Approved Document B (Volume 1) Fire Safety

This part is split into a number to sections to cover fire safety related matters within and around dwellinghouses. This includes: the satisfactory means of giving warning and means of escape in case of fire; stopping the spread of fire over internal and external linings; ensuring the stability of buildings in the event of a fire; and to ensure satisfactory access for fire appliances to buildings and facilities within dwellinghouses.

Approved Document B Volume 1Approved Document B - Volume 1

PDF file: 2.97MB, 84 pages

2006 edition incorporating 2010 and 2013 amendments: Valid from 6 April 2013

Download November and December 2018 amendmentsNovember and December 2018 amendments

PDF file: 146KB, 12 pages

November and December 2018 amendments: Valid from 21 January 2019

Download 2013 amendments2013 Amendments

PDF file: 478KB, 54 pages

2013 amendments: Valid from 6 April 2013

Quick links

The requirements in this edition of Approved Document B - Volume 1 are as follows:

B1 - Means of warning and escape
The building shall be designed and constructed so that there are appropriate provisions for the early warning of fire, and appropriate means of escape in case of fire from the building to a place of safety outside the building capable of being safely and effectively used at all material times.

Limits on application
Requirement B1 does not apply to any prison provided under section 33 of the Prisons Act 1952 (power to provide prisons etc).

B2 - Internal fire spread (linings)
(1) To inhibit the spread of fire within the building the internal linings shall:
(a) adequately resist the spread of flame over their surfaces; and
(b) have, if ignited, a rate of heat release or a rate of fire growth, which is reasonable in the circumstances.
(2) In this paragraph 'internal linings' mean the materials or products used in lining any partition, wall, ceiling or other internal structure.

Limits on application
None

B3 - Internal fire spread (structure)
(1) The building shall be designed and constructed so that, in the event of fire, its stability will be maintained for a reasonable period.
(2) A wall common to two or more buildings shall be designed and constructed so that it adequately resists the spread of fire between those buildings. For the purposes of this sub-paragraph a house in a terrace and a semi-detached house are each to be treated as a separate building.
(3) Where reasonably necessary to inhibit the spread of fire within the building, measures shall be taken, to an extent appropriate to the size and intended use of the building, comprising either or both of the following:
(a) sub-division of the building with fire-resisting construction;
(b) installation of suitable automatic fire suppression systems.
(4) The building shall be designed and constructed so that the unseen spread of fire and smoke within concealed spaces in its structure and fabric is inhibited.

Limits on application
Requirement B3(3) does not apply to material alterations to any prison provided under section 33 of the Prisons Act 1952.

B4 - External fire spread
(1) The external walls of the building shall adequately resist the spread of fire over the walls and from one building to another, having regard to the height, use and position of the building.
(2) The roof of the building shall adequately resist the spread of fire over the roof and from one building to another, having regard to the use and position of the building.

Limits on application
None

B5 - Access and facilities for the fire service
(1) The building shall be designed and constructed so as to provide reasonable facilities to assist firefighters in the protection of life.
(2) Reasonable provision shall be made within the site of the building to enable fire appliances to gain access to the building. 

Limits on application
None

Archived copies of Approved Document B

Download Approved Document B Volume 1 2006 edition with 2010 amendmentsApproved Document B Volume 1 - 2006 edition with 2010 amendments

PDF file: 2.44MB, 86 pages

Valid from 1 October 2010 until 6 April 2013

The requirements in this edition was:
B1 - Means of warning and escape
B2 - Internal fire spread (linings)
B3 - Internal fire spread (structure)
B4 - External fire spread
B5 - Access and facilities for the fire service


Download 2010 amendmentsAmendments to Approved Documents and Compliance Guides 2010

PDF file: 123KB, 4 pages

Valid from 1 October 2010

List of revisions and corrections

This document lists the new regulation number for regulations which have been re-numbered in the 2010 Regulations. 


Download Approved Document B March 2010 amendmentsApproved Document B - Revisions and amendments to the 2006 edition

PDF file: 1.03MB, 8 pages

Valid from March 2010 until 1 October 2010

List of revisions and corrections


Download Approved Document B Volume 1 2006 editionApproved Document B Volume 1 - 2006 edition

PDF file: 2.16MB, 80 pages

Valid from 6 April 2007 until 1 October 2010

The requirements in this edition was:
B1 - Means of warning and escape
B2 - Internal fire spread (linings)
B3 - Internal fire spread (structure)
B4 - External fire spread
B5 - Access and facilities for the fire service


Download Approved Document B 2000 edition incorporating 2000 and 2002 amendmentsApproved Document B - 2000 edition incorporating 2000 and 2002 amendments

PDF file: 9.54MB, 162 pages

Valid from 1 March 2003 until 6 April 2007

The requirements in this edition was:
B1 - Means of warning and escape
B2 - Internal fire spread (linings)
B3 - Internal fire spread (structure)
B4 - External fire spread
B5 - Access and facilities for the fire service


Download Approved Document B 2000 edition with 2002 amendmentsApproved Document B - 2002 amendments

PDF file: 342KB, 33 pages

Valid from 1 March 2003 until 6 April 2007

The amendment in this edition included:
B1 - Means of warning and escape
B2 - Internal fire spread (linings)
B3 - Internal fire spread (structure)
B4 - External fire spread


Download Approved Document B 2000 editionApproved Document B - 2000 edition

PDF file: 1.72MB, 151 pages

Valid from 1 July 2000 until 1 March 2003

The requirements in this edition was:
B1 - Means of warning and escape
B2 - Internal fire spread (linings)
B3 - Internal fire spread (structure)
B4 - External fire spread
B5 - Access and facilities for the fire service


Approved Document B 1992 edition - No download currently availableApproved Document B - 1992 edition

No download currently available

Valid from 1 June 1992 until 1 July 2000

The requirements in this edition was:
B1 - Means of escape
B2 - Internal fire spread (linings)
B3 - Internal fire spread (structure)
B4 - External fire spread
B5 - Access and facilities for the fire service


Download Mandatory rules for means of escape in case of fireMandatory rules for means of escape in case of fire - 1985 edition

PDF file: 1.30MB, 11 pages

Valid from 11 November 1985 until 1 June 1992

The requirement in this edition was:
B1 - Means of escape


Approved Document B 1985 edition - No download currently availableApproved Document B - 1985 edition

No download currently available

Valid from 11 November 1985 until 1 June 1992

The requirement in this edition was:
B2/3/4 - Fire spread


Quick links to other Approved Documents

The regulations cover all aspects of construction and are constantly reviewed. The guidance documents referred to as 'Approved Documents' contain practical ways and explanations of how to comply with the functional requirements of the Building Regulations.

These 'Approved Documents' are separated into 14 parts:

  • Part A - Structure
  • Part B (Volume 1) - Fire safety (Dwellinghouses)
  • Part B (Volume 2) - Fire safety (Buildings other than dwellinghouses)
  • Part C - Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
  • Part D - Toxic substances
  • Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound
  • Part F - Ventilation
  • Part G - Hygiene
  • Part H - Drainage and waste disposal
  • Part J - Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
  • Part K - Protection from falling, collision and impact
  • Part L1A - Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings
  • Part L1B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings
  • Part L2A - Conservation of fuel and power in new buildings other than dwellings
  • Part L2B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings other than dwellings
  • Part M (Volume 1) - Access to and use of buildings (Dwellings)
  • Part M (Volume 2) - Access to and use of buildings (Buildings other than dwellings)
  • Part P - Electrical safety - Dwellings
  • Part Q - Security - Dwellings
  • Part R - Physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks
  • Regulation 7 - Materials and workmanship