I am applying for planning permission to install a new staircase up into an attic trussed loft therefore converting the property to 3 storeys. The foot of the staircase is in a storage room (not a bedroom or otherwise habitable room) which has a window in it. The door to the storage room leads onto a landing which then has bedrooms off of it which have fire escape windows. The new loft area will have a patio door leading onto a small balcony. My question is, does the window in the storage room need to have fire escape provision as it currently doesn't and I don't want to replace it.
Hi Alan T,
My understanding is that it wll not need to be replaced, as you have escape routes via the staircase up and down and also all the windows in the nearby bedrooms.
Unless the laws have changed very recently, the regs where that they needed to be an escape route on each floor that would allow a fire officer with all his equipement on, to fit through. This was only if you was replacing the windows, but seeing you are changing the layout of your property, to be sure I would consult either your local fire services or building controls they are usually quite helpful.
The regulations regarding escape windows to loft conversion changed in april 2007. You no longer require an escape window to the loft room (second floor) but you must provide what is refered to as a protected staircase. This is that all doors, walls, floors, ceiling between the staircase area and any other part of the dwelling must be half hour fire resistance. Escape windows are only acceptable at ground and first floor levels.
As a side point you are not allowed to access the loft room from another room (irrelevant of its use). The stair from the loft must discharge to the protected stair which then continues all the way down to a suitable exit.