The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 12

January 20, 2020 2:18 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 11, we considered the operational records that should be contained within the second part of the fire safety manual. In part 12, we look at where the fire safety manual should be kept, who should have access and how it should be maintained.

The fire safety manual should be kept in a secure and fireproof container on the premises to which it pertains. The location within the building should be carefully considered, as it should be readily accessible by the fire officers who attend a fire emergency. An identical copy should be maintained at a separate stated location not on the premises. It is important that any updates or changes made to one copy are mirrored in the duplicate.

A fire enforcement authority or other relevant enforcing authority should be able to inspect the fire safety manual upon request. It is most likely that they will wish to see the fire risk assessment which was completed as per the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, or equivalent orders in Scotland and Northern Ireland, although the fire safety manual will need to be seen as a contribution towards the fire risk assessment.

It is important that the fire safety manual is updated regularly by the fire safety manager or a nominated competent person suitable for the task. Any changes or modifications should be made within one week of any occurrence. Updates should also be made as appropriate, to record feedback from staff and other users of the building.

Any issues with equipment relating to fire safety or other systems that may be relevant should be recorded.

On an annual basis, the fire safety manual should be reviewed and fire safety procedures tested and in addition, when any changes are made to the building. At periodic intervals, the review and testing should be undertaken by an independent auditor.

Much of the regular testing of the fire safety manual will be undertaken as routine activity by the management team to ensure the prescribed activities are being properly carried out.

In part 13, LWF will continue looking at how the fire safety manual should be reviewed and tested. 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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