The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Safety on construction sites – Part 7

August 24, 2020 12:38 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 6, LWF discussed how temporary and permanent fire safety measures should be addressed on construction sites. In part 7, we look at the criteria for fire precautions during construction.

It is considered best practice in fire safety on construction sites to maximise the use of permanent fire protection and prevention measures, rather than temporary. Therefore, the potential for fires during the construction phase of a building should be considered with the same criteria in mind as for the completed building.

Appropriate measures should be taken to prevent fires from starting
Fire detection to ensure fires are detected at the earliest opportunity
Fire alarm provision to allow for alerting persons on site in time to evacuate
Fire size control by active or passive suppression measures
Adequate access and facilities for the Fire Service

The required elements listed, above, are as important during the construction phase of a building as they will be once it is completed. The provisions can be made early in the construction programme and maintained as the building work continues.

While most of the fire protection provision during construction can ultimately be used in the finished building, there may be times when additional protection is required. For example, it may be necessary to store hazardous materials for a short period of time (a few days) and the necessity and method of storage should be risk assessed and evaluated to ensure adequate fire safety considerations are met. In the short term, it may be that strict management of a non-fire-rated area would be sufficient. However, if such storage was required for a longer period, the use of a fire-resistant compartment or room, with the provision of automatic detection, would be necessary to ensure safety on site.

In part 8, LWF will look at how the building designers should approach their own responsibility towards fire safety, in terms of storage, construction and the finished building. 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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