Protecting basement conversions from fire


Basement conversions are increasingly being used as a way of gaining more space within a property. More homeowners are now choosing to renovate their current property rather than having the hassle and expense of moving. If you’re looking at converting your basement, then you need to be aware of a number of health and safety elements. This includes ensuring that you install the appropriate fire prevention measures.

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Why convert your basement?

There are a range of benefits to expanding your home into the basement. The main one being that you can increase the space that is available, such as converting it into a large open plan family space with kitchen and dining facilities. Depending on the layout of your property, adding in a basement conversion could make an ideal way of opening up your home into the garden. By installing doors that open and fold back you can draw in more natural light and make the space feel even bigger.

Basement conversions can also increase the value of your property. If you have an average period home with four bedrooms you could add about 15% to the value.

Health and safety measures

As the basement area of a property was not generally designed for living in, you need to ensure that the building work is carried out to the appropriate regulations. They also need to be constructed using safe methods. A recent flash inspection of a number of basement conversion sites in London found that nearly half of them didn’t meet the correct standards.

In most cases these types of projects won’t require planning permission, but conversions will need to meet the appropriate building regulations. These cover areas that will protect residents from potential hazards and include having a suitable fire escape route, as well as elements relating to the windows, ventilation, electrics, ceiling height and damp proofing. If you are having your heating system extended to cover your basement area then it is worth contacting a Boiler Repair Gloucester company such as to ensure that this is fitted correctly and safely for you.

Installing fire prevention measures

Preventing the spread of fire and alerting occupants to the risk as early as possible are important elements to consider when planning a basement conversion.

As well as having an adequate escape route, one of the best options is to install smoke detectors that are mains operated. These can also be linked up together, so that the whole house can be alerted to the danger at the same time.

Fire suppressions systems, can be particularly effective in basement conversions. They are easy to fit as part of the renovation work and don’t take up as much space as traditional sprinkler systems. They are quick and effective at putting out the fire, without causing widespread damage.

By following these guidelines and abiding by the regulations, you will have a basement conversion that adds space and character to your property, but that is also safe for you to use.