The LWF Blog
Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Prevention & Industrial Processes – Part 110August 9, 2021 11:44 am
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 109, LWF looked at the contract conditions necessary to prevent incidences of fire on site. In part 110, we will discuss industrial operations and fire prevention.
The fire prevention methods incorporated into a contractor agreement given in the last blog would, if followed and adhered to, result in a dramatic reduction in fires in non-domestic premises. Industrial premises, however, present their own particular fire hazards through the processes taking place within. Some fire hazards will be unique to the industrial processes of a particular manufacturer or type of manufacturer and can only be addressed by the use of specific process controls.
Some industrial processes which present a hazard and can be common to different industrial operations include:
- Shrink wrapping
- Battery charging
- Paint spraying
- Heat treatment
- Flammable liquids and gases
- Combustible dusts
Fire prevention guides are available for these types of fire hazard and codes of safe practice are available for specific industries. The Fire Protection Association produces guidance documents, some of which are for specific occupancies. The Health and Safety Executive also produces useful guidances.
While many of the industrial processes presenting a fire hazard are too particular to address in detail through this medium, and specialist fire engineering advice should be sought for the design of fire precautions as appropriate, it remains the case that following good housekeeping practices for fire prevention can only benefit any organisation, no matter which building designation.
Regular cleaning can help to avoid an excess of dust which can become airborne in a fire situation, causing a secondary explosion. The appropriate segregation of potential sources of fire from potential fuel, as well as chemical storage can avoid ignition. All machinery should be subject to regular checks and maintenance to ensure they continue to work correctly and safely. Any fire-resistant construction put into place by the building designers to stop fire spreading from one area to another must be maintained appropriately. Fire doors should not be propped open. Smoking materials, such as lighters, matches, cigarettes, cigars and pipes must be kept away from the building.
In part 111 of this series, LWF will discuss furniture and furnishings and how the correct choice can help prevent fire. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.
Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.
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.