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  • Buy-to-Let

    Double glazing and fire windows

    Having some properties double glazed and when going round with the glazer he has said that as far as he is aware all bedrooms should have fire windows eg that open out wide enough to get out of. I have some houses that have old double glazed units where the bedrooms do not have fire windows and cannot believe that I would need to install new units. Anyone come across this before??
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    Surely its the hinges not the window that determine how far it can be opened?

    Hinges can and do fail or become very stiff to operate, so when they need replacing having new ones that allow the window to open wider should not be a problem.
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    Hi Jane,

    It all depends on the regulations when the windows are fitted, I think the current regs have been around for 10/12 years where bedrooms have to have a fire escape window and some other inner rooms.
    Its the window company's responsibility to ensure its correct.
    If they are old pvc windows , as stated above, if they have side casement openings you can change the hinges so they open far enough to meet regs

    Also for replacement windows the current rule is not to make the opening worse than what your replacing, some cottage windows you cant meet current regs whatever you do
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    Double glazing is controlled by FENSA regulations. This flow chart will give you more information

    https://www.fensa.co.uk/FENSAGuidanceNotes4.pdf

    This would only apply with new installations.

    A fire escape window not only has to have the correct hinges it also needs to be a minimum opening of 450 x 450

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    The perfect present for property investors @ £4.64. My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is available on Amazon title. Property For Rent – Investing in the UK: Will You Survive the Mayhem? https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337
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    Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets
    does anyone know what the fire brigade do in the event of a fire with people trapped upstairs when faced with a UPVC upstairs window that doesnt open or only has a top opener? Do they smash the window or do they have a process where they can remove the sealed unit etc?
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    You are all mostly right, but not right enough to get you out of trouble!

    FENSA are the GAS Safe of the window industry, but unlike GAS safe they are not compulsory.

    FENSA members self certify their work, so you really are in the hands of the FENSA member knowing what he is doing. In terms of policing FENSA only actually inpect 1% of their members installations.

    The other recognised route is to get your local authority building control department to inspect the property. But this generally is only financially worthwhile if it is an entire window installation.

    Going back to fire escape regulations Approved Document B is the governing legislation, Link below

    https://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads...1_2013.pdf

    In a nutshell the minimum area of clear opening should be 0.33 sq mtrs with no one dimension being less than 450mm.

    Mary, your 450mm x 450mm will only actually give a minimum area of 0.2025 sq mtrs so will not comply.

    If you are using 450mm as oe of your dimensions the other must be at least 733mm to comply 450mm x 733mm = 0.33 sq mtrs.

    Any permutation above this also works providing no width or height is less than 450mm

    e.g 550mm x 600mm also equals 0.33 sq mtrs.

    Regarding hinges, it could be your window already achieves 0.33 sq mtrs so no change is need.

    Fire escape hinges open further than traditional reflex hinges so sometimes enable you to achieve the minimum openings required.

    You must also bear in mind, that some windows are just too small and no matter what hinge you put on them they will not comply.

    This can be quite a dry subject if you are not affected by it, so MatthewS if you want to mail me of forum I'm quite prepared to talk you through your issues, perhaps you could send me some pictures.
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    Thank you for all your replies feels like I have opened a can of worms! On the bedroom windows that I am having replaced I was going to have child safety locks put on the ones where there are children in so that they cannot push the fire windows wide. I am now thinking I shouldn't do that as in the event of a fire it would presumably take longer to get out. I have a mixture of old double glazed windows and have one house with no large openings upstairs only small windows. I think I should have them replaced as there would be no means of getting out quickly. Nice and expensive but safety is paramount.
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    You might want to explore other means of escape. There is an excellent free guide here

    https://homestamp.com/landlords/fire-and-...rotection/

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    The perfect present for property investors @ £4.64. My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is available on Amazon title. Property For Rent – Investing in the UK: Will You Survive the Mayhem? https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337
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    Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets
    Thanks for the links Mary but the homestamp one relates to hmos, mine is a single family let. Useful info though as HMO is a market I do look at but not involved with yet.
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