Why you Need a Fire Risk Management Strategy
Under the Building Regulations (Regulation 38) for England and Wales there is a requirement to provide fire safety information to the ‘responsible person’ at completion.
Where a building is erected or extended, or has undergone a material change of use, and on occupation the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will apply, (which effectively is all buildings other than single private houses) Regulation 38 requires that a package of fire safety information which records the fire safety design must be given to the ‘responsible person’ for the premises. In my experience, this rarely happens in any structured way, and there is no real policing of this matter. Often the reason why it doesn’t happen because the responsible person is not known at that point.
The information provided should include all fire safety design measures in detail to assist the responsible person to operate and maintain the building safely. This, in essence, is the basis of a fire risk management strategy, however is rarely put together and packaged in a way which assists the end user.
The contractor/builder is responsible for handing over the information to the responsible person, all or where this person is not known it needs to be part of the handover materials and documentation so that at some point it reaches the occupier and end-user.
The benefits of engaging a fire safety expert during the construction phase (ideally at initial design stage) is that fire safety matters can be identified ensuring compliance with both building regulations and the Fire Safety Order upon occupation. This ensures that a safe building is achieved and no delays created due to fire safety concerns by regulators and others. In addition significant money can be saved by the reduction in over specification of fire alarm systems, fire protection and other related issues.
At SuretyFire we have significant experience developing fire risk management strategies which will help deliver your build smoothly, efficiently and safely.