The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 19

March 9, 2020 2:27 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 18, we discussed effective communication and its importance to fire safety management. In part 19, we continue discussing communication, before looking at fire prevention.

As well as communication systems which are designed to deal with any fire incident, it is important to consider the communications structure. There may be environments where there is a cascade decision making process which involves multiple layers of management. In such circumstances, it is essential that the decision-making process is either simplified or streamlined in order to facilitate speedy decision making and clear communications.

The communication systems must be subject to a regular maintenance and testing routine to ensure all elements are in good working condition and ready for a fire situation.

When systems are set up to work in ‘Emergency conditions’ they must be fully tested as if in such conditions to ensure they are appropriate and effective.

Consideration should be given to the selection of languages to use in voice messages. It should be decided by considering factors such as the most likely first languages of the potential building occupants and the overall length of the message loop.

Special provisions for persons with sensory disabilities should also be considered, what is provided is likely to vary significantly depending upon the type of building occupancy and the purpose of the building.

A contingency plan should also be considered and made to lay out what will happen if fire safety facilities, equipment or systems are faulty or non-operational.

Fire Prevention

It will be obvious that fire prevention is the process of creating an environment where fires are prevented from starting. The Fire Safety Manager’s role encompasses fire prevention and fire protection issues.

The Fire Safety Manager will work to ensure that policies and practices are put into place to prevent fires starting and, in order to facilitate this task, will consider any and all situations in the building which might lead to a fire or an explosion. It may also be the case that there are temporary risks which must be taken into account and mitigated against.

In part 20, LWF will consider the tasks a Fire Safety Manager will pursue with the aim of Fire Prevention. 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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