A fire compartmentation survey is an investigation into a building’s fire safety in terms of how quickly smoke and fire would spread to other parts of the building through areas that should be sealed, such as riser cupboards. A compartmentation survey looks at each living space as a separate unit and buildings should be constructed in a way that means fire or smoke in a self-contained living space, such as a flat, does not spread to other areas.
This is achieved through a number of measures, including fire resistant walls and floors, a flat front door and addressing any components that could lead to the spread of fire such as windows, ventilation and any service shafts. The flat or ‘compartment’ should offer a level of fire resistance that gives people time to evacuate the building – fire resistant walls, doors and floors generally contain a blaze from between 30 – 120 minutes according to the Fire Protection Association.
A fire compartmentation survey forms part of The Developer Pledge. This is a pledge taken by a number of the UK’s biggest home builders who have promised to do the right thing by leaseholders and address any fire safety defects on buildings measuring 11 metres and over in height, that they had a role in either developing or refurbishing. If you need help and advice on how The Developer Pledge can help you, Cladding Consulting can talk you through the process.
It was necessary to include a fire compartmentation survey within the Developer Pledge because experience shows that fire risks are not only posed by the outside of a building – Â the inside can be riddled with fire safety issues too.