The LWF Blog
Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Prevention – Part 93April 12, 2021 12:10 pm
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 92, LWF discussed fire prevention and began to look at a major cause of fire – arson and how secure boundaries were important in its prevention. In part 93, we will continue discussing arson in relation to the guidance given in BS 8220-3.
In addition to a secure boundary where possible, building security designed to prevent instances of arson should include access control systems, to ensure that only those persons permitted can gain access to the inside of the building. When entry points are supervised and individuals are properly identifiable, arson is drastically reduced. It is essential that any high risk areas within a site are evaluated and subject to additional controls.
Outside the building, security lighting should be used, especially where the premises has open yards or large sites with open spaces between the perimeter fence or boundary and the buildings on the site.
Intruder alarms mean that building occupants can be alerted to an intrusion and a signal received by an alarm receiving centre, so that the police are notified. In the case of a large site or building, CCTV monitoring may also be appropriate.
Security patrols can also be necessary on large sites or those which are vulnerable to arson attacks.
Staff vigilance should be encouraged. Training of staff to make them aware of the security measures, the dangers of arson and how they should challenge persons who might be trespassing is advisable.
When assessing the risks of arson and putting solutions into place, attention should not just be paid to those areas where the business feels an arson attack would cause most damage. It can be that a minor occurrence can have potentially disastrous results.
Good housekeeping on a site can help reduce the risk from arson. The absence of combustible waste and rubbish will deny opportunists the fuel for a fire. Additionally, skips, piles of pallets and rubbish bins should not be stored within 6-10 m of a building. The use of such provisions means that an arsonist could destroy a building without even setting foot inside.
In part 94 of this series, LWF will continue discussing arson and how effective fire safety management can prevent it. 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.