Every hut design should incorporate a fire strategy, which will include prevention, firefighting, escape and preparedness. There may also be input in the engineering of structure to provide some structural redundancy if desired (i.e. additional structural elements can be added so that if one part is damaged it will not collapse).
The most likely causes of fire in a hut are from solid fuel stoves and therefore Stoves, flues and chimneys duplicates some of what follows in this Section.
You must very carefully observe the Guidance on stove and flue installations (found in Heating) which is mandatory to achieve Building Warrant Exemption. Also take great care to follow all manufacturers’ instructions for installations of cookers of all types. Particularly observe the clearances of stoves and cookers to combustible materials. Where possible it is also good practice to locate cookers and stoves away from exit routes and doors.
The best preventative strategy will be to use non-combustible materials in areas of the hut which are close to sources of heat - notably stoves and cookers.
Use metal and masonry shields in these areas separated from combustible materials. There are proprietary non-combustible rated boards which are also very useful in areas surrounding hot appliances, but these are beyond the scope of this Guide.
Never store gas cylinders within or under huts. They should always be stored outside the hut, not by the escape door and preferably well away from any stove or its flue. For more information on the safe use of LPG cylinders please see key reference below.
You must provide adequate means to fight fire, including fire extinguishers, fire blankets, water and sand buckets. The owner or appointed responsible person should check the condition and whereabouts of all firefighting equipment at least once a year. Extinguishers should be replaced when they have expired.
There should be an extinguisher both inside and outside a hut.
In huts, the escape door will most often be the only or main door, which under good practice will have a minimum dimension of 800 x 1981 mm. You may wish to consider provision of at least one other escape route in a hut besides the main door see (Section Safety, escape and security).
Escape routes should be designed to extend across any decking to safe ground away from the hut.
While optical (smoke) alarms are effective in some fires they cannot detect invisible smoke particles generated from fast flaming fires and therefore should not be the sole detector. An optical/ionization combination with a single carbon monoxide alarm (both having a 10 year battery life) could be considered in addition to a heat alarm. They should be located as per the manufacturer’s instructions. See www.fireservice.co.uk
If a combustion appliance is installed in a hut then carbon monoxide alarm must be installed to alert people to the presence of levels that may be harmful. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas. It is highly toxic and dangerous to humans and animals. The gas is produced in high levels from appliances where incomplete combustion of the fuel occurs. Incomplete combustion could occur in appliance installations that are defective, lack proper maintenance or have inadequate provision for combustion air.
Instructions on how to use all firefighting equipment and what to do in a fire should be provided in all huts. This is especially important where huts are rented or used by many different parties who are unfamiliar with the hut.
Families and groups should consider a fire drill practice so that children and less able bodied people in particular know (a) the emergency route(s) they should take (b) how to open and exit from any escape windows (c) where firefighting equipment is stored and (d) how to use it.
UKLPG User Information Sheet 028.