The LWF Blog

Fire Safety Engineering for Design – Designing Fire Precautions – Part 28

May 10, 2021 10:34 am

LWF’s Fire Safety Engineering blog series is written for Architects, building designers and others in the construction industry to highlight and promote discussion on all topics around fire engineering. In part 27, LWF considered what fire precautions must be taken when a building is being constructed and the associated risk profiles. In part 28, we will look at designing fire precautions for a building.

A building design code for a particular country, or part of a country, will require fire precautions to be provided to a given standard for life safety purposes. These regimes may have much in common with each other, but the detail will certainly vary.

Building codes are developed over time with reference to fire incidents in the area of consideration. They form the basis of firefighting practices, with established firefighting practices also informing the codes.

Within the UK, there are four systems, one each in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  In England and Wales, the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 can be satisfied by following the recommendations of Approved Document B (ADB).

The prescriptive solutions provided in ADB are not the only way of fulfilling the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010, however. An increasingly common way to fulfil the requirements is through a fire engineered fire safety solution which can be employed to work alongside design features or issues not possible when working with ADB.

In addition, the recommendations provided in British Standards, such as BS 9999 may be sufficient to adhere to the regulations.

In Scotland, the requirements for compliance are contained within the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and can be fulfilled by following the recommendations in the Technical Handbook – Domestic and Technical Handbook – Non-Domestic.

Alternative approaches for satisfying the requirements of Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 are detailed within, but a fire engineered approach is amongst them.

In Northern Ireland, the functional requirements are set out in the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012. Technical Booklet E: Fire Safety provides the necessary guidance.

In all areas of the UK, there is the potential for departures from the prescriptive solutions. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland these methods should be cleared with the local building control officer or by a determination by the Department for Communities and Local Government. In Scotland, the plans must be agreed with the local building control officer. In addition, a ‘relaxation’ from the Regulations in their entirety can be gained through Scottish Ministers.

In part 29 of LWF’s series on fire engineering, we will look at Fire Brigade requirements in the UK and also fire precautions standards for life safety outside the UK.  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.



Share this post