Part B - Fire Safety

What is Part B?

Approved Document Part B of the Building Regulations relates to Fire Safety. Its purpose is to provide guidance on the use of building materials with differing levels of fire performance in some of the more common building situations. The ultimate aim of Part B is to provide guidance to help protect lives in the event of a fire. It contains the requirements of Building Act regulations and guidance on compliance.
This document splits out into two volumes:
• Volume 1 – Dwellinghouses
• Volume 2 – Buildings other than Dwellinghouses
Part B applies to England and Wales. For Scotland, see Section 2 of the Scottish Building Regulations (Technical Handbook).
Where domestic buildings exceed 18m in height or are unusual some of the guidance in Volume 2 may need to supplement Volume 1.
Each volume deals with five sections (below):
• B1: Means of warning and escape
• B2: Internal fire spread (linings)
  ▸ Ensuring fire spread over the interior lining is inhibited
• B3: Internal fire spread (structure)
  ▸ Ensuring there is a sufficient degree of separation within the building and between adjoining buildings to suppress the fire and inhibit the unseen spread of fire and smoke in concealed spaces
• B4: External fire spread
  ▸Ensuring external walls and roofs have adequateresistance to the spread of fire over the external envelope, and that the spread of fire across buildings is restricted
• B5: Access and facilities for fire services
  ▸There is a close link between these provisions and interaction between them should be recognised where variations in the standard provisions are being considered. It is also important to understand that the fire performance of a product, component or structure is largely dependent on appropriate site installation and maintenance.

BS 9999 and Fire Engineering

What is it?

BS 9999:2008 is the fire safety code of practice for building design, management and use, replacing BS 5588 (fire precautions in the design, construction and use of buildings). The standard outlines ways to meet fire safety legislation through a flexible approach to design. The standard can be used in and around; existing buildings, at the design stage for new buildings, for extensions, alterations, and for changes of use to an existing building. It also provides an assessment tool to ensure the fire safety strategy remains robust.

How does it work?

BS 9999:2008 covers four main areas:
• Fire safety management
• Provision of means of escape
• Structural protection of escape facilities and the structural stability of the building
• Provision of access and facilities for fire fighting
The emphasis has shifted from travel distance to travel time.
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