Regulations applicable to buildings constructed since 1986. The old building stock is not subject to any obligation; a risk against which condominiums must protect themselves. 

Recommended equipment

Fire safety in collective housing is a recurring issue, which resurfaces with each human tragedy brought to the fore. It must be said that the old stock, that is to say the majority of the buildings, escapes any regulation in the matter. And for good reason it is recent, and of non-retroactive application; in other words, it only concerns constructions built after its entry into force. In 1970, a first text relating to the protection of residential buildings against fire was published, which is still little developed. But it will take almost two decades for a real device to be put in place.

The Right Installation Options

Still in force today, it imposes on buildings, with a gradation according to the number of floors, not only construction rules, but also safety equipment in the common areas, with an obligation of maintenance. Because preventing the risk of fire is essential. And this applies to new buildings as well as to old ones. They also have every interest in adopting an ad hoc policy, even when the configuration of the premises does not allow the regulations applicable to new construction to be transposed. A policy that concerns both common areas and housing: fires usually have a private origin. It is therefore up to the occupants of the building to get involved, if only by providing themselves with a suitable extinguisher and fitted with smoke detectors. A bill intended to make the latter compulsory in private areas is in this regard under discussion in Parliament. The dry riser installation happens to be essential there.

Four families of buildings

The current regulations on fire safety, based on a decree of January 31, 1986 (OJ of March 5), impose on the owners of buildings that have been the subject of a building permit application after March 6, 1986 a certain number of information and maintenance obligations. As for the construction rules aimed at ensuring fire safety, they apply to all construction projects which have been the subject of a declaration of completion of work after January 1, 1988, regardless of the date of filing of the application for a building permit. In other words, all recent and new constructions are supposed to be covered by this regulation. Agents of technical equipment centers, which are decentralized departments of the ministry, will carry out a posteriori control within two years of construction.

The requirements set are not identical in all buildings, classified by families according to their height: single-family house and buildings whose height does not exceed eight meters: first family beyond eight meters and up to three floors: second family; less than or greater than twenty-eight meters in height, i.e. seven floors, third and fourth families. Beyond fifty meters in height, specific regulations apply.

Basic equipment

From the design of the building, the project manager must integrate a certain number of protective devices or equipment. First of all, it must provide for the “enclosure” of the stairwell, in other words protection on each floor provided by a landing door, intended to prevent the spread of smoke. Only constructions of less than eight meters escape this obligation.

 

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