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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Passive Fire Protection – Part 73

November 23, 2020 1:16 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 72, LWF considered those fire protection measures which are installed to protect property directly and those which are designed to protect a critical business function. In part 73, LWF will continue looking at passive fire protection before looking at pre-planning.

In the main, passive fire protection products can be classed as those products associated with building construction, linings or contents, with the objective of containing fire or limiting fire spread and development.

The potential range of such products is great and an example of one such product may be entirely different from another under this same heading. A fire-resisting filing cabinet may be classed as a passive fire protection product, just as fire-resisting building materials are too.

Passive fire protection has often been regarded as fundamental and is usually specified at an early stage in the design of a building. In contrast, active fire protection systems are sometimes incorrectly seen as ‘add-on’ elements. In order for a building’s fire protection measures to be suitable, both active and passive fire protection measures should be considered early in the design process to ensure a cohesive and seamlessly-integrated fire safety package.

Fire protection measures only come into effect when fire prevention methods have failed, that is to say that fire protection measures are only relevant once a fire has occurred. To prevent fire, procedures and equipment are necessary. Fire protection measures are reliant on equipment and materials.

There is, however, a further group of fire precautions concerned with the procedures both in the short and longer term, following a fire outbreak. The emergency plan addresses those actions which must be taken at the time of a fire and details plans for action after the fire.

The planning which should be undertaken in case of fire includes forming fire procedures and the training of all building occupants, including those with special duties in a fire situation. Regular fire drills should be carried out.

A plan should be conceived for actions to be taken after a fire has occurred. Salvage arrangements and contingency plans for the business must be considered to allow the future running of the business in question.

In part 74, LWF will begin to look at fire risk assessments. 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

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