The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 17

February 24, 2020 1:32 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 16, we considered the duties of the fire safety manager that will make up much of their day to day work. In part 17, we look at some additional responsibilities held by the fire safety manager, which relate to larger buildings and complexes.

While many of the principles of fire safety management and the duties of the fire safety manager (FSM) are similar in a building which is smaller when compared to one which is large or is a complex, there are some additional responsibilities for larger buildings and complexes:

– The FSM should appoint fire marshals and/or fire wardens, usually from the existing staff as an extra duty.
– The FSM should appoint or delegate the appointment of members of any site fire team.
– The FSM is responsible for the development of a training policy for the building/s.
– The FSM should ensure that staff have the necessary competences.
– The FSM must organise training for the staff and maintain training records.
– The FSM must organise and oversee independent third-party audits.
– The FSM should organise periodic internal audits to review current fire safety management procedures, the audits should reflect any changes in personnel and building usage.
– The FSM should ensure the automatic fire safety system is effective on an ongoing basis and if the building undergoes a change of use.
– Consideration and preparation of a disaster plan, taking into account the potential for a fire incident to affect the local community.

In the case of complexes and large buildings containing multiple commercial occupancies, occupiers of the units should be aware that the existence of an umbrella fire safety management staff and plan does not negate the need of that individual organisation to address their fire safety responsibilities on that site. It is important that each tenant understands the emergency procedures to ensure their own plans dovetail into the overall plan for the building or complex, leaving no element neglected or unnecessarily duplicated.

It should be noted that where fire safety management is outsourced, for example to a facilities management company, then the final responsibility for fire safety still remains with the responsible person within the main organisation.

In part 18, LWF will discuss how important effective communication is to 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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