The LWF Blog

Fire Safety Engineering for Design – Fire Engineering & Legislation – Part 13

January 25, 2021 11:47 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 12, LWF discussed legislation throughout the building life cycle, starting with building design and construction. In part 13, we will look at responsibility for fire safety at different stages and how statutory requirements should be implemented in the construction and handover phases of a build.

While the design will incorporate fire safety measures which are the responsibility of the lead designer, during the construction phase, the onus for fire safety rests with the building contractor, who may or may not be assisted by a fire engineer.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 lays out the responsibilities of designers in the UK for compliance and includes fire engineers. There is a necessity to identify and eliminate risk through the design process and in doing so, to ensure all relevant parties are informed as to how they should implement and maintain the standards given.

Clients, while passing on much of their responsibility to the individuals hired to form the design and construction teams, are still responsible for ensuring appropriate competence in the persons employed. The necessity is a legal responsibility and transfers onwards to the contractor themselves, who must ensure competence in any persons they appoint and also that the performance of the fire safety products and systems is tested to appropriate standards. The manufacturers of products and systems used should supply sufficient documentation to validate their products’ compliance.

When the construction phase is complete, and handover is approaching, it is crucially important to provide all fire safety information relating to the build and generated during the design and construction stages. This information will form the basis of the ongoing fire safety duties of the building occupant and will help to ensure that all measures are understood, operated correctly and maintained adequately.

In part 14 of LWF’s series on fire engineering, we will look at what should be included in the fire safety information handed over and how it should, before looking at the responsibilities for fire safety in the new building post-completion. 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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