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Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 16

February 17, 2020 2:03 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 are classed as fire safety management. In part 15, we began to look at the role of the fire safety manager and to discuss the responsibilities of the fire safety manager. In part 16, we continue by considering the duties of the fire safety manager that will make up much of their day to day work.

A fire safety manager will be expected to carry out routine maintenance and testing of fire safety equipment, either personally where appropriate, or by bringing in appropriately qualified contractors to do so.

Documentation for the fire safety manual must be kept up to date with the inclusion of documentation for training records, drill records and full details of any ‘near-miss’ events which might have taken place.

It is expected that the fire safety manager will develop a fire strategy appropriate for a particular risk. For example, if production on a manufacturing site changes to necessitate the storage and use of a flammable substance, the fire safety manager will need to investigate the necessary processes and safety implications and put appropriate safeguards into place to mitigate and minimise the potential for fire on the premises.

The fire safety manager should be a ‘Competent Person’ as per the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and seek to ensure compliance with all appropriate codes, regulations, terms or conditions.

It is important that the fire safety manager is able to respond promptly to any rare or unanticipated events which could increase the risk of fire or affect current evacuation procedures. If such an event were to occur, it may be necessary for the fire safety manager to limit the number of persons allowed on the premises or even to close the building completely if the situation warrants such action.

The fire safety manager should ensure that they have processes in place to notify any relevant authorities of changes that could affect fire precautions in the building. This could be material changes, such as building works, alterations or additions to the fabric of the building or the changes might be process-led, such as the storage and use of new flammable materials.

In part 17, LWF will look at some additional responsibilities held by the fire safety manager which relate to larger buildings and complexes. 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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