Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants



Navigation

Client login
Forgotten password
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Subscribe to our blog

Lawrence Webster Forrest
Legion House
Lower Road
Kenley
Surrey
CR8 5NH

Tel: +44 (0)20 8668 8663 Fax: +44 (0)20 8668 8583
E-mail: fire@lwf.co.uk

Fire Safety Housekeeping & Management

Housekeeping, to many people, may refer to activities such as domestic chores.  However, in the world of fire safety, it is a term frequently used to describe a vast range of issues that are often deficient and can have adverse effects on the residual risk posed by fire.

Management

Management will have a significant impact over the housekeeping issues that arise.  In construction, the phrase “a tidy site, is a safe site” is often used and whilst this is not strictly true, the essence of the saying is.  The key to this is good management, those who can manage the simple activities, such as general tidiness, often follow the same organisational principles throughout their work processes.

Management of fire safety is paramount.  If the management system is poor, common deficiencies are frequently highlighted.  These include, inaccurate and/or incomplete documentation / records, this in turn often lead to fire safety systems etc not being tested appropriately, therefore increasing the likelihood of fire / consequences of fire. 

Simple management tools can be used, such as a traditional ‘fire safety log book’, this single provision can ensure all relevant information is stored in one place, planned maintenance, fire drills etc can all be recorded there as well as recording activities that have been undertaken.

Common Failures

Where the management system fails, this can be highlighted in a number of ways.  A vast range of issues have arisen over numerous surveys, however, below are the most common issues identified:

• Inadequate testing / maintenance of fire safety systems
• Excessive fire loading within given areas
• Means of escape routes blocked / locked / impeded
• Significant risk of fire caused by combining ignition sources / combustible materials
• Furnishings presenting a greater risk due to damage
• Inappropriate storage
• Inadequate controls over flammable materials
• Lack of controls over external personnel, e.g. contractors undertaking works
• Overloading of electrical systems
• Poor cable management (leading to damaged flex cords)
• Inappropriate potential arson assessment

This list is not considered to be exhaustive, however, does provide some insight into typical housekeeping issues that are observed.  These examples should demonstrate that housekeeping is more than keeping your desk tidy.

Consequences

The consequences of all the examples given and for all fire safety housekeeping issues is that the risk of a fire is greater.  This can be due to the likelihood of fire occurring being greater, for example by introducing additional ignition risks to an environment, or by making the consequences of fire worse, perhaps by increasing the fire loading within an area.

Summary

We must all give fire safety housekeeping the respect it deserves, whilst it is deemed to be at the ‘simple end’ of the spectrum, if we fail to get this right, we are likely to fail in all areas.  There is little point in installing complex fire detection systems to protect a building (in the event a fire might start) if we overlook the issues that could cause a fire to start in the first place.  Whilst this bulletin would never suggest lessening protection systems, these system are often measures used to detect fire / prevent its spread, many housekeeping issues are in place as a fire prevention measure.  If we can achieve prevention, we achieve success.

If you would like to know more – or would like to arrange an appointment with one of our senior fire safety advisers – simply call Peter Gyere on 020 8668 8663

We very much look forward to hearing from you and helping you with your fire safety compliance requirements.

 

Subscribe to our fire safety blogs

Bulletins
Email Format
* indicates required

FIRE SAFETY BLOGS

  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Firefighting & External Water Supplies - Part 24

    In LWF’s fire engineering blog series for Architects and other professionals involved in building design, we have been looking at firefighting and, most recently, the provisions that should be made for the Fire Service to attend and put out a fire. In part 23, we looked at the requirements and recommendations relating to the provision of fire hydrants and we continue from that point in part 24.The original standards for the installation of water...

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Access & Facilities for the Fire Service - Part 58

    In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 57 of this series, LWF looked at what access and facilities must be provided for the Fire Service attending a fire at a healthcare venue. In part 58, we will continue from that point by looking at the number and location of fire-fighting shafts required in those healthcare...

    Read more...

  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Insurers & Property Protection - Part 5

    In LWF’s blog series for those professionals who work in facilities management or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, we have been looking at property protection and the role of the insurer. In part 4, some of the history that led to property insurance from fire was given and in part 5, we will continue looking at how different the early insurers could be from what we know today.While the...

    Read more...

  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Firefighting & External Water Supplies - Part 23

    In LWFs fire engineering blog series for Architects and others involved in building design, we have been looking at the subject of firefighting. In part 22, we gave information on some of the regulations and guidance documents which deal with the issue of provision of fire hydrants. In part 23, we continue from that point by looking at who should provide them and where they should be placed in relation to the building.

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Access & Facilities for the Fire Service - Part 57

    In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 56 of this series, LWF spent time looking at the access required by Fire and Rescue Service vehicles to healthcare buildings not fitted with fire mains. In part 57, LWF will continue looking at those measures which should be taken to ensure the Fire Service has access to...

    Read more...

Case Studies

The Wohl Neuroscience Institute - Fire Safety, Strategy & Engineering
Key Facts: Client: King’s Clinical Neuroscience Institute Project Manager: MACE Ltd Designers: Devereux Architects/Allies and Morrison Approximate Size: 7,400m2 Description of the Project:...

Read more..

General Bulletins

Fire - The External Risk
When we consider fire safety, our focus is normally from within, what can we do to prevent the occurrence of fire and how we can limit its damage.  Whilst this is the correct stance to take, we m...

Read more..

Technical Bulletins

Evacuation Modelling - Factor in Human Behaviour
Evacuation of buildings can be analyzed in different ways. Approved Document B (ADB) which provides guidance on meeting the requirements of the England and Wales Building Regulations with regard to fi...

Read more..

Site map | Web development London