Have seen a couple of semi diy programs recently, you know the sort.
Anyway I noticed what seemed to be some pretty flimsy bricks being
Sort of thinner than UK bricks/blocks and hollow as well, about the
height of a block.
Another one was some wiring they were installing, they were running it
everywhere but where you'd expect, ie. diagonally across wall, around
door frames etc. So much for the EU etc. we get the rules while they
take the piss? ;-)
Sounds like the sort of bricks used and wiring done here (Turkey)...
Maybe from Eastern Europe?
I think that it's not European, but British regulations that control
building work in the main, but I stand to be corrected... Also that we
obey what the regs say, not like many other countries - no names, no
"Mark S." wrote
| Have seen a couple of semi diy programs recently, you know the sort.
"A Hovel in France / Spain / Italy / Wherever" sort of thing? "Whilst
Tarquin supervises some quaint and characterful native digging out the
septic tank to form the new swimming pool, our decidedly non-celebrity chef
Wayne is cooking a traditional local dish of chicken marinated in mosquito
email@example.com (Abdullah Eyles) wrote in message
Do you have a comparative source for safety records? I would be
interested to see the effect of difference between e.g., British and
Dutch performance on electrical safety, stair design etc.
For example the development of the typical Dutch house (narrow and
tall) over centuries led to very steep and turned stairs being the
norm. I live in a 15 year old 3 story semi which has these, which
seem very unsafe to me but normal to the Dutch. When I discussed the
issue the reaction was - so what is the problem?
Actually other parts of society are adjusted to the design so there is
no problem, as I found out. I was bedridden 18 months ago with spinal
problems, and had to be ambulanced to hospital. How to get down the
stairs when I couldn't move at all? No problem, the ambulance crew
said, it is quite normal for the ambulance to call up a fire crew to
sling you out the upper floor windows. Indeed on close inspection one
of the windows was specially designed to allow this. Preseumably in
the Dutch building regs.?
The tool rental companies also hire out trailer mounted extending
ladders that has a platform that whizzes up and down powered by a
small motor. So moving house to the 3rd floor is not a problem, just
rent one of these and away you go, all your gear effortlessly lifted
without using the stairs at all. (The old row houses all used to have
a hoist beam sticking out at the top of course, or provision to put
one in for the day.)
Also the Dutch are great travellers of course, so many more cars over
here have tow balls - and all the sheds have a row of trailers of
various designs parked outside as well, also petrol stations rent them
I have a foot in both countries, and it is interesting to compare the
difference in approach, but you also need to have an understanding of
the background and surrounding systems and social environment. Maybe
Dutch stairs are unsafe in isolation to a Brit, but to someone who has
grown up with them, in a country where they are the norm and the
surrounding systems are in place, maybe they are not...
Hence my interest in any comparative data.
What is best and what is in the regulations is never a 1 to 1
relationship anyway in any country.
I even have a link on my desktop to a site where uncertificated people
discuss how to modify the fixed electrical wiring in their houses
without official approval! Consumer units , breakers and all!!
Fortunately the government in the country concerned is going to
regulate all that from next April. :-)
It is not so much a going but an ascent. Untrained british visitors
are provided with a rope and iceaxe.
The stairs are far steeper than anything of relatively recent build in
the UK, the only comparison I have is with an 1859 terraced servants
cottage that had something slightly less steep. I might measure up
tonight, but for now, can I describe it as follows;
4 bed house with two upper floors.
If you stand on the 1st floor landing to descend there is a +- 80 cm
wide top step. The stairs spiral away immeadiatly from this, at such
a pitch that your first step down has to be on your right foot. If
you led with your left you would have approx a 1m drop before you hit
The stairs are essentially a flattened spiral, which provides the only
access to the two upper floors. (also they are polished wood with a
bit of stick on carpet covering part of the treads)
Are (wooden) spiral staircases allowed as the only means of access to
upper floors in the UK?
I and the family learned very fast to hold the handrails, and 1 person
only on the stairs at a time. At no pint is there space to put more
than half of my size 10's on a step unless I put my foot sideways.
Actually such steep and narrow stairs tread are not unusual. I know
of a couple of restaurants which are split between the ground and
first floor, and there are stairs that are so narrow that I can only
put my heels on the tread. Gripping for the customers and more so for
the staff carrying food up and down.
It seems also to be ok to have mains power socket right next to a
washbasin so you can plug in your (unfused) hairdrier etc.
I would assume that there are more stair deaths and bathroom
electrocutions in Holland than in the UK, hence the question for
comparative data to confirm my prejudice.. however I know sometimes
the facts can be different to what is "obvious".
Measured up last night. The width at the top is less than I said, 58
cm to be precise. The stair turns 180 deg, but as it is built in a
rectangular void the stairs are all different widths. The drop is 3.2
metres, and the horizontal length, if you measure down the middle of
the steps, is about 1.4 metres.
The arrangement is identical to reach the top floor.
I don't know how this compares to uk regs, but it strikes me as a bit
steep. And, as I say, I have seen steeper!
Like the old joke about the chap jumping off the skyscraper says, the
trip down is easy, it is just stopping at the bottom that is the
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