Fire Safety on Commercial Renovations

Additional fire safety requirements must be adhered to on commercial renovation projects.

When we carry out commercial renovation projects, the level of scrutiny the work will undergo rightly increases. Commercial premises will usually have larger numbers of people and furthermore this often includes the general public. It is therefore important that all regulations are met including those relating to fire safety on commercial renovations.

Commercial Renovations

Builders with experience of working for commercial clients will be familiar with the process of dealing with building control. When carrying out any structural alterations, building control must be informed to prove the work will be safe. See our blog on taking out walls for more on this. It is also necessary to involve building control when making changes to the layout of a commercial or public building. The reason for this is predominantly fire safety.

Fire Safety on Commercial Renovations

Means of Escape

Building control work with regional fire marshals to ensure that in the event of a fire, people in the building will have a clear and obvious fire exit route. Their means of escape.

The route for means of escape must be controlled, this includes:

  • As little distance as possible to get out the building

  • Contain minimal obstructions

  • Little to no risk of fire or smoke penetration. This means fire rated doors, walls, flooring and ceiling

  • Well-lit with sufficient emergency lighting and signage.

When thinking of fire safety on commercial renovations, the fire marshal will most of all be thinking about getting everyone out safely. This must include people who don’t know the building. Someone unfamiliar with the layout of the building may not remember the way out particularly with the panic of a fire alarm sounding and potential loss of power in the building. It is crucial that these people are given the lifeline of a clear and obvious means of escape.

Emergency Lighting and Signage

In the event of a power cut, people must still be able to exit the building safely so emergency lighting needs to be in place. This is lighting with a battery back up that kicks in when power is lost. Emergency light fittings should be installed on exit routes every three metres and at every change of direction. Most importantly, doors to exit through should also have emergency lighting above them and this should be accompanied by signage to directing them.


It is of course, imperative that suitable fire detection methods are installed. As this is specialist work, Ashton Renovations sub-contract this aspect of the work.

Fire safety on commercial renovations is very important as it will save lives in the event of emergency.  For more advice on your project, please get in touch today.

Removing Walls In Your Property

Removing Walls

Create Your Ideal Space Removing Walls You Don’t Need.

There are various reasons to remove walls in your property. You may wish to create the perfect family hub at home with a new open plan kitchen / dining room. It may be that you are building an extension and you want an existing room to flow into it. If you are a business owner, you might want rid of unwanted walls to get an open plan office. Whether it is one of the reasons above or any of the other many reasons for removing walls, it is crucial that it is done safely and carried out by professionals with experience.

A competent builder will usually be able to determine whether or not a wall is load bearing however the safest way will be to contract a structural engineer, the builder will often do this anyway. If the wall is structural, then the works will be fairly straight forward and predominantly aesthetical. If, however the wall which is being removed is a load bearing wall then it is imperative that the correct procedure is followed. The consequence of a structural wall removed incorrectly could be devastating.

Building Control
Removing Walls

It is a legal requirement when carrying out structural alterations to a domestic or commercial property, that building control are consulted. This is often referred to as going through building regs. You will need to carry out the appropriate building control application with structural calculations showing how much wall is being removed, where it is located and what kind of steel beam you are installing to replace it.

Install Acrow Props and Strongboys

Once your building control has been accepted, your builder must carry out the correct steps when removing the wall to ensure it is done safely. A sufficient number of acrow props and strongboys need to be installed to temporarily support the weight above.

Install Steel Beam

The area of wall which is being removed can then be cut out and demolished underneath the props. Before installing the steel beam, the builder must also lay padstones. Padstones usually consist of engineering bricks or concrete blocks. The structural engineer will instruct what kind of padstone to use and how many should be used within their report. The steel beam, as designed by the structural engineer, will be placed level onto the padstones. Once the beam has been installed, the acrow props and strong boys can be removed as the structural works are complete and aesthetical works can now take place.

Plastered Finish

If possible, the engineer will design the steel to go into the existing ceiling so that it can be boarded straight over and plastered leaving one level ceiling. This can’t always be done so often the steel will need to be boxed in before plastering. The walls will also need repair work carried out before decorating.

Once you have repaired and plastered, you have successfully removed your unwanted wall ready for whatever you need to do next with the room.

Call us today if you are looking for an experienced and competent builder to help you removing walls.

Ashton Renovations Blog

Ashton Renovations

Welcome to the blog of Ashton Renovations. Here we will be giving anyone interested the opportunity to follow our business.

Ashton Renovations’ blog will share various details from aspects of our projects. We will respond to construction industry news and demonstrate some of the opportunities and challenges to small businesses.

Ashton Renovations

The blog will also give professional advice and helpful tips to our readers when it comes to carrrying out renovation projects. Some tips may help with DIY. A lot of our advice will give the benefit of our experience as a primary contractor managing various trades through a renovation project.

To give a bit of background on us, Ashton Renovations is a small team of builders based in Royston, Hertfordshire. We carry out a wide range of internal and external renovation projects. This means we carry a wide range of skills but also that we are always adapting to new challenges.

Commercial Renovations

The majority of our work is carried out for commercial customers however we do also carry out domestic renovations too. In future blog posts we will look in further detail, at some of the differences between commercial and domestic renovations. In these posts we will discuss why most of our work is for commercial customers. To find out more about some of the work we have previously carried out, take a look at some of the galleries in the Our-Work page of our website.

Royston and Cambridge

Our office is located in Royston which is situated at the boarder of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, approximately 10 miles from Cambridge. Most of our work is therefore in these areas as well as in the counties of Essex, Suffolk and Bedfordshire.

Local news from Royston and Cambridge which also relevant to Ashton Renovations is again something we will focus in throughout our blog.

Hopefully readers will find blog posts interesting, informative and even entertaining as we take you on our journey as Ashton Renovations.

If you wish to speak to us further, please do get in touch.