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The Importance of a Fire Safety Strategy

Fire Safety is paramount and everyone in a building needs to understand what their roles are and how they will respond to a fire. A fire is a serious hazard and could result in the loss of life or damage to property and equipment. It is therefore vital that employees receive regular, relevant training, and are aware of their duties when it comes to evacuating a building in the event of a fire. A fire strategy helps to achieve this by ensuring that all employees are aware of the escape routes and what actions they should take.

Fire safety is a complicated issue that requires specialised engineering knowledge to ensure that building design and layouts are fully compliant. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that any organisation with more than five people must complete a comprehensive Fire Risk Assessment and develop a Fire Safety Strategy. This is a legal requirement and failure to comply will lead to prosecution.

Unlike a Fire Risk Assessment that can be completed by any qualified person, the development of a Fire Safety Strategy is an engineering-based process and should be undertaken by a chartered fire engineer. A fire engineer will assess a building and its structure, identify potential hazards and then recommend appropriate measures to mitigate those risks. They will also review and evaluate a building’s means of escape and determine whether they are suitable for the amount of people in the building.

A fire safety strategy is often developed at the initial design stage of a building to demonstrate how the design will adhere to the Building Regulations. NIFES can provide support and guidance to help ease the pressure of achieving statutory approval at this early stage by exploring options which may help to improve the performance of a building’s design.

However, a fire safety strategy is not just required in new buildings and is a key component in the ongoing management of existing structures. A fire strategy should be reviewed when significant changes or renovations are carried out to the building as these could affect its compartmentation, escape routes and other aspects of its performance. A fire safety manager without a crystal ball could find themselves assessing the integrity of long throw glazing in atria several years after it was installed and trying to establish if it meets the original design specification.

NIFES’ experienced consultants can create a fire safety strategy that ensures your building and its occupants are as safe as possible, whilst meeting all the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. We can also provide ongoing advice to help you manage and maintain your building’s fire safety measures.

We are happy to answer any questions you might have about fire safety. Get in touch and let’s chat! Our team can discuss your requirements and put together a quote. Alternatively, you can fill in our easy online fire safety questionnaire and we’ll be in contact shortly.