Around the world, fire risk assessments are increasingly recognised as a fundamental part of a proper fire safety management regime. Furthermore, since the revised 2005 fire safety legislation, they are a legal requirement in the United Kingdom for most building profiles other than domestic dwellings.
The fire risk assessment process can be a straightforward exercise; identifying simple fire risks and prescribing basic fire precautions to mitigate or protect against those risks. As the complexity of the building or infrastructure increases, so will the complexity of the fire precautions and protection systems. The layout of escape routes, the use of active and passive fire protection, the management systems, etc. will be much more sophisticated than would be the case for simple building layouts.
Paul Bryant, Kingfell's founder and a fire engineer himself, believes that many complex buildings would have been fire risk assessed at some stage as part of the formulation of a fire strategy. Consequently, the assessment process would need to use the strategy and other supporting documents and agreements as a basis for the assessment. This Guide has been written to provide a process and guidance for fire risk assessments for complex buildings. Even though many assessments concentrate on the life safety risk, the Guide also considers issues such as asset protection, business continuity and protection of the environment.
The Guide combines standard risk assessment concepts with Paul's ideas developed from his involvement with the preparation of fire strategies, many of which were devised for complex environments.