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



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MS37 Passive Fire Precautions - Contracts and Management

Right click to download this fileMS 37.pdf
In November's 2002 bulletin, Kevin Parsons BSc (Hons) Fire Safety examines the contractual and management issues surrounding passive fire precautions. Todays complex buildings rely more than ever on multiple fire protection systems. All of a buildings fire safety systems must operate in an efficient, integrated manner if the safety of the structure and its occupants is to be assured. Passive fire precautions are a necessary part of any fire safety solution. Compartment walls are classic examples, because they remain unchanged between the normal and fire conditions. Passive systems stand in place within the structure of existing buildings. They will have been there since the original construction or, perhaps, the latest refurbishment. Building managers cannot always be sure as to which walls within a building are compartment walls, or their condition, or their fire rating. On new-build sites, contracts should state clearly who is responsible for ensuring that passive precautions are properly built. A specialist fire-stopping contractor should bear complete responsibility for passive separations. If passive systems are compromised it is usually by building services. When any installation work is carried out in a building, the impact on passive protection features should be considered. Penetrations are not the only element of passive systems that can cause problems during construction. The level of accuracy of the installed door may be low when compared with the door that won approval when tested. In todays environment of churn dynamics it is important that buildings are designed with sufficient flexibility to allow change. Consideration should also be given to the restraints that passive precautions may place on a buildings use and the effect any change may have on these precautions. The same level of consideration should be given to passive measures as is regularly accorded to active precautions.

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