The LWF Blog
Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Prevention – Part 95April 26, 2021 11:41 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 94, LWF began to look at how management should assess the likelihood of arson in their premises and what indicators there are to measure that risk. In part 95, we continue to discuss arson and arson analysis.
Management of an organisation should analyse and remain aware of the level of arson threat to the company. In part 94, we discussed the type of organisation and the activities it undertakes. Full analysis will also depend on further factors and indicators:
- Perceived ‘soft’ targets. Some premises are very difficult to secure due to the need for open access to the public. The travel industry, particularly bus companies, is vulnerable to arson attacks. In bus stations, arson caused by the ignition of seats in parked vehicles is relatively frequent. Additionally, a bus depot arson attack is one that could cause major damage as the vehicles are often parked in close proximity to one another, allowing fire to spread quickly.
- Labour relations. Organisations with good industrial relations are likely to have less disgruntled employees.
- Geographical location. The location of the building is relevant, as premises in inner city areas are often at greater risk than rural locations. Specific locations can also have a much higher arson level than others.
- Public access. When a building is accessible by the public, it becomes at much higher risk of arson.
While it would be comforting to think that arson is a fairly rare occurrence, data shows that it accounts for approximately half of all fires attended by the Fire Service in the UK. In 2020, the number of instances of arson dropped by 23%, due to changes in lifestyle because of Covid-19, however it is unlikely to stay at the lower level once day to day life begins to return to normal.
A plan to help avoid arson can be created for a building/business/organisation by working with local police, security experts, building and content insurers, Fire Service and fire engineers.
In part 96 of this series, LWF will begin to look at fires caused by electrical faults and how they can be prevented. 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.