The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 13

January 27, 2020 3:41 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 12, we looked at where the fire safety manual should be kept, who should have access and how it should be maintained. In part 13, LWF will look at how the fire safety manual should be reviewed and tested.

Reviewing the fire safety manual

For the fire safety manual to fulfil its purpose, it must be kept up to date and this review should be undertaken at least annually, or whenever any changes are made to the building. Much of the review should take the form of testing, the majority of which should be simple routine activity for the management to ensure the prescribed activities are being properly carried out.

Review results should be recorded and kept, along with details of any changes made. Where an IT system is used to manage the upkeep of the fire safety manual, there should be regular checks for the purpose of ensuring the requirements are being met.

All fire safety systems installed in the building, including those systems installed in tenant units and other occupancies should be subject to inspection routines.

Once a year, a full, monitored building evacuation drill should be carried out to check all the systems and procedures in the manual. The full evacuation drill should be carried out just before and just after the first full occupation of a new building. If the period between these drills is more than 12 months, an interim drill should be considered.

Staff should have the purpose of any test exercise or drill explained to them in clear detail to enable assessment afterwards.

Records of fire drills and other testing should be made available to the enforcing authorities.

The fire safety manager, for the purposes of fire safety duties, is the person who is in overall control of the premises while people are present, or, where applicable, the person who has direct responsibility for fire safety. The role within the company may not be given as ‘fire safety manager’ which is why it is important to have an understanding of who the role falls to in a given situation.

In part 14, LWF will explore the role of fire safety manager and look at their authority and responsibilities in the workplace. 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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