Senior industry figures have met to inform the next phase of the Independent Review into Building Regulations and Fire Safety.
This is an interesting time for the Council as it is the Centenary year of the Institution and Edinburgh is the focus for the culmination of the Centenary programme.
By volunteering for the Council you will be in a position to make a difference to the expanding and interesting world of Fire Engineering.
Nominated members should have a Proposer and two Seconders from members of the Branch and inform the Secretary by e mail by the closing date of Saturday 16th September.
Nominated members should provide a short Bio and a brief statement as to how they can assist the Council carry out its duties in the period of Office.
Do not delay, apply now to our Brach Secretary Jim Mann – firstname.lastname@example.org
Please click here. for .pdf copy of guidance.
Friday, August 18, 2017
Guidance note on fire safety responsibilities for business owners of non residential premises.
This guide offers fire safety advice in respectof existing non-residential premises. It consolidates and supersedes a number of individual Scottish Government guides, and introduces a substantial
number of editorial changes in the revision aimed at improving dutyholders’ understanding. The guides superseded are:
Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Educational and Day Care for Children Premises: February 2008
Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Places of Entertainment and Assembly:December 2007
Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Factories and Storage Premises: February 2008
Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Offices, Shops and Similar Premises:February 2008
Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Transport Premises: February 2008
The Branch Council of the Scottish Branch has made the following contribution to the consultation on the new proposed Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Non-Residential Premises:
If you don’t want to open the whole response, I have quoted our main comment below:
The objectives of revising the guidance include:
• Updating outdated terminology to reflect the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) rather than relating to Fire Authorities in Scotland.
• A requirement to clarify the guidance to satisfy users, some of whom would like more detail and some less.
The Scottish Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers have considered the proposed consolidation of 5 sector specific fire safety guides into one, in the form of the presented “Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Non-Residential Premises”. We are of the opinion that the objective of updating text with reference to the SFRS is entirely desirable and will increase the clarity of the document(s). We also agree with the aim of making the guidance easier to use for the individual duty holder. This individual duty holder is the ultimate target for the information provided and therefore the style, content and format of the document(s) should be focused on their requirements. We do not understand how consolidating the 5 guides into one can be expected to achieve this. Many duty holders will be responsible for single purpose buildings, and this category of duty holder are the ones who might require most help in understanding the concepts of fire safety in their building. To consolidate the 5 guides into 1 will inevitably require this duty holder to disregard significant portions of the text which do not apply to them. This has the potential to make the comprehension of the document more difficult.
Duplication of material between guides is cited as a disadvantage of the current system however we do not see that this is the case. The documents are unlikely to be produced in paper format in any great numbers and as a piece of reference material will be held in electronic form. This means that there is little saving to be made from reducing the page count from 5 documents to 1. Maintaining 5 documents rather than 1 may be easier for the Scottish Government to produce and maintain, but in our opinion this will not benefit the individual duty holder.
Any duty holder who is responsible for complex buildings when more than one use needs to be taken into account would perhaps benefit from the consolidation. We would however argue that as the complexity of buildings increases, the assumed skill and understanding of the duty holder should increase. It is reasonable to expect this duty holder better able to cope with advice from multiple guides and not require the help which a consolidated guide might provide.
In summary we believe that the updating of the existing guides with regard to terminology is important and should go ahead. We do however think that the consolidation of 5 guides to a single document risks confusing average duty holder and could be counterproductive to the aims and objectives of the project.
The Scottish Government is consulting on a proposal to consolidate 5 of the existing sector specific Practical Fire Safety Guides into a single and updated “Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Non-Residential Premises”
The consultation and details of the proposed changes can be viewed at: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/fire-and-rescue/fire-safety-guidance-for-existing-non-residential/
The consultation is due to close on the 6th March 2017
Fire Safety Seminar Edinburgh, 31st March2016, Presentation
Roles and Responsibilities
Fire Safety Manager
please click here for a copy of the presentation