The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 26

April 28, 2020 9:57 am

In LWFs Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others involved in building design, we have been looking at those activities of a company which can be classed as fire safety management. In part 25, LWF discussed fire safety maintenance and testing. In part 26, we talk about planning for a fire emergency.

It is essential that an organisation approaches effective fire safety management in a constructive way and the emergency plan is an important part of the fire safety provision. For the vast majority of companies and organisations, the emergency plan is more than advisable, it is required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the equivalent regulations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The fire safety manager, or equivalent Responsible Person where no fire safety manager role exists in an organisation (the role of Responsible Person is defined in the Fire Safety Order), is responsible for making a plan for a fire emergency that will result in the prompt and safe egress of all occupants from a building to a place of safety nearby.

Safe and timely evacuation requires that the occupants react quickly to the fire alarm and exit the building by the most direct and efficient route, wherever possible. In a complex building or one which is likely to have members of the public visiting, it may be that trained staff are required to assist other occupants in safely evacuating.

In order to accomplish the aims of the emergency plan, the fire safety manager or equivalent must take responsibility for the following tasks and ensure they are completed at required intervals:

Staff training and fire drills, including full evacuations.
Reviewing all plant and equipment interface controls to check they work with the procedures.
The testing of emergency procedures, inspection and testing of systems, including major incident simulations.
Simulating emergency conditions and running tests.
Safety audits and inspections.
Responding to, investigating and recording any false or unwanted alarms.
Ensuring any drills, false alarms, near-miss events and minor incidents are investigated, recorded and learned from and providing feedback to participants and staff following drills.
Reviewing staff duties and training procedures
Where applicable, effective management of the site fire team
Liaison with Fire Service and provision of an emergency pack for firefighters containing essential information and indicating escape routes/hazards, where deemed appropriate.
Upkeep of the fire safety manual with all relevant information and reviewing fire safety plans as necessary.

In part 27, LWF will consider what specific areas the emergency plan must cover. 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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