The LWF Blog

Fire Safety Engineering for Design – Risk Assessment & Fire Engineering – Part 54

November 8, 2021 1:09 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 53, LWF looked at risk assessment in terms of how it should be applied to fire-engineering designs. In part 54, we begin to discuss the risk assessment process itself.

When a project contains an element of risk assessment that is simple and straightforward, it may be sufficient to consider it a part of the normal design, review and acceptance, approval process for the project. This is particularly appropriate where the risk of non-approval is low.

Where more complex risk assessments are required, it is important to establish how the risk assessment will be carried out and the acceptability criteria involved before beginning the process. Without a plan of action in place, work could be carried out which might later prove unnecessary. The outline plan may be along the following lines:

  • The need for risk assessment is established
  • Relevant approval for risk assessment obtained
  • Scope definition
  • Methodology agreed
  • Key stakeholders and roles defined, particularly those who will be responsible for approving or accepting analysis outcome
  • Good practice criteria are researched and reviewed
  • Acceptability criteria agreed
  • Analysis undertaken, including consultation with relevant stakeholders as necessary
  • Analysis presented, in agreed format
  • Analysis reviewed, revised and approval and acceptance gained
  • Results communicated to affected design disciplines and outcome recorded in the project fire safety strategy (where it exists)

In real terms, the process is unlikely to take place in quite such a structured manner. It may be that several elements are combined or that the order may vary. It is important, however, that each of the key areas prior to commencement of the analysis are completed and key stakeholders are happy to advance to the analysis stage.

In part 55 of LWF’s series on fire engineering, we will look at definitions of hazard, risk and risk assessment. 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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