Blog Article

The Importance of Fire Safety Management 

Fire Safety Management - Trident Fire Compliance
Published: 19th February 2024

Whether we are dealing with existing or newly constructed buildings, it is paramount to ensure that the fire safety measures in place are not only sufficient for the building but also well-maintained and will work as intended in the event of emergency.

To simplify matters, it is crucial that the building has life safety systems which are adequately maintained to ensure they will work as intended and save lives as well as the asset. This is particularly important for complex premises. 

What is meant by fire precautionary measures? 

‘Fire precautionary measures’ is a term for all the life safety measures, such as passive and active fire safety systems, that are implemented at the construction stage of the building or retrospectively fitted, to achieve the necessary fire protection for the life span of the building.  

Passive fire safety systems are the measures that prevent or limit the spread of fire and smoke within the building should a fire occur. They include fire doors, fire stopping seals, cavity barriers, etc. These are built into the fabric of the building and, as long as there is no damage to what has been installed, these systems will never need maintenance. This is often not the case as building changes and redevelopments happen, but there are easy ways to monitor and maintain these systems if they are required.  

Active fire safety systems are the measures that detect and/or control fire, and alert the occupants and the fire brigade. They include fire detection systems, fire alarm system, fire suppression systems, etc. These measures will need to be regularly maintained and tested to ensure their functionality and reliability as they rely on “action” (electrical signals, heating elements etc) which could become defective over time and should be regularly checked to make sure they are continuing to operate as intended. 

In addition, various safety measures based on the fire risk assessment of the building are also considered as fire precautionary measures. These measures involve the management of fire hazards and risks within the building. They include good housekeeping, emergency lighting, AOVs (or other smoke control), training for staff, flammable material storage, electrical maintenance etc. These measures must be continually reviewed and updated to ensure an effective fire safety management. 

We at Trident Fire Compliance believe that fire precautionary measures require a proactive management approach rather than a reactive one. This is because a reactive management style could lead to unforeseen incidents that could cause serious damages or worse.  

Therefore, we always recommend having a thorough fire safety management plan in place along with necessary safety arrangements and surveys to ensure periodic checks are done. 

A fire safety management plan is a document that outlines how the fire safety of the building is ensured and maintained. It should comply with the requirements of the relevant legislation, such as the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The plan should include the following elements: the company/management’s policy, site specific roles, responsibilities, measures, arrangements, monitoring, control process, maintenance, testing and review procedures in relation to the fire safety of the premises. 

By having a fire safety management plan, the responsible person can demonstrate compliance with the law and have confidence that the building operates safely and can adequately react to emergency. The plan should also be updated regularly to reflect any changes in the building or the fire risk assessment. 

What can I do? 

As mentioned above, a proactive approach to fire safety management is the best way to ensure life safety in a building. A reactive approach can result in rushed (and poorly carried out) maintenance, or it can lead to other fire safety systems being ignored, or deprioritised, or forgotten entirely.  

At Trident Fire Compliance, we can assist you with all of the necessary steps to help you maintain a high standard of fire safety in your building. As an independent fire safety consultancy, our job is to tell you what is right but also what is wrong. Not only that, we will tell you how to put it right and make sure you get back to being compliant.

Our fire risk assessment service can help identify where there are faults or defects in your fire safety systems, or how management is being undertaken. We can provide guidance on how to correct these issues to improve your level of life safety.

We also carry out compartmentation surveys to help identify issues with your firestopping, fire doors, and fire walls (passive fire protection) and advise on how to put these right.

Staff training can also be provided to make people aware of their duties and responsibilities, as well as what fire safety systems are and how to respect them and maintain them.

Finally, our Regulation 38 Document is a comprehensive document prepared using accepted guidelines and legislation to help you collate all your fire safety information into a single, easy-to-use reference document. This document can then be used for all future maintenance and all future fire risk assessments to help demonstrate compliance to Regulation 38.  

We understand that managing fire safety may seem complicated at first, but we are here to help you. We can undertake a range of services with your needs in mind and provide you with an effective way to manage fire safety that suits your building and your requirements to rest of the building’s lifetime. 

To help, here are some practical tips on how you can best manage fire safety.  

  1. Conduct a fire risk assessment
    Start by conducting a detailed fire risk assessment of the premises to identify potential fire hazards, vulnerable areas, and key safety considerations. The assessment is required by law. This assessment will form the basis for developing the management plan. 
  1. Establish roles and responsibilities 
    Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of individuals involved in fire safety management within the premises, including the responsible person, fire marshals, or any designated fire safety officers. It is advisory to  
  1. Designate and maintain escape routes 
    Ensure that escape routes are clearly marked, unobstructed, and well-maintained. Regularly review and update escape route plans based on changes in occupancy or building layouts. 
  1. Implement regular staff training 
    Provide comprehensive fire safety training for all staff members, including fire evacuation procedures, operation of fire safety equipment, and awareness of fire hazards. 
  1. Regular maintenance of fire safety systems 
    Schedule regular inspections, testing, and maintenance of fire safety systems and equipment, including fire alarms, extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and emergency lighting. Ensure installed fire safety measures are periodically checked and tested. 
  1. Document and communicate the plan 
    Create a clear and concise fire safety management plan that outlines all key procedures, responsibilities, and emergency protocols. Ensure that all staff members have access to the plan and understand its contents. Include important contact details. 
  1. Review and update the plan regularly 
    Regularly review and update the fire safety management plan to reflect any changes in building layout, occupancy, or regulations. Conduct periodic drills and exercises to test the effectiveness of the plan. 
  1. Comply with relevant standards and regulations 
    Ensure that the fire safety management plan aligns with local building codes, regulations (Regulation 38), and relevant industry standards such as BS 9999 or BS 9997. 

About the author

Anett Nemes

Anett is a Fire Protection Consultant at Trident, with over 10 years of experience within the property and fire safety sector. She is committed to keeping up-to-date with the latest fire safety practices and legislative changes, to ensure that our clients receive the best service and our organisation remains at the forefront of safety standards.

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