WHAT IS FIRE ENGINEERING?
Fire safety engineering, in its simplest terms, is about ensuring that people have enough time to escape from a building when there is a fire. To do this, we analyse the events that take place between a fire starting and occupants reaching a place of safety. Each fire engineering solution is specific to the building, and an assessment may include an analysis of:
- Occupant characteristics
- Smoke detector and sprinkler response times
- Fire growth rates, smoke production and the time taken for a room to fill with smoke.
- Time taken for occupants to reach an exit.
We often use advanced computer modelling programmes to support our analysis. A fire engineering solution can help our clients to resolve any number of issues, from a minor increase in escape distances to developing the escape strategy for an entire shopping centre.
CODE COMPLIANCE VS. FIRE ENGINEERING
Traditionally buildings are designed to comply with standard fire codes. Even today this can be the best way to deal with a simple building.
For a larger, more complex building the standard codes will usually severely restrict the architects design freedom.
It may even result in a standard of safety that is lower than would be achieved using a fire engineering approach.
Where standard fire code guidance works using a ‘one size fits all’ solution, fire engineering takes account of factors such as human behaviour and the geometry of the specific building to provide a solution tailored to that project.
Many of the projects we have worked on over the last 21 years could not have been built to the project team’s vision without the use of fire engineering. Our Clients know that the work we carry out will give them a building that is both safe and designed to maximise efficiency and flexibility for use.
We are an independent consultancy and our experience and reputation means that the Approving Authorities know that they can rely on our expertise. Our tireless dedication to providing our Clients with the best possible solutions for their building has made us a leader in our field. Our technical work is the foundation to all of this.
FIRE AND SMOKE MODELLING
Much of our fire engineering analysis is supported by use of the most advanced computer modelling programmes.
We regularly use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) smoke modelling and the latest evacuation modelling programmes to understand and solve the challenges of a building performance in a fire.
We have also developed a range of our own fire and smoke modelling programs.