Fire safety is a key aspect of business management and is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Every commercial building and office must have a Fire Safety Strategy and it should be planned by a professional company to ensure complete compliance with the law. Our experienced professionals can create precise reports that outline evacuation procedures and elaborate information about the fire safety features in your premises. They can also help you comply with the law and avoid any issues in case of an inspection.
A fire strategy is a map or design of your facility that points out the escape routes in case of a fire. It helps your employees evacuate in a timely manner so they can save lives. A well-planned fire safety strategy can also help you prevent loss of valuable information or inventory in the event of a fire. You can also use it to train your employees about fire safety measures, so they know what to do in an emergency situation.
Typically, a fire strategy is produced at the design stage of a building in conjunction with architectural plans and as part of a submission to Building Control. However, fire strategies can also be produced for existing buildings, often referred to as retrospective fire strategies. In general, these documents identify the occupancy levels permitted within the building against the provision of horizontal and vertical means of escape along with levels of compartmentation.
In high rise buildings, a fire strategy is critical to life safety and the ability to evacuate people in time bound fashion. This is achieved by providing safe refuge on certain levels of the building, which are targeted for evacuation operations by firefighting department and are used to support a defend-in-place strategy for those who cannot be evacuated from the building in time.
This requires a significant amount of fire engineering and knowledge which is why many buildings have fire risk assessments or consult with chartered fire engineers when it comes to their fire safety requirements. Those undertaking such work should be fully accredited to carry out the assessment, or have a full fire engineering background which includes smoke modelling, evacuation modelling, structural fire engineering or radiation analysis.
Once the fire strategy has been developed it is then the responsibility of the responsible person or duty holder to make sure that the information contained in it is maintained. For example, the occupant levels may change, changes to the fire rating of the walls, doors or floors could be made, and so on.
The fire strategy should be updated when any substantial changes are made to the building, and routine reviews should occur annually. This will help to ensure that the fire safety provisions remain effective throughout the life of the building.