The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 35

June 29, 2020 1:53 pm

In LWF’s 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 34, LWF considered how making changes to a building can affect the fire risk. In part 35, we will continue looking at the potential fire safety hazards of contractors and building work and how to mitigate them, before discussing building change of use.

When hot building work is undertaken, it is important that suitable portable fire extinguishers are provided adjacent to the hot-work area. In addition, as soon as the hot-work is finished for the day, an inspection should be carried out to ensure the area is safe.

It is important that no hot-work should be undertaken on the premises unless a hot-work permit has been issued. A permit should be issued only when the Fire Safety Manager, or person with equivalent duties, is satisfied the contractor understands their responsibilities in the following areas:

– There is no safe and satisfactory alternative method of working
– Suitable preparation of the place of work
– Diligence and care during the work to be undertaken
– Ensuring the workplace is left clean and safe
– Requirement for checks after work is completed and a final check at a later time
– Fire extinguisher training
– Availability of a safety officer (if appropriate)
– Ability to take particular precautions where there are special risks

The contractors’ attendance should be logged and the log maintained stringently to ensure that all personnel can be located if an emergency was to occur.

The fire safety management requirements for a building are recorded in the fire safety manual and, where the tenancy or ownership of the building changes, the manual is passed to the next occupant. The fire safety manual is particularly important as the requirements included are established at design stage based upon the fire safety provision of the building.

Where there is a change of use of the building, or a change in the scale of operations, then the fire safety management requirements given in the manual will have to be carefully re-assessed for the new use.

In part 36, LWF will continue looking at how to address change of building use, before considering disuse or decommissioning. 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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