Holistic Fire Safety Management: A Complete Guide
What is a holistic approach to fire safety management?
Holistic fire safety management is an approach that includes planning for all facets of fire safety at once, bringing them together to provide a comprehensive, effective fire safety management system that covers all bases. By ensuring that each aspect of fire safety complements one another – from the alarms to the evacuation procedure – there are no weak links that may cost lives.
What does it involve?
Applying or undertaking a holistic approach to fire safety management requires careful planning and a lot of big-picture thinking. Every aspect of a building, every potential fire risk and hazard needs to be considered and planned for, but it’s important that the procedures and systems in place for one risk do not hamper the ability to plan for another.
Ideally, holistic fire safety management starts at the beginning of a building project, rather than after it has been constructed and tenants have moved in. A building should be designed and constructed with fire safety as one of the primary concerns – if this is done correctly, then the whole structure will have its own fire safety overview.
If you are adopting a holistic approach after the building is constructed – perhaps you’re a business who has just moved into new premises, for example – then there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you’re on the right path. There should be a collective effort to plan all aspects of safety, not just one person in charge of certain areas.
What are the benefits of holistic fire safety management?
The foremost benefit of holistic fire safety management is a cohesive, effective fire safety management plan. There are plenty of examples of a lack of holistic thinking completely hindering a building’s fire safety level – this, of course, can be fatal.
If holistic fire safety management is adopted during the building process then it bodes well for ongoing fire safety. For example, it can help building managers create detailed plans regarding the structure of the building – such as potentially volatile materials used in certain areas – so that they can be monitored and improved where necessary.
A holistic approach simply ensures that all fire safety elements are working harmoniously. Of course, every building needs to adhere to fire safety regulations, but this approach ensures you can go above and beyond just complying with the rules. For instance, you could opt for aspirating smoke detectors, which detect smoke particles in the air quickly, giving people extra time to evacuate a multi-storey building with long corridors and winding stairways.
An example of the risks of a non-holistic approach
Let’s take fire doors and hallways – two separate features that, together, can either help or hinder a building’s overall fire safety. On the whole, fire doors are an extremely effective and valuable method of passive fire safety, stopping a blaze from spreading throughout a building. However, if the fire doors are not fit for purpose, then the spread of smoke is not stopped.
Consider an inadequate fire door installed in a corridor leading to a fire exit – it will fail to stop smoke getting into the corridor as people are moving through it, leading to smoke inhalation, loss of visibility and panic. The corridor in itself is not necessarily a fire safety issue, but when you add an inadequate fire door to the equation, it can become dangerous to those within it.
This is an example of how a lack of planning in one facet of fire safety can adversely affect a completely separate element. If the fire door installed was of the right standard, smoke would be prevented from spreading to the corridor and people’s evacuation would be smoother.
What is Elite Fire’s holistic approach?
Elite Fire are vastly experienced in fire safety, and our holistic approach has been developed and refined over years of serving commercial and industrial clients in various industries.
Through a careful fire risk assessment of your building, your business and your requirements, we’re able to develop fire safety plans and install fire safety equipment that perfectly meet your needs.
Whether it’s the blank canvas of a brand new building, or an older structure that needs improvements to its fire safety systems, you can trust Elite Fire to provide exactly what is required.
Nothing is left to chance – meticulous planning is involved to ensure there’s no weak points in your business’ fire safety readiness.
For more information about our fire safety services, including the installation of fire safety equipment and the provision of fire risk assessments and safety training, please get in touch with Elite Fire today and we’ll be happy to help.
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