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Although the article did raise what appears to have been another Health and Safety ‘gone-mad’ scenario, the landlords were obviously just attempting to follow the building and safety regulations, a law that they would would be judged against if the worst happened.
Notice Boards & Display Boards – The Law And Your Fire Safety Responsibilities
By Law (Building Regulations 2010 & the Fire Safety (Part B) 2006), all public access buildings must have fire resistant wall coverings on corridors and potential escape routes, these include corridors, stairwells, and even rooms where a secondary exit may be double as a fire exit.
The official Building Regulation Bulletin (BB100), makes specific reference to noticeboards and bulletin boards saying that they should be considered as wall coverings.
In UK schools, there are in excess of 300 fires a year, many caused by arson, resulting in repair costs in excess of £65M.
Schools quite rightly are very proud of the art-work and project work created by their talented pupils, and of course need to display inspirational work to fellow students, parents and visitors. Of course most work displayed is paper-based and as a result are extremely flammable, whilst this is inevitable, the actual display board must now be fire resistant to British Standards BS-EN:13501.
The very nature of noticeboards is that they need to be seen be as many people as possible, hence they tend to line the most popular routes through a building, i.e. the corridors. The fire safety regulations are there to prevent combustible wall-linings such as noticeboards from feeding a fire in an escape route.
The BB100 Building Bulletin states that the total noticeboard must be tested and BS-EN:13501, and therefore not to rely on the individual certification of components of it. As a result, noticeboards claiming that the cloth covering is fire resistant do not meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.
Of course, visitor safety is the single reason why building fire safety regulations are enforced and checked by building inspectors, fire safety inspectors and planning control officers.
Which establishments are regulated by the Building Regulations 2010 & Fire Safety (Part B) 2006?
Noticeboards, regardless of their content, if they are mounted in a corridor, stairwell or fire exit route, must by law adhere to the above fire regulations, whether they are mounted in Schools, Hospitals, Colleges, Museums, University Campuses and Office Buildings.
As these building regulations are ‘Law’, should the worst happen, then these regulations form the basis of any investigation. As such, these regulations should form the basis of a building owner/operators risk assessment for fire safety and public safety. Therefore, if an appropriate risk assessment wasn’t completed correctly or if suitable products were not installed, then prosecution would follow.
What is Resist-A-Flame?
Our manufacturer has undertaken rigorous independent testing of its Resist-a-Flame(R) noticeboards and displayboards to ensure that they meet the requirement of B-s1,d0 of the BS-EN13501 fire safety regulations. They are entirely suitable for use as wall-coverings in all public access spaces.
To view our range of Flame Resistant Noticeboards & Display boards, please CLICK HERE