Principal habitable room
They define a principal habitable room as ‘…a frequently used room by the occupants of a dwelling for general daytime living purposes.’
There is a requirement that at least 1 smoke alarm should be installed in a principal habitable room.
However, this requirement can be interpreted in different ways, as it is not clear whether there may be more than one principal habitable room (for example, a kitchen diner and a living room), and so a smoke alarm is required in both rooms, or whether the word ‘principal’ implies there is just one such room.
This issue was clarified in a communication between Fife Council and The Building Standards Division, published by the Scottish Association of Building Standards Managers (SABSM), as Technical Policy Note T04/2012, Detection and Fire Alarm Systems Principal Habitable Room, in 2012.
This made clear that the Building Standards only intend that there should be one principal habitable room. The following guidance was given to help determine which room this should be:
|The interpretation of the word 'principal' in this context means the room likely to be the most frequently used and have most occupants using it. In other words risk assess the situation by identifying the living area that is most likely to have a fire (by identifying hazards such as sources of ignition that can give rise to fire) and the most severe consequences (re: potential for injuries and deaths) if there was a fire.
In addition, where there is more than one living area; for the purpose of choosing which living area to locate the optical smoke alarm consider each living area's relationship to the route of escape from other rooms in the dwelling (e.g. bedrooms). In other words, consider locating the optical detector in the living area most likely to compromise the route of escape (in fire conditions). The object of the Standard being to ensure an early warning to both the occupants of the living area itself and occupants within other areas of the dwelling.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.
Sir Oliver Letwin to lead an independent review into the delays in the delivery of housing.
As Carillion collapses, read our article explaining insolvency in the construction industry.
43,000 jobs at risk as Carillion declares insolvency..
1961 saw the publication of three important books about urban design that remain relevant today.
Next week the planning fee increases by 20% and new fees are introduced.
How the transformative power of BIM and other digital technologies can be used to gain a competitive edge.