Fire safety is constantly evolving. With the recent fire tragedies across the UK and the rest of the world, current fire hazards have been identified so that now anyone involved with property, construction, refurbishment and maintenance must renew their fire safety.
There is currently no statutory requirement in England and Wales to include fire protection to the underside of the lift or the top cover lid of lift systems in residential installations. This means there is no barrier between a fire in the aperture and the living rooms and bedrooms above.
For those who use platform lifts to combat mobility issues in their own homes, it can be difficult to know what is to be done in the event of a fire.
Wheelchair and ambient lifts have had recent concerns that manufacturers are cutting costs by not including fire protection in this area. There are 600 deaths and 18,000 injuries caused by fires in Britain every year. Most of these deaths occur in the home. This highlights the importance of including measures that protect residents.
Residents need protection by limiting the spread of potential fires as far as possible. The average call-out time for firefighters is nine minutes, with rural areas having to wait much longer.
Safety Questions To Consider
- When you have a lift installed, will the previous fire separation between floors be adequate?
- If not, can they be easily replaced?
- Will the structure surrounding the lift be properly protected against fire?
Checking Lifts For Fire Protection
Every lift in the UK should have a relevant fire test certificate from an approved laboratory, together with a Notified Body certificate showing compliance with BS5900:2012, or any relevant parts.
If you don’t have these documents the risk of a potentially dangerous platform lift installation is dramatically increased.