The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety Management – Part 5

December 2, 2019 2:07 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 4, LWF talked about the value of management input at building design stage. In part 5, we discuss building design with fire safety management and fire prevention in mind.

Building designers and fire engineers who give sufficient thought and consideration of the eventual occupants of a building can assist in the work of the fire safety manager through the provision of suitable facilities and equipment for fire prevention.

In addition, if the eventual housekeeping duties are borne in mind by the designer, the running of the building should be a much smoother and more straightforward process.

One way in which housekeeping can be approached by the designer is to consider potential materials and storage that might cause or exacerbate a fire situation. Particular attention should be paid to the following areas:

– Gas, oil, electrical heating installations which are all a potential source of ignition.
– Electrical and gas installations
– Equipment designed to dissipate heat
– Equipment which may be situated in voids or cavities within the building, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cavity barriers
– Furniture, furnishings, décor, equipment, floor coverings etc.
– Any other equipment which may present a particular fire risk

Another source of potential fire risk for the building is arson. The building designer can assist the building occupants and fire safety manager by considering how to best avoid instances of arson and how they can be mitigated if they do occur. Building security is one of the elements to help prevent arson and it is important that this is designed and carried out to work alongside the fire protection provision and means of escape in the building.

While most of this blog has dealt with fire prevention, fire protection is another area in which the designer should give thought to the needs of the occupant and the responsibilities of the fire safety manager. The building should be provided with facilities and equipment to protect the occupants and allow effective evacuation as a minimum, (and building and contents as required by the owner) in case of a fire, and with an appreciation of the maintenance of such systems after installation.

In part 6, LWF will discuss continue discussing those provisions which can be made by the building design team with the occupancy and fire safety in mind. 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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