As a company we are often asked to quote for fire safety provisions. This includes fire stopping work to reinstate the integrity of the fire compartmentation within a building; designing a fire alarm system; or designing and installing commercial kitchen fire suppression systems. One of the first questions we ask is ‘please can we have a copy of your fire strategy’ and more then often than not we are told that ‘we don’t have one’ or asked ‘why do you need that?’
Doug Agnew, Fire Risk Assessor at Abbot Fire Group provides the answer.
So, why do you need a Fire Strategy?
A fire strategy clearly outlines the fire safety objectives and performance requirements for a building. It identifies the methods by which these objectives will be achieved to ensure the safety of users whether that’s staff or members of the public.
It involves the development and implementation of risk appropriate policies and procedures in line with objectives specific to the business. It has an aim to reduce life risk whilst maintaining business continuity.
Fire strategies should be developed during the design phase for a new building or refurbishment project. They are at the core of an overarching document which sets out the fundamental requirements that provide the focus for subsequent, more detailed, specifications from other involved parties such as architects, fire alarm designers, electrical contractors, plumbing contractors and any other trade which could impact on the fire safety of the building.
A fire strategy is a ‘living’ document and should be referenced for any future building alterations and/or changes to management procedures. They should be reviewed when carrying out a fire risk assessment.
Customers who do have a fire strategy in place are those that often come in, on, or even under budget with regards to their fire safety provisions due to the early adoption of a holistic fire strategy. This allows for clear and accurate quoting from the beginning of a project.
As always, competence is the key to managing any building no matter what the service is. We urge any building owners or managers to make sure they have a fit for purpose fire strategy in place for their building and organisation.
Looking for further advice? Just get in touch.