The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 1

November 4, 2019 2:37 pm

In LWF’s Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others involved in building design, we have been looking at the activities of a company which can be classed as fire safety management. In part 1, we will outline the importance of effective fire safety management and look at the obligations in law.

A company or organisation could have the best fire safety provision available in terms of alarms, sprinkler systems, fire-resistant construction and still be ill-prepared for a fire situation on the premises. Fire safety management is an essential part of fire safety and one which, when neglected, has contributed to many multi-fatality disasters.

Fire safety management requirements are also legally required and laid out in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) in England and Wales and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 or the Fire Safety (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2006.

Fire safety management could be classified as all management activities which ensure the potential for fire in a building is minimised, but that if a fire does occur, all passive, active and procedural fire safety systems are ready to respond properly.

While fire safety management is mainly concerned with life safety of building occupants and firefighters, it may also incorporate elements of protection for property, heritage and the environment. Fire safety management is a constant issue and one which must be addressed at every stage of a building – from concept and design, through construction and handover, occupation, changes of use and ownership through to safe demolition.

The fire safety manager is the person who carries out the co-ordination of all fire safety management issues in a building. The role may be full time or a small part of another role, depending on the size of the organisation or building, or it might be so large as to require a team of dedicated staff.

Within the UK, the RRFSO, Fire Safety (Scotland) and Fire Safety (Northern Ireland) Orders give details of the ‘responsible person’ (or duty holder in some cases) within an organisation, and this role may be responsibility of the fire safety manager, if the role is a senior one within the company. The fire safety manager may be a ‘competent person’ who is appointed by the ‘responsible person’. In the second instance, the responsible person will be the person who has legal responsibility for fire safety and the legal requirements entailed.

In part 2, LWF will continue to look at fire safety management. 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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