Fire Safety Engineering - What is it?

Standard fire safety design guides (such as Approved Document B or NFPA 101) can be overly restrictive on the design of buildings, especially for innovative or unusual building designs. Fire Safety Engineering offers an alternative approach that focuses on ensuring that the design is safe from fire, rather than just ensuring that it complies with a particular design document.

For example, if an assembly hall has an occupancy of up to 1000 people, Approved Document B would state that a total exit width of 5m should be provided (with the largest exit discounted). However, there is no flexibility on that, and if it is not possible to provide 5m of exit width, there is a problem.

Fire safety engineering offers an alternative approach. For example, introducing smoke extraction could delay the rate that the smoke builds up which would allow a longer evacuation without compromising safety. Combining smoke modelling with evacuation analysis could ensure that the hall can be evacuated safely, even with reduced evacuation width. 

This is only one example of the use of fire safety engineering. Other fire engineering techniques can also be extremely beneficial, such as radiation analysis, structural fire engineering, smoke modelling and evacuation modelling.  

IFC do not use fire engineering analyses on all of our projects. A large proportion of our work simply involves our extensive knowledge of fire safety design codes, but having the ability to use fire engineering techniques when needed is extremely beneficial to our clients. 

If you have a project where you believe expert support in fire engineering would be beneficial, or want to check whether fire engineering techniques could help resolve a particular problem, please contact us. 

International Fire Consultants Ltd. (IFC) have unrivalled expertise in all areas of fire safety engineering and have extensive expertise in applying that knowledge in all types of buildings.

Our team of experts will be pleased to discuss any of our services with you.

Please click on this link for our contact details.