Converting your loft into a bedroom, bathroom or living area is fantastic for growing space in your home, but it isn’t as simple as just decorating.
Loft conversions require a team of experts to construct a fully-functioning and livable space. Moreover, due to the placement at the top of the house, extra safety measures are required to satisfy building regulations, especially those concerning fire safety.
A fire escape route should be present from your loft room, through your property and to an outside door. Before your loft conversion is classed as an official room, there are some loft conversion fire regulations that you must adhere to:
Loft Conversion Door Regulations
Fire regs for loft conversions state that fire doors must be present on any habitable loft room. Fire doors are 35mm thick, and give you an extra 30 minutes to escape or be rescued from your loft room. Existing doors should be upgraded to fire-safe doors, and all new doors must satisfy building control fire regulations.
Fire protection building regulations also state that you need to create a safe corridor from the loft room to the main outdoor exit. This involves all doors on the escape route being switched for fire-safe doors. Although this might seem excessive to some, it really could help to save a life.
Loft Conversion Fire Escape Route & Staircases
As briefly mentioned above, loft conversion fire regulations state that you must provide a safe escape route from the loft to the outside of the building.
The most common means of an escape route from a loft room is through homes main hall and staircase. The main staircase might need replastering to provide 30 minutes of fire protection, and you may need to exchange all doors en-route to fire-safe doors. Your new loft staircase must also be built with 30 minutes of fire resistance.
You are required to have a conventional staircase leading up to your loft conversion, or if space doesn’t allow, you must have paddle stairs. But, paddle stairs are only acceptable when it is impossible to use conventional stairs.
If your new loft staircase is directly above your homes existing staircase, a fire door should be added at the top of the loft stairs. However, if your loft staircase has to be positioned elsewhere, your fire door must be at the bottom of your loft staircase.
Smoke Alarms in the Home
One of the most integral components of a swift escape in the event of a fire is a smoke alarm. The earlier you are alerted of a fire in the home, the higher your chances of escape.
You should have smoke alarms installed on every storey of your home, especially your loft, and no more than 7.5 metres from any livable room. According to fire safety building regulations, smoke alarms should be mains powered with sufficient battery backup in case of a power failure. All smoke alarms must be interlinked to ensure that if one goes off, they all go off. Interlinked alarms give everybody in the house ample time to safely evacuate, especially those far from main exits, in the loft, for example.
Loft Room Windows
Another viable escape is through your loft windows. Based on loft conversion fire regulations, your windows must be sufficient enough for a person to escape if the stairway is no longer a safe escape route.
To meet building regulations, the windows must have a minimum opening of 450mm, and the windows must have a non-locking fastener for a quick escape.
You should only use your loft window as a fire exit in instances where the staircase route is blocked or no longer safe. Although it is not law, we also recommend fire-resistant glass to ensure your safety.
Whenever Alvaston Loft Conversions is commissioned to work on your home for a loft extension or conversion, we always comply with building regulations, and this includes fire regulations. For a fire-safe loft conversion from a team of professionals who you can trust, contact us today, and we will be happy to help transform your home.