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In today’s climate conscious building environment, marked (some may say marred) by new materials and technologies, a comprehensive fire strategy is fundamental to safeguarding lives and ensuring regulatory compliance. Global Technical Services (GTS) excels in creating fire strategies that align with the RIBA stages ensuring safety and compliance from initial design, throughout the building’s lifecycle.

Developing a Holistic Fire Strategy

A robust fire strategy encompasses every aspect of a building’s design, operation, maintenance and occupancy. GTS’s approach integrates fire safety considerations seamlessly into the architectural vision, adapting to each RIBA stage. This involves evaluating risks and proposing solutions that enhance safety without compromising aesthetics or functionality. This is supported through GTS’s Fire Scrutineer service through various design and construction hold points.

Navigating Regulations and Empowering Responsible Persons

GTS’s fire strategies address the complexities of fire safety regulations, particularly aligning with Approved Document B, B1 to B5, BS9999 and BS7974. These strategies empower the responsible person with an understanding of the building’s fire safety systems, enabling informed decision-making and effective management. While the fire strategy will form part of the Regulation 38 pack, it can also act as a guide to ensure the responsible person understands the comprehensive fire safety information, systems, equipment and their interactions; essential for maintaining safety standards within their area of responsibility.

Evolving Strategies for Design and Existing Buildings

Our strategies evolve with each RIBA stage, reflecting design changes to maintain relevance and effectiveness. For existing buildings, GTS’s retrospective strategies demonstrate compliance with previous legislation, guiding renovations to enhance safety standards.

Case Study: Enhancing Fire Safety in Heritage Hotels

A testament to the practical impact of fire strategies is GTS’s work with a chain of existing hotels across England, Scotland, and Wales. This project exemplifies the pivotal role of retrospective fire strategies in maintaining and enhancing fire safety standards during significant refurbishments.

In these hotels, some of which are historic buildings with listed status, the challenge was to update fire safety measures without compromising the buildings’ integrity. GTS developed bespoke strategies that not only respected the architectural heritage but also ensured compliance with contemporary fire safety standards. The strategies facilitated the implementation of modern fire safety solutions, while preserving the character of these heritage buildings.

This case study highlights the importance of regularly reviewing and updating fire strategies, especially for existing buildings. Changes in regulations, building usage, and advancements in fire safety technology necessitate a dynamic approach to fire strategy planning. For buildings with a long history, like the hotels in this case study, aligning with the latest standards can be a complex task, and may necessitate fire engineered solutions. But a fire strategy is crucial for ensuring safety and compliance, or justifying a bespoke solution.