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Occupancy capacity review – (Torquay) Riviera International Conference Centre

Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC) – capacity review

The continued success of the RICC in attracting large events to Torquay required its MD to seek a review of its licensing.  The main point for consideration was to determine if the capacity of the venue could be increased by utilising the existing emergency escape routes, stairways and exits.  Accordingly, advice was sought from FireMaster (SW) Limited.

Mark Evans (for FireMaster) undertook the review of the complicated seafront building, utilising and applying guidance from BS9999:2008 to determine, if any, what increases could be applied.

The application of BS9999:2008 is permissible for carrying out complicated fire risk assessments, to include, determining the building’s overall acceptable capacity (as determined by fire safety regulations) as well as individual room’s capacity.

The capacity review included:

  • Determining the minimum (physical and managerial) measures necessary for the guidance and its calculations to be applied – known as the ‘minimum package’.
  • Applying variations to stairway and exit widths (where applicable) due to additional measures considered worthy of increased benefit; i.e. the automatic fire alarm system,  automatic fire suppression system and high ceiling heights.
  • Carrying out a site survey and referencing plans.
  • Calculating each room’s capacity dependent on its provision of escape routes/emergency exits, to include complicated application of the 45° rule.
  • Calculating the stairway widths to ensure they had sufficient capacity for each room exiting onto them.
  • Calculating merging flow capacities and restricting room occupancies, where necessary, with capacity options.

Upon completion, the review was briefed in person with the opportunity for follow up questions and advice pending submission to the authorities.

The review calculated that an increase of 51% of the existing capacity could be achieved.  The increase offers huge revenue possibilities and is crucial for such buildings to be utilised to their potential.

On completion of the project, feedback given by the MD was received: “Thanks very much and thanks for your detailed and professional approach to the project, it’s been a pleasure working with you.”

FireMaster carries out fire risk assessments, fire strategy reviews, fire engineering and fire management assessments throughout the Southwest and London.