Fire Safety Strategy is a written document that outlines how to escape from the building should a fire break out. This document is required by law to guarantee that relevant provisions are in place, and it helps prevent property loss as well as ensures people can exit the building safely in case of a fire outbreak. This is why it’s important to keep a fire safety plan up-to-date as well as regularly monitor the building’s fire protection equipment.
This is a complex document that is specifically tailored to the building, reviewing all aspects of the structure’s construction, compartmentation strategy and means of escape. It can also include management arrangements for ensuring the fire safety measures are fully operational and fit for purpose throughout the building’s lifecycle. It is usually based on Approved Document B or an associated approach such as that described in BS 9999.
A fire safety manager is a person who has been tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the building’s compliance with regulations and managing the various elements of fire safety throughout its lifecycle. However, this is an impossible task without having a crystal ball and a full understanding of how the original design principles were intended to work.
For example, a building constructed with an insulated wall system Fire Safety Strategy that was agreed to have a fire time of 120 minutes during the design phase could easily see this reduced to 90 minutes or even less once occupied by individuals. This is because the way occupants use the building will have an impact on safety and can often mean things such as removing fire doors, overheating machinery or simply putting oily rags into a container and leaving it open.
It is therefore imperative that a comprehensive and detailed fire strategy is drawn up before a building is occupied. This will ensure that all possible means of escape are evaluated, including travel distances and whether or not all escape routes are clearly displayed along with evacuation plans. The strategy will also consider cladding, rooves and other external surfaces to make sure the building is compliant.
Another aspect of the document is to make sure that there are adequate access points for fire fighting vehicles and equipment, which includes fire hydrants being situated on site. This will also help to speed up the firefighting process by reducing the initial water supply needed for hose reels and other equipment.
A good fire strategy is an essential document to have in place, especially for businesses that operate from a building. This will help to ensure that people are able to escape the building safely should a fire break out and that everyone is able to evacuate the building quickly and efficiently. It will also ensure that all fire safety equipment is in working order and that it is regularly monitored. In addition to this, it will also help to prevent property loss and protect customers, employees and future business. Therefore, if you aren’t currently in the process of creating a fire strategy, now is the time to do so!