The LWF Blog

Fire Safety Engineering for Design – Fire Engineering & Legislation – Part 14

February 1, 2021 12:36 pm

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 13, LWF talked about responsibility for fire safety at different stages and how statutory requirements should be implemented in the construction and handover phases of a build. In part 14, we will look at what should be included in the fire safety information handed over, before looking at the responsibilities for fire safety in the new building post-completion.

Regulation 38 of Building Regulations 2010 requires that the contractor of a new build passes fire safety information to the person responsible for fire safety once the building is operational. The pack should include:

As-built fire strategy report

As-built fire safety plans, detailing fire escapes, fire-resisting construction, firefighting provisions and any and all other pertinent fire safety information

Cause and effect descriptions/matrix

Fire safety systems information and verification documentation for any such installations

Operation and maintenance instructions

The inclusion of all required elements will enable the building occupier to adequately maintain the fire safety systems and passive protection elements, along with ensuring the practices and procedures for fire safety reflect the protection in place.

Once the information is received by the fire safety manager or equivalent, it can be incorporated into the fire safety manual for the building.

In England and Wales, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that a nominated person or ‘responsible person’ as defined in the Order is responsible for ensuring any occupants and visitors to the building are protected from the effects of fire. In the absence of a suitably qualified and nominated senior member of staff, the owner or most senior member of staff of the company will be held responsible. Similar regulation and requirements are in place in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The responsible person is likely to use the fire safety manual as a way to bring together their duties under fire safety legislation and to organise areas of duties, such as fire policy and procedures, fire safety training for staff, testing, maintenance, operational records and fire safety information about the building.

Operational legislation in the UK requires the responsible person to undertake a fire risk assessment for the premises. As the assessment must be performed by a competent person, this means it can be a qualified and experienced person contracted for purpose by the responsible person, where necessary.

In part 15 of LWF’s series on fire engineering, we will discuss building types and fire precautions. 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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