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 required.

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