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  • Writer's pictureLantern Fire and Security

Protective Measures

The risk assessment should identify a specific range of protective measures that are appropriate for the particular type of premises and usage of the premises. The combination of measures will vary with the application but the following is a list of topics that need to be considered:

• Structural and passive fire protection

• Fire detection and warning systems

• Means of escape (escape routes), emergency escape lighting

• Signs and notices

• Fire fighting equipment and facilities

• Kitchen fire suppression systems

• Sprinkler and other water-based extinguishing systems

• Gaseous extinguishing systems

• Other fixed fire extinguishing systems

• Recording, planning, informing, instructing and training


Structural and passive fire protection is the primary measure integrated within the constructional fabric of a building to provide inherent fire safety and protection. In the event of fire, these measures will provide the fundamental requirements of structural stability, fire separation through building compartmentation and safe means of escape.

Local building regulations will define the regional requirements for these measures:

• England and Wales: The Building Regulations 2010

• Northern Ireland: The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

• Scotland: The Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004, (as amended)

Various structural and passive fire protection measures may be necessary to limit and control the spread of flame, heat and smoke from a fire. The following are some of the measures that need to be considered:

• Structural steel protection

• Fire walls and partitioning

• Fire and smoke curtains

• Fire rated ductwork and dampers

• Fire doors

• Fire resistant glazing

• Intumescent sealing systems

• Cavity fire barriers

• Fire stopping or seals for penetration of fire barriers

Note that penetrations of walls and floors by pipes and other services may provide a ready path for the spread of fire. The linings and decorative finishes of buildings must also be considered as linings can promote the spread and development of fire. In buildings with large areas of drapes, consideration may should be given to the flammability. Similarly, the

flammability of furniture and furnishings may need to be considered. Other hazards include excessive layers of paint on the walls and ceiling of escape routes.

Ventilation and air-conditioning systems can also provide a path for the spread of fire and

smoke. Measures to reduce the risk may include a combination of fire and smoke dampers, and the interconnection of forced ventilation and air conditioning systems to the fire alarm system.

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