SCA welcomes government advice on smoke control
The Smoke Control Association (SCA) continues its campaign to raise industry standards and improve awareness amongst building owners.
A recently issued advice note by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has been hailed as a positive step by members of the Smoke Control Association (SCA) as the group continues its campaign to raise industry standards and improve awareness amongst building owners.
The government document, ‘Advice for owners of buildings with smoke control systems’, covers issues surrounding the maintenance of buildings with smoke control systems and is primarily aimed at those responsible for residential buildings that are 18m high or above.
The note references the fact that the Independent Expert Advisory Panel believes that an appropriately designed, installed and maintained smoke control system is essential to effectively manage fire risks in a residential building – a viewpoint fully supported by the SCA.
Importantly, the note then states that building owners should be aware of the type of smoke control system they have in place and how this is intended to control the spread of smoke in the event of a fire. This is a key point as past research has suggested that a number of building operators have limited to zero understanding of how their smoke control system works and do not have robust maintenance plans in place.
The SCA has previously issued advice on smoke control in high rise buildings and the government note references the SCA’s ‘Guidance on Smoke Control to Common Escape Routes in Apartment Buildings’ document in point 11. A revised version of this guide is currently being finalised and will shortly be made available on the FETA website – www.feta.co.uk/smokecontrol.
David Mowatt, Chairman of the SCA, comments: “The SCA believes that building owners have a duty to ensure that they have appropriate, well maintained fire safety measures in place, paying particular attention to protecting the escape routes that can save lives in the event of a fire. We fully support the government’s attempts to raise awareness through the issuing of an advice note and will continue to work alongside other industry bodies to improve fire safety standards within residential buildings.”