Fire regs for loft conversion? Mist system - any experiences?

(14 Posts)
pomegranate15 Tue 19-May-15 11:49:04

Hello all, we've just had our loft converted and, due to the open plan living / dining room downstairs, we've been told that we need to install a mist system (like a sprinkler system) to comply with building/fire regs.

In all it's going to cost us £3k so we're not at all happy. And I can't find anything online about it, except from the companies who manufacture and install them.

Does anyone have any similar experience or knowledge they can share? I wonder whether putting up a fight is pointless...

Thanks so much!

PigletJohn Tue 19-May-15 15:15:42

That's very unusual. When you say "we've been told" who by?

weren't you offered the option of fire-resisting doors?

Wasn't it mentioned when the plans were submitted prior to starting build?

pomegranate15 Tue 19-May-15 21:56:38

The loft company's usual building regs firm (private not council, called Aedis) have said they can't pass us unless we get one. It was mentioned on the plans. We have a 'FD30' to the loft room but were advised we didn't need fire doors elsewhere. We asked about having FDs instead of mist system but advised this no longer complies. Thanks for any thoughts / info.

Ihatemytoes Wed 20-May-15 07:55:53

I would get a second opinion from the council.

nickEcave Wed 20-May-15 09:57:12

We were in this position when we did our loft conversion 3 years ago. We couldn't afford the mist system so we got the loft company to put up a temporary wall downstairs to create a corridor from the stairs to the front door. The building inspector then came and passed the work and the builder then took down the temporary wall. We are now in the process of selling our house and I was a litle concerned about this being a problem and talked to our EA about it but he said it wouldn't be a problem and we sold at asking price very quickly. However we sold to people who want the house as their home. If you wanted to use the property as a rental or sell it someone who might want to in the future then it could be a problem. As a householder you can do things to your own property which potentially make it less than 100% safe in the event of a fire, but as a landlord you would need to be 100% complient.

pomegranate15 Wed 20-May-15 20:58:13

many thanks nickEcave. Really useful advice. I hear that this (not having mist system or taking temp wall down) can negate home insurance too? Good luck with your move.

TandemFlux Fri 22-May-15 23:11:03

My council had never heard of the mist system and didn't think they'd meet regs. We had to use fire doors in end.

Can you rung your council and get someone out - or email your layout to them?

Windrest Wed 29-Jun-16 11:06:06

Hi pomegranate15,

Did you manage to sort out the misting system?
We have a similar layout - open plan living on ground floor.

We have also had a quote for the misting system at £6000.

Thanks

SarahSea1 Thu 30-Jun-16 16:10:07

My quote was the same, Windrest, from Automist - small London terrace. Sprinkler system came in around 3K but there'd be extra if mains pressure wasn't suitable (additional 2Kish) so not much in it.

threequestions Fri 11-Nov-16 21:12:23

Yeah, I would not recommend going with a 'dummy wall', you will end up having to put it back up if you sell your house. There are quite a few different watermist systems available these days but sometimes you can even go with a fire curtain. Both can be used to meet regs. The price and suitability depends on your property.

Bertucci Fri 11-Nov-16 21:42:05

I think it's really irresponsible to put up a dummy wall just to get it signed off. These measures are in place to keep the occupants safe - they're not plucked out of the sky - they are as a result of stringent tests.

It is not remotely unusual. If a house has aloft conversion and an open plan ground floor, a suppression system is necessary. It's usually sprinklers, but automise is becoming more popular.

If you had it signed off as having a protected route (i.e. with fire doors) and then removed this protection and there was a fire affecting means of escape - your house insurance would be invalid.

PettsWoodParadise Fri 11-Nov-16 21:56:12

We are going through the process of a loft conversion and our builder gave us various options. It apparently used to be that fire doors were the main option but having alarms and detectors in every habitable room (wire free) is now also an option rather than replacing all the doors. For us the price worked out about even (and they calculated a lot of rooms! ) so we have gone for the latter as it is less disruption and also would give us more warning, or so we like to think rather than let a fire build up behind one door which may contain the fire for a good period of time but end up getting such a hold it destroys your home. I don't pretend to quite understand it all but mention my experience more as a note that other options are available. I personally would never circumnavigate building regs, they are there for a reason.

Toomanycats99 Sat 12-Nov-16 05:35:13

We have just had a loft conversion. We had linked mains wired fire alarms installed in every room. Then I think we only needed fire doors on new room. We had to replace a wall due to open plan downstairs and actually I really like it. If we didn't have that rebuilt we would have needed sprinklers. They did mention that building control would never know if you took it down. It I am guessing it would come up on resale. Our linked alarm was so loud when it accidentally went off I think the whole street would be awake not just us!

johnd2 Sat 12-Nov-16 11:29:54

It is a bit worrying how people are more worried about a completion certificate and the house insurance than their own lives.
When you're thinking about what regs you can bend or abuse, first imagine that reg doesn't exist and you know someone who just had a fire in their tumble dryer/laptop charger/TV at night. Then think about what would save you in the event of that happening in your house any time in the next 30 years. You'll probably find the regs are pretty sensible on reflection.

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