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In the aftermath of the tragic Grenfell fire disaster, and the ongoing inquiry that followed, it has become evident that certain segments of the UK building stock fall below established standards.
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The scrutiny of documentation by enforcement bodies during inspections or investigations has intensified since the Grenfell inquiry, emphasising the need for comprehensive fire strategy documents. Focus 360 Energy offers guidance and support in crafting comprehensive Fire Strategy documents in order to ensure compliance and safety in properties.
About the Fire Strategy Documents
The fire safety industry now places a crucial focus on fire strategy documents, serving as a foundational element for conducting fire risk assessments. These documents empower the ‘responsible person’ to plan, manage, and coordinate appropriate fire safety measures, thereby minimising the risk of fire and ensuring the safety of occupants. Additionally, fire strategies aid fire risk assessors in identifying any disparities between the building’s actual use or adaptations and what is outlined in the fire strategy, with potential impacts on life safety.
Understanding Fire Strategy
A fire strategy is a technical document that establishes the framework for fire safety control measures during a building’s design phase. It differs from a fire safety plan or evacuation procedure and is vital for demonstrating compliance with Building Regulations. Key areas covered include:
- Means of fire detection
- Warning and Escape
- Internal fire spread (linings and structure)
- External fire spread
- Accessibility and facilities for the fire service
Normally generated during a building’s design stage, a fire strategy accompanies architectural plans as part of a building control submission. It outlines occupancy levels permitted, considering horizontal and vertical means of escape and compartmentation levels.
Fire strategies are not exclusive to new builds; they can be created for existing structures, known as ‘retrospective fire strategies.’ These documents are essential for conducting fire risk assessments, with the important caveat that the assessment must align with the fire strategy.
Get a Fire Strategy Document Quote
Ready to get started? Contact Focus 360 Energy today for a fire strategy document quote. Our online system makes it easy to schedule an assessment, and our team of assessors will guide you through the process.
Who Creates Fire Strategies
Qualified and competent fire engineers are the only professionals authorised to produce fire strategies.
These individuals possess advanced knowledge of fire control and spread, an in-depth understanding of building materials and equipment for passive and active fire protection, and a balanced expertise in life safety, property protection, and the environmental impact of fire.
The Next Steps
- Locate your building’s fire strategy (whether you’re a tenant, sole occupier, or managing agent).
- If no existing fire strategy is found, commission a ‘retrospective fire strategy.’
- Ensure it aligns with the building’s current use and construction; take corrective action if needed.
- Regularly review the fire strategy document.
- Make the fire strategy document available to your fire risk assessors.
Maintaining a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment, where the risk assessor has access to the fire strategy, is fundamental in managing fire safety responsibilities. Regularly reviewing the fire strategy ensures its alignment with the building’s current use, fire safety features, and construction, assisting the responsible person in fulfilling duties outlined in The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO).
The Difference Between a Fire Risk Assessment and a Fire Strategy
Distinguishing between a fire strategy plan and a fire risk assessment is essential in ensuring comprehensive fire safety. Here’s a breakdown for clarity:
Fire Strategy Plan
A fire strategy plan revolves around designing a building to meet building regulations. It serves as an action plan with a specific goal, focusing on physical aspects like systems and structures. However, it often overlooks the human element. Key building features, fire safety measures, risks, and equipment are evaluated, but the emphasis is on the physical aspects. This plan is typically prepared during the design stage, demonstrating how the design aligns with Building Regulations, especially when deviations are necessary.
As the building evolves, the fire strategy plan remains relevant, updating alongside structural changes. Its purpose is to inform building owners/users of maintenance efforts and ensure that established limitations are not exceeded.
Fire Risk Assessment (FRA)
The FRA is crucial for existing premises, excluding private dwellings, under specific fire legislation, distinct from building regulations. It aims to minimise risks for individuals on the premises (anyone other than firefighters during a fire). By identifying and controlling combustibles and ignition sources, the FRA focuses on preventing fire and enhancing safety.
The FRA considers the dynamic element introduced by individuals residing in the building. It becomes active once people occupy the space, acknowledging that human choices and changes can impact safety. Unlike the fire strategy plan, the FRA is an ongoing process, adapting to modifications and renovations.
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Choosing Focus 360: Your Trusted Partner in Fire Strategy
When it comes to securing your premises and ensuring compliance with fire safety regulations, partnering with the right experts is paramount. Here’s why Focus 360 stands out as your ideal ally in crafting and implementing an effective fire strategy:
- Focus 360 boasts a team of seasoned and qualified fire engineers with a wealth of knowledge in fire control and mitigation. Our experts are equipped to navigate the intricate details of fire strategy, ensuring that your building not only meets but exceeds the required standards.
- We understand that effective fire strategy goes beyond physical structures. Focus 360 takes a holistic approach, considering both the architectural elements and the human dynamics within a building. Our strategies encompass not only the design stage but also evolve with your structure, adapting to changes and renovations.
- Our meticulous approach ensures that your fire strategy not only adheres to Building Regulations but also anticipates potential deviations. We work closely with architects to ensure feasibility without compromising safety, making certain that your structure is not only compliant but also resilient.
Choosing Focus 360 as your partner in fire strategy is a commitment to excellence, safety, and compliance. Trust us to safeguard your premises, mitigate risks, and provide a tailored, evolving strategy that grows with your building’s needs.
Secure your Fire Strategy Today
Don’t leave the safety of your premises to chance. Take a proactive step towards comprehensive fire safety by partnering with Focus 360. Our seasoned team of fire engineering experts is ready to craft a tailored fire strategy that not only meets regulatory standards but evolves with your building’s dynamics.
With a commitment to ongoing support, transparent communication, and a comprehensive approach, Focus 360 ensures that your fire strategy is not just a document but a living, adaptive plan. Choose confidence, choose compliance — secure your fire strategy with Focus 360 today.