16.1For the purposes of this Approved Document vehicle access to the exterior of a building is needed to enable high reach appliances, such as turntable ladders and hydraulic platforms, to be used and to enable pumping appliances to supply water and equipment for firefighting, search and rescue activities.
Access requirements increase with building size and height.
Fire mains (see Section 15) enable firefighters within the building to connect their hoses to a water supply. In buildings fitted with fire mains, pumping appliances need access to the perimeter at points near the mains, where firefighters can enter the building and where in the case of dry mains, a hose connection will be made from the appliance to pump water into the main.
The vehicle access requirements described in Table 19 for buildings without fire mains, do not apply to blocks of flats, because access is required to each individual dwelling (see paragraph 16.3), or to buildings with fire mains.
Vehicle access routes and hard-standings should meet the criteria described in paragraphs 16.7 to 16.10 where they are to be used by fire and rescue service vehicles.
Notes:Requirements cannot be made under the Building Regulations for work to be done outside the site of the works shown on the deposited plans, building notice or initial notice.
In this connection it may not always be reasonable to upgrade an existing route across a site to a small building. The options in such a case, from doing no work to upgrading certain features of the route e.g. a sharp bend, should be considered by the Building Control Body in consultation with the Fire and Rescue Service.
Buildings not fitted with fire mains
16.2There should be vehicle access for a pump appliance to small buildings (those of up to 2000m2 with a top storey up to 11m above ground level) to either:
- a15% of the perimeter; or
- bwithin 45m of every point on the projected plan area (or 'footprint', see Diagram 48) of the building; whichever is the less onerous.
16.3There should be vehicle access for a pump appliance to blocks of flats to within 45m of all points within each dwelling.
Notes:If the provisions in paragraph 16.2 or 16.3 cannot be met, a fire main should be provided in accordance with paragraph 15.3 and vehicle access should meet paragraph 16.6.
16.4Vehicle access to buildings that do not have fire mains (other than buildings described in paragraph 16.2) should be provided in accordance with Table 19.
16.5Every elevation to which vehicle access is provided in accordance with paragraph 16.2 or Table 19 should have a suitable door(s), not less than 750mm wide, giving access to the interior of the building. Door(s) should be provided such that there is no more than 60m between each door and/or the end of that elevation (e.g. a 150m elevation would need at least 2 doors).
Buildings fitted with fire mains
16.6 In the case of a building fitted with dry fire mains there should be access for a pumping appliance to within 18m of each fire main inlet connection point, typically on the face of the building. The inlet should be visible from the appliance.
16.7In the case of a building fitted with wet mains the pumping appliance access should be to within 18m and within sight of, a suitable entrance giving access to the main and in sight of the inlet for the emergency replenishment of the suction tank for the main.
Notes:Where fire mains are provided in buildings for which Sections 15 and 17 make no provision, vehicle access may be to paragraph 16.6 or 16.7 rather than Table 19.
Design of access routes and hard-standings
16.8A vehicle access route may be a road or other route which, including any inspection covers and the like, meets the standards in Table 20 and the following paragraphs.
16.9Where access is provided to an elevation in accordance with Table 19 for:
- abuildings up to 11m in height (excluding buildings covered by paragraph 16.2(b)), there should be access for a pump appliance adjacent to the building for the percentage of the total perimeter specified;
- bbuildings over 11m in height, the access routes should meet the guidance in Diagram 49.
16.10Where access is provided to an elevation for high reach appliances in accordance with Table 19, overhead obstructions such as cables and branches that would interfere with the setting of ladders etc, should be avoided in the zone shown in Diagram 49.
16.11Turning facilities should be provided in any dead-end access route that is more than 20m long (see Diagram 50). This can be by a hammerhead or turning circle, designed on the basis of Table 20.
