The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety on construction sites – Part 13

October 5, 2020 12:03 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 12, LWF looked at fire detection, fire loads and building separation. In part 13, we discuss site management and communication.

Site management is responsible for ensuring fire safety measures are in place and that all relevant parties are kept informed of developments. A site manager should address the fire safety training needs of the staff on site and, bearing in mind the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, should ensure that first-aid fire-fighting training is included.

In addition to fire safety training, the site manager should perform drills as required and ensure patrols of the construction site are undertaken, particularly as the work draws close to the final stages.

The site manager is the person who should liaise with the Fire Service, keeping them informed of changes and developments on the site and ensuring all relevant information is available should a fire occur and it is necessary to meet and update them upon their arrival at the site.
The FPA publication ‘Fire Prevention on Construction Sites’, known as the Joint Code,  addresses the issue of fire wardens.

It is important that any fire wardens are appropriately qualified for the post. A fire warden is responsible for ensuring fire precautions are observed on the site and in order to do this effectively, they should have an understanding of fire risks, rather than merely following rules.
In order for the fire warden to ensure site fire safety, they must be fully supported in their role by the site agent or project manager in any negotiations required, whatever the potential impact upon contractual obligations.

The placing of an inappropriately experienced and qualified person in the role of fire warden can lead to them being unable to enforce fire safety measures that are essential and potentially, to a site fire that could have been foreseen and avoided.

In part 14, LWF will look at how individuals are held responsible for fire safety precautions in the eyes of the law, through the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and how any perceived dereliction of those duties can lead to criminal prosecution. 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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