Building regulations – means of escape, access rooms, automist and open plan flat

Updated on 26th September 2018 in Building Regulations
1 on 26th September 2018


Does anyone know where I can find information on when a hallway becomes an access room? Is there a specific measurement, or is it more about ‘use’ (ie if I put a table in a hallway, does it immediately become a room?).

My issue is I have an open plan kitchen at the moment, which was done by the previous owner of my flat. I’ve got a 3rd floor maisonette (so 3rd and 4th floor) of a purpose built block, where the stairs from upstairs empty into the kitchen. I’ve attached some plans for reference.

Although the external entrance to the flat is on the 3rd floor, with an external walkway, and you can escape from the upstairs windows to this walkway, our building control officer is saying that the installation of an automist system in the kitchen will not satisfy the regulation. Means of escape is still jeopardised and therefore I need to reinstate a wall in the kitchen. I don’t see this as being very practical, so am looking into other options – including a fire curtain which would close off the kitchen in the case of a fire, and thereby creating a means of escape out of the flat. The BC officer has no experience with a mist system, and isn’t really willing (or able it seems) to engage on the detail of the regulation or to be very helpful in any solution other than putting up a wall which has been removed for 15 years now.

Thanks and please ask any questions! This has been quite a struggle, and I’m getting to know some of the regulations quite well…

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0 on 26th September 2018

Photo of floorplan:

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