The LWF Blog
Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Prevention & Outside Contractors – Part 108July 26, 2021 11:23 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 107, LWF considered the additional fire risks involved when it is necessary to have outside contractors on site. In part 108, we will continue to look at the fire precautions necessary when contractors are on site.
A part of the issue when considering the additional fire hazards in a building which is under construction or major refurbishment is that the facilities which would usually be in place to protect occupants and the building from fire are likely to be compromised or absent. Floors or staircases may be missing or unusable, fire stopping is likely to be compromised or not in place, means of escape can be incomplete or inaccessible and the fire alarm and sprinkler systems can be out of action.
There are actions which can and should be taken by contractors to help reduce the risk of fire and fire safety requirements should be included in any contract between client and contractor. A company should, where possible, produce its own standard fire precautions for use in all contracts. The FPA’s ‘Fire Prevention on Construction Sites’ and the HSE’s ‘Fire Safety in Construction’ (PDF) both provide guidance, with the HSE guidance mainly concentrating on life safety issues rather than property protection.
The contract between the client and contractor should encompass certain important fire safety matters, such as:
- The removal of all waste promptly and safely, away from the building. The burning of waste is no longer commonplace, however if undertaken should be subject to strict controls.
- Any bulk stocks of flammable liquid should be kept securely outside the building. Any flammable liquid necessary inside the building should be kept to a minimum and stored in metal lockers. Petroleum spirit and other highly flammable liquids must be stored in accordance with the relevant regulations.
- Any temporary partitions must be constructed of non-combustible materials, or materials with a low surface spread of flame.
- All gas cylinders must be stored in a secure compound outside the building with cylinders upright at all times. When a cylinder is in use, it should be removed from the building at the end of the working day. LPG must not be used in basements.
In part 109 of this series, LWF will continue to look at the important fire safety matters that should be addressed in the contract between client and contractor. 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.