NFCC Publish Opinion Paper on High-Rise Building Staircases

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) issued secondary legislation and guidance for the Building Safety Act 2022 regarding secondary staircases for buildings over 18 metres, which came into force on 1st October 2023.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) have subsequently published an opinion paper outlining some of the key considerations for fire and rescue services when reviewing the design of new high-rise residential buildings.

Some of the considerations are: 

• Stairways are independent from each other and therefore a single fire cannot impact upon multiple escape routes.

• Safe egress is provided for all building users, including those who either would not be able to, or would find it difficult to descend stairs.

• Suitable resilience and flexibility is provided for firefighting. This should include appropriate access and facilities, with sufficient resilience and redundancy in the design.

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