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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Lawrence Webster Forrest
Legion House
Lower Road

Tel: +44 (0)20 8668 8663 Fax: +44 (0)20 8668 8583

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 & External Water Supplies - Part 27

    In LWF’s Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others in the building design business, we have been looking at fire safety engineering. In part 26, we looked at how the choice of fire hydrant can affect the efficiency of delivery and by working out the additional time required to prime an underground hydrant when compared to a pillar hydrant with instantaneous couplings, it was established there could be as much as 2 minutes delay...


  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Venting of Basements - Part 61

    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 60 of this series, the placement of fire hydrants in relation to hospital buildings was discussed. In part 61, we will look at the effects of smoke on basement levels and the use of venting.A fire which starts in a basement or involves a basement level causes...


  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Insurers & Property Protection - Part 8

    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 the part Insurers have played in property protection over the years. In part 7, we discussed the role the FOC played in producing rules and regulations not only for building standards but also for fire protection products. In part 8, we will continue looking at the impact of...


  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Firefighting & External Water Supplies - Part 26

    In LWF’s fire engineering blog series for Architects and other interested parties in the building design business, we have been looking at firefighting. In part 25, we looked at how hydrants should be located in relation to the building perimeter and the likely position of a Fire Service pump upon attending a fire at the premises. In part 26, we continue looking at location and also the type of hydrant provided in relation to the...


  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Mains - Part 60

    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 59 of this series, LWF discussed the requirements for healthcare buildings with a hospital street and which do not require a fire-fighting shaft. In part 60, we will look at the provision of fire mains.Fire mains must be provided in every firefighting shaft, or in some instances,...


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:...

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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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