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Last edited 21 Nov 2017
Protected escape route
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‘...that part of the means of escape from any point in a building to a final exit’, where a final exit is, ‘The termination of an escape route from a building giving direct access to a street, passageway, walkway or open space and sited to ensure the rapid dispersal of persons from the vicinity of a building so that they are no longer in danger from fire and/or smoke.’
Escape routes can be protected or unprotected, where an unprotected escape routes is the unprotected part of an escape route, ‘…which a person has to traverse before reaching either the safety of a final exit or the comparative safety of a protected escape route, i.e. a protected corridor or protected stairway.'
A protected stairways is, ‘...designed to provide virtually ‘fire sterile’ areas which lead to places of safety outside the building. Once inside a protected stairway, a person can be considered to be safe from immediate danger from flame and smoke. They can then proceed to a place of safety at their own pace. To enable this to be done, flames, smoke and gases must be excluded from these escape routes, as far as is reasonably possible, by fire-resisting structures or by an appropriate smoke control system, or by a combination of both these methods. This does not preclude the use of unprotected stairs for day-to-day circulation, but they can only play a very limited role in terms of means of escape due to their vulnerability in fire situations.'
- A protected entrance hall/landing is, ‘A circulation area consisting of a hall or space in a flat, enclosed with fire-resisting construction (other than any part which is an external wall of a building).
- A protected shaft is, ‘A shaft which enables persons, air or objects to pass from one compartment to another and which is enclosed with fire-resisting construction.’
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Automatic release mechanism.
- Building evacuation.
- Escape route.
- Fire compartment.
- Fire detection and alarm systems.
- Fire door.
- Fire Door Inspection Scheme.
- Fire protection engineering.
- Fire resistance.
- Fire-separating element.
- Firefighting lift.
- Firefighting route.
- Firefighting shaft.
- Inner room.
- Installing fire doors and doorsets (GG 86).
- Protected stairway.
- Separating floor.
- Storey exit.
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- Unprotected escape route.
- Visual alarm devices - their effectiveness in warning of fire.
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