Ensuring Fire Safety is built into your Design
Fire safety has long been a key consideration in the design of buildings and dwellings. From as early as the 11th or 12th century it was understood that building materials and chimney design in buildings posed a risk to fire safety. Indeed the Great Fire of London spread quickly due to a lethal combination of wood and thatch construction; buildings built too close together and the tinder dry weather conditions at the time. In the years following the fire and right up to modern times, lessons have been learnt and whilst fires still happen, modern design and construction methods have been used to reduce the risk of fire starting and to help minimise the risk and damage once a fire starts.
These days it is a legal requirement that companies conduct a regular fire risk assessment. As an employer, or as someone who has control of a workplace, you must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure people can safely escape if there is a fire. The management of fire safety plays an essential part in minimising the risk to public safety. Although many buildings will thankfully never have a serious fire, it is essential for appropriate fire safety procedures to be in place for every building.
However, it is essential that the design of your modern building should minimise the risk of fire in the first place. By using intelligent design and suitable building materials, your building can be designed with the safety of its users in mind. Understanding what the currently recommended requirements are and striving to better them where possible all has a part to play in the ongoing health and safety of your employees or building users.
Taking into account, and noting for the information of future building users, fire assessors and the fire service, experienced and knowledgeable CAD designers can factor in appropriate numbers and levels of the following aspects into their design –
- Number of exits, with clearly marked and simple escape routes
- Travel distances
- Storage and accessibility of firefighting and escape equipment and apparatus
- Occupancy capacities
- Compartmentation, separation and escape route enclosures
- Cavity barriers
- Self-closing fire doors
- Fire dampers to ventilation ducts, fire shutters, and automatic fire alarm and detection systems
- Smoke heat exhaust ventilation systems
- Emergency lighting
- Automatic fire suppression systems
By incorporating these aspects into the design of the building you can reduce the risk of it going up in flames, additionally this will enable you to maximise the health and safety of all building users. Fire safety is not something that should be overlooked and it needs to be taken seriously from day one of the design and beyond, so it is a consideration each and every day during its operation.
For more information about CAD Design Services, BIM Compliance and complete CAD solutions, visit The CAD Room website at https://www.thecadroom.com/ or phone 0161 427 0348. With offices in the UK and UAE we are always happy to help.