a very badly constructed party wall … see the many gaps in the joints between the concrete blocks

Hazards in Attic Roof Spaces – A Strong Dose of ‘Reality’ !

It’s all happening here !   From trawling the depths of European Union (EU) Legislation in my last Post … to the heights of Attic Roof Spaces in Ireland … what a magnificent contrast !!

This Post has nothing to do with this law, or that law … or the proper technical control of these sorts of troubling situations.  It has everything to do with a strong dose of Reality’ … and the typical sorts of Serious Hazards which lurk quietly, unannounced and generally unheeded in most houses … houses which are occupied by ordinary, average people.

The following photographs could have been taken in almost any house, anywhere in the country !   These particular photographs, however, were taken during a House Inspection for a good friend, somewhere in County Wicklow, during May 2010 …

Colour photograph showing the typical clutter which can accumulate, over time, in an Attic Roof Space. Wait and see, however, what else is happening underneath and around this clutter. Smoke Detectors should always be fitted in these Spaces as a matter of routine. Also ... notice that this is a trussed timber roof. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

Colour photograph showing the typical clutter which can accumulate, over time, in an Attic Roof Space. Wait and see, however, what else is happening underneath and around this clutter. Smoke Detectors should always be fitted in these Spaces as a matter of routine. Also ... notice that this is a trussed timber roof. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

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Colour photograph showing fire scorched thermal insulation. Careless Hot Works are a major cause of fires in ALL building types! Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

Colour photograph showing fire scorched thermal insulation. Careless Hot Works are a major cause of fires in ALL building types! Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

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Colour photograph showing that there is NO fire separation between this house and the neighbouring house at the junction between the party wall and the roof covering. And ... once fire enters this Attic Roof Space, those thin metal connecting plates in the roof trusses will rapidly lose strength, and the entire roof will then collapse. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

Colour photograph showing that there is NO fire separation between this house and the neighbouring house at the junction between the party wall and the roof covering. And ... once fire enters this Attic Roof Space, those thin metal connecting plates in the roof trusses will rapidly lose strength, and the entire roof will then collapse. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

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Colour photograph showing a very badly constructed party wall ... see the many gaps in the joints between the concrete blocks. Just because a wall is made of masonry ... do not, for a single moment, assume that it is either smoke resisting or sound resisting. Also ... notice the sloppy DIY electrics. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

Colour photograph showing a very badly constructed party wall ... see the many gaps in the joints between the concrete blocks. Just because a wall is made of masonry ... do not, for a single moment, assume that it is either smoke resisting or sound resisting. Also ... notice the sloppy DIY electrics. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

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Colour photograph showing, after I had pulled back a portion of thermal insulation, where the insulation had completely covered a downlighter. In other parts of this Attic Roof Space chipboard, to hold all of the clutter, covers the transformers as well. Downlighters need direct ventilation to facilitate the escape of heat. Also ... note the trap doorset is not fire and smoke resisting. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

Colour photograph showing, after I had pulled back a portion of thermal insulation, where the insulation had completely covered a downlighter. In other parts of this Attic Roof Space chipboard, to hold all of the clutter, covers the transformers as well. Downlighters need direct ventilation to facilitate the escape of heat. Also ... note the trap doorset is not fire and smoke resisting. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

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Colour photograph showing thermal insulation packed tightly into the roof eaves ... choking off essential ventilation pathways. Thermal insulation was also placed under the water storage tanks ... exposing them to freezing external conditions during cold winter nights. Thick, multi-layered thermal insulation will also conceal the bottom horizontal members in all types of timber roof construction ... expect more fall accidents through ceilings in the future! Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

Colour photograph showing thermal insulation packed tightly into the roof eaves ... choking off essential ventilation pathways. Thermal insulation was also placed under the water storage tanks ... exposing them to freezing external conditions during cold winter nights. Thick, multi-layered thermal insulation will also conceal the bottom horizontal members in all types of timber roof construction ... expect more fall accidents through ceilings in the future! Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2010-05-21. Click to enlarge.

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There are simple Design and Construction Solutions to all of these problems … and Competent, Independent Technical Control over the works being carried out is absolutely essential.

BUT … Dysfunctional Government Departments and State Agencies are still … to this day … directly sponsoring and knowingly contributing to these hazardous situations in our homes !

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