The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 2

November 11, 2019 1:23 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 1, we began to outline the importance of effective fire safety management. In part 2, we will continue from that point and examine the statutory and legal obligations.

The designer of a building should ensure that the building will work with the fire safety manager’s fire safety aims and will assist in their duties. For their part, the fire safety manager must make sure they are familiar with, and have an understanding of, the fire safety provisions designed into the core of the building, so that those features can be protected, maintained and modified as necessary and used appropriately.

It is the responsibility of the senior management of a building to identify all legislation and regulations applying to fire safety and building safety. Once found, the senior management must be able to show how they meet the requirements. In the UK, fire regulations for buildings can be found in the following pieces of legislation (although there may be conditions in which some other acts are pertinent):

Building Regulations 
Health and Safety at Work (etc.) Act
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations
The Fire Safety (Northern Ireland) Regulations
Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations
Disabled Persons Act
Disability Discrimination Act

The Department of Communities and Local Government produced a guide to support the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which can be accessed online.

Senior management must be aware of the statutory requirements for all buildings except domestic premises, but including homes of multiple occupancy and common areas in blocks of flats. The rules will affect maintenance, means of escape, fire warning systems, portable fire extinguishers, fire warning systems, portable fire extinguishers, escape lighting, fire safety instructions and training for staff, visitors, public etc.

It is very common for a country’s statutory instruments to require consultation with local building authorities and fire authorities prior to and during the building of extensions, substantial alterations within the building and for necessary approvals under planning acts which are responsible for the external elevations of buildings.

For buildings subject to a fire engineered safety solution, it is usually necessary for good management practices to be implemented and maintained and the way that legal duties are acknowledged, understood and satisfied should all be properly documented as a part of the fire safety solution.

In part 3, LWF will look at how buildings should be designed for them to be manageable from a fire safety point of view. 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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