Our services include the production of fire safety strategies for on-site works during construction, including continued support throughout the construction process. A construction fire safety strategy will specifically consider fire safety for the site, identifying measures which will limit the risk of fire during the various phases of work:
assisting with reducing the likelihood of fire.
improving the level of safety of both employees and the general public.
preventing fire spread to adjacent buildings and providing suitable firefighting access and water supplies.
it will also consider protection measures required to protect residents of occupied areas of a building during the construction works.
The strategy will provide fire safety guidance and form a basis for the Principal Contractor in meeting their legal obligations for fire safety throughout construction. Through following best practice guidance, benefits in property protection and brand perception are also realised by reducing the likelihood and consequence of construction site fires.
Under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), the Principal Contractor is obliged to plan, manage, and coordinate the health and safety of a construction project. This includes liaising with the client and Principal Designer, preparing the construction phase plan, organising cooperation between contractors and coordinating their work.
This can be a significant challenge where fire safety risks are continually present and ever-changing throughout construction, particularly for complex projects such large, high-rise buildings and timber buildings.
Following guidance recommendations (e.g. ‘HSG168 – Fire Safety in Construction’ and the ‘Joint Code of Practice for Fire Prevention on Construction Sites’) is not always practical or appropriate due to the type, scale or requirements of a project. For example, a tall single stair building will be well protected by robust fire safety systems when completed, however these systems will typically not be available until the late construction stages. A code compliant solution, of additional temporary stairs, is not always possible or practical for solving this issue through all stages of construction. Alternative risk reduction measures are therefore required to ensure fire risks are kept as low as reasonably practicable.
With significant experience on complex construction projects, our expertise includes assessing the potential on-site fire safety risks in all phases of construction and employing a pragmatic approach to each project.
We hold ourselves to high standards as highlighted by our certification as a ConstructionOnline Gold member and our ISO 9001 certification. We also hold certification for ISO 14001 and BAFE SP205.
As part of this service, we also offer site fire risk assessments to periodically review the site with regards to the construction fire safety strategy and best practice guidance.
Our team of Fire Engineers and Fire Safety Consultants have a comprehensive knowledge of the construction process and fire safety review and implementation of fire safety strategies to existing buildings, and during construction through to handover.
The fire engineering industry and regulatory guidance and advice continues to evolve. This is particularly reflected by the recent changes to the requirements for the external walls of residential building stock following the Grenfell Tower tragedy of 2017. We continue to apply our knowledge and skills to help our clients navigate these changes and help ensure their residential buildings can be managed safely and effectively.
As the building design develops, changes to the proposed external wall design can be reviewed and the fire resistance and reaction to fire properties of material examined. Compatibility of components such as fire stopping and cavity barriers proposed for the external wall system can also be reviewed alongside construction details.
Our engineers are experienced in all aspects of fire engineering and have a further solid understanding of passive fire protection. This is gained through both practical experience and close contacts with industry.
Our knowledge base provides Ashton Fire with the expertise to impartially review and comment on designs both on plan and installed. Where evidence has been presented to demonstrate performance of passive products, Ashton Fire also has the expertise to review test/assessment data in order to assist in understanding whether it is appropriate and covers the required design, or not. If not, then we can offer our professional opinion as to what the next steps to providing approvals may be and how that may be achieved. In some cases, we may be in a position to prepare appropriate bridging assessments to cover the gaps in provided evidence.