The LWF Blog
Facilities Management & Fire Safety – Fire Safety Management – Part 4May 2, 2018 1:36 pm
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 management of fire safety and who is responsible. In previous parts, it was established that an appropriately experienced and resourced individual can be named the ‘responsible person’ within an organisation, but if one is not nominated or is nominated but is under-resourced or supported, the ultimate responsibility reverts to the most senior executive.
The role of the responsible person is one to be taken seriously, not only by the incumbent but also by the most senior levels of management.
When considering if an organisation has an appropriate standard of fire safety management, there are many areas which should be covered.
Each building within an organisation must have a defined responsibility for fire safety. There should also be a fire risk assessment which is fully documented and reviewed at appropriate stages along with a fire safety manual which sets out all the measures which are in place to prevent fire, protect building occupants and arrangements for fire safety management.
Arrangements must be made for assistance which complies with fire safety legislation and fire protection policies. Assistance can be internal or external. Fire procedures must be suitable and well-documented to ensure safe evacuation, in particular, detailed consideration should be given to the arrangements for evacuation of any people with disabilities.
Fire Safety Management must include the training of staff in fire-related matters and should include additional training for any staff with special responsibilities. Fire Wardens can be appointed, where appropriate and their duties should be outlined. The procedures for properly conducted fire drills should be laid out and followed.
Regular in-house fire safety inspections must be detailed and carried out and it is important that the timetable for any contracts or other arrangements for the inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection equipment is laid out and followed. Plant and equipment must be subject to a proper inspection, testing and maintenance schedule which includes electrical installations.
Any work undertaken by outside contractors must be closely overseen and the impact of such works on normal fire safety procedures must be mitigated. Particular attention should be paid during ‘hot works’ and any other potentially hazardous activities.
Liaison is an important part of a responsible person’s duties in the workplace. It is important that discussion and pre-planning are considered with the Fire and Rescue Service and that liaison with enforcing authorities, such as building control is maintained in order to consult with them in case of any material changes are proposed.
In part 5 of this series, LWF will continue to describe the various elements of fire safety which must be considered by the responsible person or during any inspection. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.
Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact Peter Gyere on 020 8668 8663.
While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.