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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General Bulletins

Click on a bulletin to view details.

MS20 Value Added Benefits of Fire Safety Measures:-

The intention of this bulletin is to bring awareness to managers within organisations who may have a responsibility for fire safety and of factors that should be considered when making decisions related to fire safety provision standards and investment. A further aim is to show how the concept of fire risk assessment can be used to further the quality of the fire related decision-making process.

MS19 Voice Alarm Systems:-

It is commonly thought that the widespread use of alarm bells as multipurpose indicators as well as a fire warning signal has undermined its effectiveness to the point where the signal is frequently disregarded as a test, false alarm or having another meaning of which it is not treated as urgent. In this bulletin we consider the merits of a voice alarm system where the fire warning signal includes a worded speech message which gives clear instructions resulting in a reduced reaction time and therefore a total evacuation to a place of safety.

MS18 Fire resistant Penetration Seals:-

It is accepted that fire spread rarely occurs by heat transfer through walls, floors and ceilings within compartmented buildings. It is more likely that fire will spread through open doors, unenclosed stairways and unprotected penetrations in fire barriers, therefore the effective means of fire stopping is crucial in containing a fire at it’s source. In this bulletin we consider a selection of fire stopping products which is fast becoming a rapidly developing sector within the passive fire protection industry.

MS17 Fire Safety Training:-

Often fire training, which is a mandatory requirement, is treated as a chore and is mis-focused or not undertaken at all. This approach misses the opportunity to co-ordinate emergency and evacuation procedures and to provide potential protection to people occupying a premises and to the processes and content of the buildings. We address in this bulletin the primary areas upon which to focus and plan effective training.

MS15 The Role of the Fire Safety Manager:-

In all organisations fire safety managers should be part of the overall disaster plan to ensure continuity across all fire safety issues. However in the present financial climate it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep pace with new requirements and higher standards of fire precautions in both passive and active areas. This together with an increase in fire losses means that fire precautions are now becoming a major concern for the safety conscious manager.

MS14 Optimising the Cost of Fire Detection and Warning Systems:-

Establishing the correct level of expenditure for the design and installation of an alarm and detection system can be an extremely frustrating process. All professionals involved in this decision making process need to be aware of the fine balance between what is required in order to provide early warning in the event of fire and the cost against risk for life safety and property protection. In this edition we consider the cost of providing such systems and how to optimise those costs in order to get the best value for money.

MS13 Fire Growth and Development:-

Often in any occupied building the first person to attend a reported fire will be the premises fire marshall or warden with delegated duties. It is essential that those first on the scene have a thorough knowledge of fire growth and it’s development. This will enable a sound judgement to be made with respect to safe first aid fire fighting and when it becomes prudent to evacuate. In this bulletin we concentrate on the subject of fire growth and it’s development.

MS12 Safety Signs in the Workplace:-

Fire safety signs have been a requirement within the UK for many years for the purpose of warning occupants of hazards and indicating safe exit routes and actions. However in 1992 the European Union recognised the need to adopt a consistent approach to safety signage across all its member States. In this edition we address the issue of fire safety signs and the Health & Safety (Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.

MS11 Hot Work Permits:-

Statistics show that hot works are one of the most common causes of fire in premises to day. Fires, which occur during maintenance and construction works, can often be avoided with an effective and formalised written permit system in place. In this edition we consider the merits of issuing contractors with sufficient information on the building’s fire precautions / evacuation procedures and the need for a permit to work system.

MS10 Portable Fire Extinguishers:-

In this edition we address the issue of portable fire extinguishers. Owners and occupiers of premises where people work are legally obliged to provide suitable fire fighting equipment, to ensure that each appliance is properly maintained and is immediately obvious and readily accessible in the event of fire. Hand held extinguishers and people who know how to use them are often the first line of defence against a possible disaster and therefore one cannot overstate the importance of this simple and inexpensive form of protection. We also address recent changes made by the EU to the colour coding of fire extinguishers.

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  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Firefighting & Rising Water Mains - Part 36

    In LWF’s fire engineering blog series for Architects and others in the building design business, we have been talking about firefighting and rising water mains in buildings. In part 35, we began to discuss wet rising water mains and in part 36 we will continue looking at that subject before considering horizontal mains, also known as internal hydrants, which are seen more commonly in buildings with large floor area.It was established in part 35...


  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Safety Audits - Part 70

    In LWF’s 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 69, we discussed the management of staffing levels and in addition to the number of staff available, it was important that each and every staff member had adequate training in fire and evacuation issues. In part 70, we will discuss fire safety audits and what arrangements should be...


  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Business Continuity Insurance - Part 17

    In LWF’s blog series for those who work in Facilities Management or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, we have been looking at how businesses are protected against interruption from fire. In part 16, we began an overview of the history of consequential loss insurance, which only came into being around 1900, long after life and property protection insurance.  In part 17, we continue from the 1960s.Although the increase in...


  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Firefighting & Rising Water Mains - Part 35

    In LWF’s Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others in the building design business, we have been looking at those provisions which can be made to assist firefighting in case of a fire. In part 34, we commenced looking at wet rising mains and noted that while they can be permanently connected to water mains, it is more common to see the systems connected to a water tank with a pump or gravity feed,...


  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Safety & Staffing Levels - Part 69

    In LWF’s 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 68, LWF discussed staffing levels in terms of fire safety and the importance of the staff in attendance having sufficient fire safety training. In part 69, we will continue looking at staffing levels and fire safety concerns.The management of any healthcare venue must consider and agree what...


Case Studies

Brentwood Town Hall Redevelopment
The redevelopment of Brentwood Town Hall included renovating the existing five storey property to provide police and council offices, a community hub and lettable office space across the basement, gro...

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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...

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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...

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