The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel-Fire Safety Legislation Part 2

July 15, 2019 11:12 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 1, we began an overview of the history of fire safety legislation, which we continue in part 2.
In the last blog, it was ascertained that following a fire disaster, it is common to see changes in legislation with the aim of reducing or removing the possibility of something similar happening in the future. It is not always the case that new legislation is required, however, sometimes a change in requirements imposed under legislation is called for.
On 4th Feb 1996, a female firefighter was killed fighting a fire at a supermarket when a flashover occurred. As a result, the maximum compartment size specified for single-storey retail premises in guidance published to support Building Regulations 2000 was reduced.
In 2004, a fire at Rosepark residential care home in Scotland resulted in the deaths of 14 of the elderly occupants. After the disaster, the Building (Scotland) Regulations specified that care homes must be protected by an automatic fire suppression installation.
The responsive and reactive nature of legislation and guidance relating to fire safety had caused it to become fragmented over the years. In 2006, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force in England and Wales (with equivalent legislation in Scotland and, shortly afterwards, Northern Ireland) which finally meant a major rationalisation and consolidation of fire safety legislation across the board.
Back in 1970, following the Holroyd Report, a serious attempt to bring together the various strands of fire safety legislation was made. The report itself recommended that guidance and requirements were divided into two main branches – the first for new builds and for those buildings undergoing substantial extending or material alteration and the second for already occupied premises.
The suggestion proved most practical and remains the basis of the Government’s approach to fire safety legislation. The essence is that there are standards which can be applied to new builds which would not be practical to retro-fit or rebuild in an existing building. Equally, some concessions can be made for new buildings which meet a higher fire safety standard which would not be applicable to an older building.
In part 3, LWF will talk more about the codes relating to existing buildings and new buildings in England and Wales. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 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.
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