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I'm considering to buy a house with existing 3 floors and attic. However, to make the attic accessible e.g. build a staircase to it and make it a half floor, I've heard that fire safety regulations require that there be a secondary escape route like a second staircase that goes outside the house or install a sprinkler system in lieu of that. Is that true?

I've also heard that newly built houses with 3.5 floors fulfill this requirement by having both a lift and staircase i.e 2 different routes.

 

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2 hours ago, Kellhound said:

 

I'm considering to buy a house with existing 3 floors and attic. However, to make the attic accessible e.g. build a staircase to it and make it a half floor, I've heard that fire safety regulations require that there be a secondary escape route like a second staircase that goes outside the house or install a sprinkler system in lieu of that. Is that true?

I've also heard that newly built houses with 3.5 floors fulfill this requirement by having both a lift and staircase i.e 2 different routes.

Thankfully there are no such requirement for landed houses :) Single staircase will suffice for landed houses regardless of how many floors there are.

 

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9 hours ago, Kellhound said:

 

I'm considering to buy a house with existing 3 floors and attic. However, to make the attic accessible e.g. build a staircase to it and make it a half floor, I've heard that fire safety regulations require that there be a secondary escape route like a second staircase that goes outside the house or install a sprinkler system in lieu of that. Is that true?

I've also heard that newly built houses with 3.5 floors fulfill this requirement by having both a lift and staircase i.e 2 different routes.

if you're planning to buy a house with 3 storeys and an attic, there would already be a stairs leading up to the attic. so no need to build another stairs.

if your plan is to rebuilt the entire house, you will need to adhere to the new regulations where fire alarms are to be installed within the house with minimum of 1 alarm for each storey. also since it is a 3.5 storey house, your QP would need to submit to SCDF for fire safety clearance as well

regardless of what the new regulations say about fire alarms only for new house, it is good to have them installed in your house just in case. best is get those alarms which can be interconnected so that if one goes off, all alarms will go off.

 

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On 1/27/2021 at 7:53 AM, snoozee said:

if you're planning to buy a house with 3 storeys and an attic, there would already be a stairs leading up to the attic. so no need to build another stairs.

if your plan is to rebuilt the entire house, you will need to adhere to the new regulations where fire alarms are to be installed within the house with minimum of 1 alarm for each storey. also since it is a 3.5 storey house, your QP would need to submit to SCDF for fire safety clearance as well

regardless of what the new regulations say about fire alarms only for new house, it is good to have them installed in your house just in case. best is get those alarms which can be interconnected so that if one goes off, all alarms will go off.

Ok, this house is a bit of an exception. It already has an approved attic under the pitched roof but the owner said that when they wanted to build a staircase to access the attic, apparently BCA told them that they need to build a fire escape that leads outside to the side of house and downwards. Alternatively, they needed to install a fire sprinkler system. This was in the mid-90s to early 00s and they abandoned the project in the end.

Perhaps things have changed now??

 

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5 minutes ago, Kellhound said:

Ok, this house is a bit of an exception. It already has an approved attic under the pitched roof but the owner said that when they wanted to build a staircase to access the attic, apparently BCA told them that they need to build a fire escape that leads outside to the side of house and downwards. Alternatively, they needed to install a fire sprinkler system. This was in the mid-90s to early 00s and they abandoned the project in the end.

Perhaps things have changed now??

Well, my house is 2 storey with mezzanine and attic which makes it 4 storeys and is similar to a 3 storey house with attic. 
 

I do not need to have external stairs nor sprinkler systems for my house. But still had to go through SCDF for fire clearance.

 

 

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On 2/22/2021 at 6:28 PM, Kellhound said:

Ok, this house is a bit of an exception. It already has an approved attic under the pitched roof but the owner said that when they wanted to build a staircase to access the attic, apparently BCA told them that they need to build a fire escape that leads outside to the side of house and downwards. Alternatively, they needed to install a fire sprinkler system. This was in the mid-90s to early 00s and they abandoned the project in the end.

Perhaps things have changed now??

It is rather strange that BCA concerns themselves with SCDF. BCA will ask for the fire safety certificate but they don't be directly commenting on fire code compliances.

Also, since forever there was never any regulation saying that landed houses need fire sprinkler systems or external fire escapes. But anyway for any A&A work/Recon you just need to comply with the latest authority codes, which definitely do not need separate staircases for attics.

The only code for landed house regarding staircases/means of escape for 4 or more storey houses with a basement, the basement will need to have a separate staircase that discharges to external area of the 1st storey. Cannot connect to the rest of the staircases.

 

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