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Fire and Building Code Compliance and Gap Analysis

Updated: Jan 21

Purpose


The current fire protection measures in buildings do not account for all contemporary fire hazard issues, making fire safety a growing concern. Therefore, we aim to present a critical review of current fire protection measures and their applicability to address current challenges in building fire hazards.



Design/methodology/approach


To overcome fire hazards in buildings, the impact of fire hazards is also reviewed to set the context for fire protection measures. Based on the review, an integrated framework for the mitigation of fire hazards is proposed. The proposed framework involves enhancing fire safety in four key areas: fire protection features in buildings, regulation and enforcement, consumer awareness and technology and resources advancement. Detailed strategies on improving fire safety in buildings in these four key areas are presented, and future research and training needs are identified.


Findings


Current fire protection measures lead to an unquantified fire safety level in buildings, provide minimal strategies to mitigate fire hazard and do not account for contemporary fire hazard issues. Implementing key measures that include reliable fire protection systems, proper regulation and enforcement of building code provisions, enhancement of public awareness, and acceptable use of technology and resources is key to mitigating fire hazard in buildings. Significant research and training required to improve fire safety in buildings include developing cost-effective fire suppression systems and rational fire design approaches, characterizing new materials and developing performance-based codes.


Practical implications


The proposed framework encompasses both prevention and management of fire hazard. To demonstrate this framework's applicability in improving fire safety in buildings, significant limitations of current fire protection measures are identified, and detailed strategies are provided to address these limitations using the proposed fire safety framework.



Social implications


Fire represents a severe hazard in both developing and developed countries and poses a significant threat to life, structure, property and the environment. The proposed framework has social implications as it addresses some of the current challenges relating to fire hazard in buildings and will enhance overall fire safety.


Originality/value


The novelty of the proposed framework lies in encompassing both the prevention and management of fire hazard. This is unlike current fire safety improvement strategies, focusing only on improving fire protection features in buildings (i.e. managing impact of a fire hazard) using performance-based codes. To demonstrate this framework's applicability in improving fire safety in buildings, significant limitations of current fire protection measures are identified, and detailed strategies are provided to address these limitations using the proposed fire safety framework. Particular emphasis is given to the cost-effectiveness of proposed approaches, and research and training needs for further enhancing building fire safety are identified.


Regulatory compliance


In the management of fire safety, gap analysis compares actual performance with potential or desired performance. If a company or organization does not make every effort to comply with the Fire Department requirement, it may be subjected to enforcement action. Gap analysis uses the principles of fire safety benchmarking to identify regulatory shortfalls. Once the benchmarking expectation is placed, it is possible to compare that expectation with the company's current level of compliance. This comparison becomes a gap analysis. Such analysis can be performed at the strategic or operational status of an organization. In meeting a compliant standard, the organization must fill the 'gap' to demonstrate regulatory compliance.



The Solution


We work closely with clients to ensure that all fire safety needs are met most cost-effectively and economically. We have delivered Fire Safety Gap Analysis for both larger corporations and smaller businesses, all taking advantage of the skills, experience and knowledge of our consultants who have worked as operational officers, enforcement and prosecution officers within the Fire Service and who can deliver strategies and reports which are regulatory compliant and to identify any regulatory shortfalls within organizations.


Our Gap Analysis will identify gaps in fire safety compliance by comparing existing fire safety provisions against applied enforcement criteria revealing the planning gap. This represents a goal for fire safety activities in general and fire risk management strategies in particular. PSB Fire Engineers are specialist Fire Safety Consultants, and our consultancy work delivers a bespoke fire risk management service fully compliant with the Fire Department requirements. PSB Fire Engineers offer a Fire Safety Gap Analysis report designed to guide and plan an organizations pathway to regulatory compliance.


The Result


Our Fire Safety Gap Analysis report identifies shortfalls in fire risk management compliance and offers a path to compliance with enforcement action avoidance. PSB Fire Engineers is committed to and passionate about securing fire safety, and because of our Fire Service background, our experience, knowledge and skill, we can work closely with clients to ensure all fire safety regulatory requirements are met and fully complied with.


Are you looking for help solving your facility's fire protection system, fire fighting system, and fire safety issues? Installation, Service & Maintenance, Upgrading & Repair? Connecting with an experienced Fire Protection Consultant at PSB Fire Engineers can help. At PSB Fire Engineers, we understand that your unique building needs unique fire protection systems. Our team is equipped to ensure you receive the fire protection you need to keep your facility and people safe from harm.



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