Various types of Fire-resisting construction:
The type and age of construction are crucial factors to consider when assessing the adequacy
of existing escape routes. To ensure the safety of people it may be necessary to protect escape
routes from fire. In older premises it is possible that type of construction and materials used
may not perform to current fire standards and refurbishments may have led to:
• Cavities and voids being created, allowing the potential for the unseen spread of fire.
• Doors and hardware being worn by age and movement being less likely to limit the
spread of fire and smoke.
• Damaged or insufficient cavity barriers in modular building construction (e.g.
CLASP or SCOLA type construction).
• Breaches in fire compartment walls, floors and ceilings created by the installation of
new services, (e.g. computer services).
Where an escape route requires the provision of fire resisting construction (e.g. dead end
corridors or protected stairways) the following should be ensured:
• Doors (including access hatches to cupboards, ducts and vertical shafts linking
floors), walls, floors and ceilings protecting escape routes should be capable of
resisting the passage of flame and smoke for long enough for people to escape from
the building (normally 30 min).
• Where false ceilings are provided, fire resistance should extend up to the floor slab
above (for means of escape purposes 30min fire resistance is required).
• Cavity barriers, fire stopping and dampers in ducts are appropriately installed as