What to Consider When Designing fire safety into a house design

28 November 2022


When planning to build a new home there are certain steps you need to take to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.  With factors such as the weather, worker availability and materials being an unpredictable cause of delay, it is always necessary to have a full risk assessment in place.  Fire Safety is a priority when designing a new building with prosecution and enforcement threats fateful if the building control procedures, or the building work itself does not comply with the requirements stated in the building regulations.

All parties involved in building a new home are responsible for the fire safety in building design, this includes the architects, developers, designers, building contractors and the owners of the building itself.  It is of the upmost importance to ensure that all laws are abided too when building a new home for safety reasons, as well as avoiding going over budget.  Over the course of your project, you will be visited by a building inspector from the design stage and periodically throughout the timeline of your project.  The building inspectors’ job is to ensure that all local laws and ordinances are obeyed until the build is complete.

On-Site Hazards

Over the course of the project there will be hazards to take into consideration which should be a part of the risk assessment. Such hazards may include the following; electrical works left incomplete and unattended; combustible building components on site are a hazard and should be managed accordingly; the accumulation of waste on site should be disposed of as soon as possible to avoid any spontaneous ignitions etc. The project manager will be responsible for the health and safety of workers on site during this process.   

Construction Materials

The layout of a building and materials used are both factors of preventing the spread of flames and smoke.  Understanding how a fire spreads is paramount in designing a house to increase its resistance to fire and to allow for a safe evacuation in the event of a fire. Specifying the materials used and explaining to your client the different ways in which each material will react to fire, will give them the knowledge needed to make the right decision for their home.

Fire Rated Doors

Building regulations confirm that for every new build or renovated property with 3 storeys or more (including loft conversions) fire doors are required in every room off of the stairwell.  IQ Glass have frameless fire rated glass doors which will work with the aesthetics of your home as well as keeping in line with regulations. 

Fire Rated Walls

IQ Glass provide frameless fire rated glass walls which are fully insulating, clear and offer fire resistance for 30 – 120 minutes of integrity and insulation by using specially designed fire rated glass. An example of the glass is below in a residential development designed by Octagon.  With this specific project, due to the elevation of glass that seperates the two areas it was a requirement for the glass to be fire rated.  

Smart Home Automation

Control 4 Smart Home App

Fire alarms can be installed as part of the overall security system.  This can then be integrated into an automated control system which will alert your client if any fires, heat, optical smoke or carbon monoxide has been detected.  A notification will be sent to the homeowner identifying the exact location of the cause. A smart home automation provider such as IndigoZest are partnered with approved security companies to ensure the best integration from their alarm systems into their control systems. IndigoZest also have the ability to control the fire doors and blinds to automatically close in the case of an emergency to reduce the fire from spreading.

To view any of the above products or for technical advice please click here to book a viewing with one of our technical specialists at The Sky House Design Centre.

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