The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Control Centre – Part 3

July 27, 2020 1:22 pm

In LWF’s Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others involved in building design, we have been looking at those activities of a company which can be classed as fire safety management. Fire Control Centres are designed for phased evacuation or where the building is large or complex. In part 2 of this series on the fire control centre, LWF considered what the fire control centre should contain. In part 3, we will continue to look at what equipment and information should be provided within the fire control centre.

Where a building contains a fire control centre, it should contain all potentially useful and relevant items to assist in dealing with a fire. In addition to those items named in part 2 of this blog, it should contain the following:

The fire emergency plan for the building.

Any keys or devices which may be required for access to areas of the building or to operate any mechanical or electrical systems should be kept in the fire control centre. Where necessary for some of these items to be in use or carried by staff during building operation hours, to ensure the safe and efficient running of the building, copies should be made for the fire control centre use only.

The building floor plans should be made available and facilities provided whereby principal staff or building services engineers can be contacted as required.

Within the control centre, there must be the facility to sound the alarm alert signal throughout the building.

A clock should be provided to time phases of evacuation (where not automated), as well as a visual indication of the evacuation status in parts of the building where the evacuation signal has been sounded.

A wall-mounted writing board with suitable writing implements should be provided, in order to display important information.
Refreshment facilities for personnel involved with the incident.

A control centre must be staffed by a competent person who is trained in the use and operation of the installed equipment and he or she must be present while the building is occupied. The design of the control centre should be such that the operators are able to take control of the emergency efficiently and effectively.

As it is becoming common that fire, security and general building systems are being integrated, it is essential that the single building management system provided is at least as effective as the individual systems incorporated. Design of building management systems should confirm to BS EN 54-2. Where possible, clear distinction should be made between fire, security and building management systems within the control centre.

In part 4, LWF will look at fire safety on construction sites. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.

Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact the LWF office on 0800 410 1130.

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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