- Diagram 1 Gallery floors with no alternative exit
- Diagram 2 Flat where all habitable rooms have direct access to an entrance hall
- Diagram 3 Flat with restricted travel distance from furthest point to entrance
- Diagram 4 Flat with an alternative exit but where all habitable rooms have no direct access to an entrance hall
- 5 Multi-storey flat with alternative exits from each habitable room except at entrance level
- Diagram 6 Multi-storey flat with protected entrance hall and landing
- Diagram 7 Flats served by one common stair
- 8 Flats served by more than one common stair
- Diagram 9 Common escape route in small single stair building
- 10 Travel distance in dead-end condition
- 11 Alternative escape routes
- 12 Inner room and access room
- Diagram 13 Exits in a central core
- Diagram 14 Open Connections
- Diagram 15 Merging flows at final exit
- Diagram 16 Subdivision of corridors
- Diagram 17 Dead-end corridors
- Diagram 18 Maximum travel distances in a small two or three storey premises with a single protected stair to each storey
- Diagram 19 Progressive horizontal evacuation in care homes
- Diagram 20 Refuge formed by compartmentation
- Diagram 21 Refuge formed in a protected stairway
- Diagram 22 Max travel distance in a small three storey premises with a single stair to each storey
- Diagram 23 Max travel distance in a small two storey premises with a single open stair
- Diagram 24 External protection to protected stairways
- 25 Fire resistance of areas adjacent to external stairs
- Diagram 26 Lighting diffuser in relation to ceiling
- Diagram 27 Layout restrictions on Class 3 plastic rooflights TP-b rooflights and TP b lighting diffusers
- Diagram 27a Layout restrictions on small Class 3 plastic rooflights TP b rooflights and lighting diffusers
- Diagram 28 Compartment floors illustration of guidance in paragraph 8.16
- Diagram 29 Compartment walls and compartment floors with reference to relevant paragraphs in Section 8
- Diagram 30 Junction of compartment wall with roof
- Diagram 31 Protected shafts
- Diagram 32 Uninsulated glazed screen separating protected shaft from lobby or corridor
- Diagram 33 Provisions for cavity barriers
- Diagram 34 Cavity wall excluded from provisions for cavity barriers
- Diagram 35 Fire-resisting ceiling below concealed space
- Diagram 36 Provisions for cavity barriers in double-skinned insulated roof sheeting
- Diagram 37 Pipes penetrating structure
- Diagram 38 Enclosure for drainage or water supply pipes
- Diagram 39 Flues penetrating compartment walls or floors
- Diagram 40 Provisions for external surfaces or walls
- Diagram 41 Relevant boundary
- Diagram 42 Notional boundary
- Diagram 43 Status of combustible surface material as unprotected area
- Diagram 44 Unprotected areas which may be disregarded in assessing the separation distance from the boundary
- Diagram 45 The effect of a canopy on separation distance
- Diagram 46 Permitted unprotected areas in small residential buildings
- Diagram 47 Limitations on spacing and size of plastic rooflights having a Class 3 or Class D-s3 d2 or TP b lower surface
- Diagram 48 Example of building footprint and perimeter
- Diagram 49 Relationship between buildings and hardstanding access roads for high reach fire appliances
- Diagram 50 Turning facilities
- Diagram 51 Provision of firefighting shafts
- Diagram 52 Components of a firefighting shaft
- Diagram 53 Fire-resisting construction for smoke outlet shafts
- Diagram C1 Measurement of door width
- Diagram C2 Cubic capacity
- Diagram C3 Area
- Diagram C4 Height of building
- Diagram C5 Number of storeys
- Diagram C6 Height of top storey in building
- Diagram C7 Free area of smoke ventilators
- Diagram D1 Classification of Purpose Groups
- Diagram E1 Recessed car parking areas
- Table 1 Limitations on distance of travel in common areas of blocks of flats - see par 2.23
- Table 2 Limitations on travel distance
- Table 3 Minimum number of escape routes and exits from a room tier or storey
- Table 4 Widths of escape routes and exits
- Table 5 Maximum distances of travel in small premises with a protected stair
- Table 6 Minimum widths of escape stairs
- Table 7 Capacity of a stair for basements and for simultaneous evacuation of the building
- Table 8 Minimum width of stairs designed for phased evacuation
- Table 9 Provisions for escape lighting
- Table 10 Classification of linings
- Table 11 Limitations applied to thermoplastic rooflights and lighting diffusers in suspended ceilings and Class 3 plastic rooflights
- Table 12 Maximum dimensions of building or compartment - non-residential buildings
- Table 13 Maximum dimensions of cavities in non-domestic buildings - purpose Groups 2-7
- Table 14 Maximum nominal internal diameter of pipes passing through a compartment wall-floor - see par 10.5 onwards
- Table 15 Permitted unprotected areas in small buildings or compartments
- Table 16 Limitations on roof coverings
- Table 17 Class 3 or Class D-s3 d2 plastic rooflights limitations on use and boundary distance
- Table 18 TP a and TP b plastic rooflights limitations on use and boundary distance
- Table 19 Fire and rescue service vehicle access to buildings excluding blocks of flats not fitted with fire mains
- Table 20 Typical fire and rescue service vehicle access route specification
- Table A1 Specific provisions of test for fire resistance of elements of structure etc
- Table A1 continued
- Table A2 Minimum periods of fire resistance
- Table A3 Limitations on fire-protecting suspended ceilings (see Table A1 Note 4)
- Table A4 Limitations on the use of uninsulated glazed elements on escape routes]
- Table A5 Notional designations of roof coverings
- Table A6 Use and definitions of non-combustible materials
- Table A7 Use and definitions of materials of limited combustibility
- Table A8 Typical performance rating of some generic materials and products
- Table B1 Provisions for fire doors
- Table C1 Floor space factors
- Table D1 Classification of Purpose Groups
- Table Maximum dimensions of building or compartment (non-residential buildings)