One of the most common areas that people miss in fire safety risk assessments is in relation to the fitting, testing and maintaining fire safety systems. It is vital to ensure that such systems extend across the entire premises using a whole building approach. Non-public parts of premises are often found not to be linked to fire safety systems, such as living areas in tenanted pubs or roof voids in hotels. These can contain material such as wooden joists that are highly flammable.
Fire Safety – A Whole Building Approach
The devastating fire at the Grade II-listed Royal Clarence hotel was able to spread through the timber-framed building via concealed voids and passageways, the Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service found. Voids are a common problem in heritage buildings, and it’s crucial that businesses inhabiting such buildings engage with their local authorities at the very earliest stages of design. This is just as important when making changes to existing buildings as when designing new ones – if not more so.
Other whole building approach failings that are commonly found in inspections are:
- defective or open fire doors,
- combustible materials that are stored in fire escape routes
- breaches of fire compartmentation, such as new air conditioning unit installations.
A tiny gap in a fire compartment quickly lets smoke through when there is a fire, and it reduces the already short amount of time that is available to safely escape from the building. Such oversights can lead to tragedy, as well as potentially invalidating your building’s insurance.
Common causes of fires include:-
- faulty electrics
- the heating system
- laundry facilities
- commercial kitchen systems
Do not forget the dangers of cigarettes: even in non-smoking buildings, staff must not to smoke near to combustible materials, wheelie bins or gas storage areas.
RV Fire Systems Whole Building Approach Fire Safety Experts
For expert advice on BS5839 compliant fire safety, fire training and the supply and installation of fire safety, fire detection and firefighting equipment in the North West call RV Fire Systems on a local number below:-
Clitheroe Fire Safety Advisors:- 01200 439333
Blackburn Fire Safety Advisors:- 01254 367611
Blackpool Fire Safety Advisors:- 01253 804199
Preston Fire Safety Advisors:- 01772 970411
Manchester Fire SafetyAdvisors:- 0161 8260480