opinion you don't need any guarding.

    I mentioned the guarding syd as I wasn't aware that the outside cill was within 1.4 of the ground in this case.


  • Subscribers Posts: 40,482 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    Fair point, I'm running on the assumption that "downstairs" is the typical ground floor situation


  • Registered Users Posts: 326 ✭✭fatty pang


    martinn123 wrote: »
    Remember the Reg's are designed not just for exit, but for a Fireman in full equipment, to gain access through the window.
    That’s not been the case for some time. Firefighters use the internal stairs for rescue in the typical 2 or 3 story dwelling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 326 ✭✭fatty pang


    I mentioned the guarding syd as I wasn't aware that the outside cill was within 1.4 of the ground in this case.

    The 1.4m is a misnomer – it’s only relevant when the cill is at or above 800mm from FFL. From TGD-K, 2.2 ‘Guarding may not be essential where the total difference in levels is 600 mm or less’. In this instance the cill is at 400mm


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,537 ✭✭✭✭Poor Uncle Tom


    fatty pang wrote: »
    The 1.4m is a misnomer – it’s only relevant when the cill is at or above 800mm from FFL. From TGD-K, 2.2 ‘Guarding may not be essential where the total difference in levels is 600 mm or less’. In this instance the cill is at 400mm

    I may be picking you up wrong, but TGD - K, 2.4 seems to contradict what you state above.
    2.4 Guarding should be provided for any
    window, the sill of which is more than 1400
    mm above external ground level and is less
    than 800 mm in height above internal floor
    level (see Diagram 7).

    http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/DevelopmentandHousing/BuildingStandards/FileDownLoad,37830,en.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 326 ✭✭fatty pang


    I may be picking you up wrong, but TGD - K, 2.4 seems to contradict what you state above.

    There is inherent confusion in this section of the TGD and the industry would have been far better served if DoECLG had ignored the chip on the shoulder and just copied the relevant chunk out of AD-K instead of the half-arsed ‘localised’ effort that has been produced.
    To further confuse the matter there are two types of guarding involved – pedestrian guarding (occupant falling out of building –see BS 6180) & protection against impact (safety glazing in critical locations – see BS 6262-4). In this instance the primary issue is pedestrian guarding.

    TGD-K Pedestrian Guarding
    2.2
    Guarding should be provided to the sides of any part of a raised floor, gallery, balcony, roof or any other place to which people have access…. Guarding may not be essential where the total difference in levels is 600 mm or less.

    The corollary of this is that Guarding is only essential where the total difference in levels is >600mm, as per the referenced source - BS6180: 2011 ‘Barriers in and about buildings - Code of practice’. Although Para 2.4 (and the accompanying Dia 7) explicitly deals with windows where the cill is ≥800mm above floor level it makes no reference to the common situation where the cill of a ground floor window is <800mm above FL. In my opinion this is a significant oversight by whomever produced the Document. It’s resulted in professionals being under the impression that the opening sections of ground floor windows need to be ≥800mm above FL.

    The sketch of the “ground floor” window in question showed a cill height of 400mm above FL. In this particular instance, Guarding would only be required if the cill was >1m above the outside ground level (600+400mm). The 1400m dimension quoted is irrelevant.
    The glazing in the window ≤800mm above FL needs to be safety glazing – unless suitable guarding is in place.:eek:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 548 ✭✭✭joebre


    I know it's an old post that came up in my search.

    Two storey house with 4 bedrooms on the top floor. All bedrooms have opening windows with top sash opening. The windows are hinged on top. I found that the window will open to the minimum area of 0.33m2 and minimum opening of 450mm. However, the window will not stay in the opening position because the weight of the opening sash forces the window to close. I know that it might stay open if one was one was opening it in the event of an emergency.



  • Registered Users Posts: 38,789 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    If it doesn’t stay open, then it doesn’t provide the required clear opening.

    The TGD is explicit on that requirement



  • Registered Users Posts: 548 ✭✭✭joebre



    Found it. Thanks for the link. Looked at the 4 bedroom again today. Each window closed automatically because of the weight of the sash and glass. I wasn't happy when I saw them.

    TGD says "The opening section should be capable of remaining in the position which provides this minimum clear open area"



  • Registered Users Posts: 38,789 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    Yeah, the expectation is that you may need two hands to escape. There should be friction stays fitted to keep the window open.

    Not even for escape, but the amenity of an opening window



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