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Building passport for fire safety

13 September 2018

THE HISTORY of a building is all important when creating a fire strategy, so every building should have a passport documenting everything from when the building is built, Dr Bob Docherty told delegates on day two of Fire Safety Scotland.

He began his presentation highlighting one of the remarks from Dame Judith Hackitt's report 'the current system of regulation for high-rise and complex buildings is broken. The current regulatory system for ensuring fire safety in high-rise and complex buildings is not fit for purpose.'

On these remarks he said, “It is not broken, and it's not not fit for purpose, so why start again. It can take 10-15 years to start that from scratch. I really don't think it's broken, but it needs a bit of work.”

He asked how hard can it really be that Building Control, the local fire and rescue service and the building management company cannot put their hands on the original fire strategy, fire engineering report and the 'as build' plans for a development that's only six years old?

The solution for this is to have a passport documenting the history of the building. He says, “Somewhere there should be a file for every building containing the complete history of the building, and there should be one for every building. There should be a template and a common style.”

The passport should contain design and plans, production of fire strategy, holistic fire engineering process and the sign off for final plans. There should also be plans for emergency evacuation, fire risk assessments, fire logs audits and inspection details. Everything in one place.

This should stay with the building for life, and nothing should be removed. It will provide a full audit trail and will avoid 'searching for clues'.

Docherty finished his presentation highlighting the importance of this passport. “It becomes the reference material for future architects, fire and rescue services personnel, fire risk assessors, fire engineers and anyone else who may be involved at some time in the evolution of the building over its lifetime.”