Fire Safety in Tunnels

Fire Safety Audits in Tunnel Environments

Fire safety in tunnels has become a major international issue, following catastrophic tunnel and metro station fires that have occurred worldwide. Now, a much better understanding of all aspects of tunnel fire safety has been obtained.


Tunnel Fire Services

LBA recognised the need for experienced and professional fire safety input to augment their existing skills and experience in emergency planning for tunnels. They therefore established a Tunnel Fire Services section. LBA are able to offer such expertise to the benefit of their clients. We also have the capability of providing practical experience with respect to other safety risks such as:

  • noxious fumes
  • flooding and explosions
  • movement of people and materials.

Tunnel Fire Safety Advice

At London Bridge Associates (LBA), we provide fire safety advice, training and management. We can fulfil the role of CDM Coordinator and we can provide a range of safety management services that draw upon our practical knowledge of construction and the environment in which construction projects take place.

Underground Hazards

With underground construction there are many risks to personal safety but the risk of a collapse or a fire underground are the main low-frequency, high-severity hazards. In developing strategies for the management of the risks, the benefits that can be brought to a project from specialists with hands on experience of dealing with actual events are significant.

Tunnel Safety Exercises

A well-structured tunnel emergency plan and an expertly executed safety exercise brings essential experience to first responders and managers.

LBA plan and manage full scale and partial tunnel safety exercises by creating conditions that are as realistic as possible. We assist in all aspects of exercise planning and management including incident analysis and debriefs to ensure that emergency response remains effective and appropriate.

Tunnel Emergency Drills

London Bridge Associates (LBA) provides exercise planning and management services for tunnels in all of the main civil engineering sectors. We help plan safety drills for tunnel emergencies. With extensive experience in organising periodic emergency exercises to train tunnel staff and the emergency services which we leverage to develop best practice. As safety planners, we:

  • Ensure sound procedures are in place
  • Facilitate effective communication between different agencies
  • Utilise the experience of local emergency services
  • Document the response
  • Report the facts to all the participating parties
  • Prepare information briefings for the media
  • Document lessons learned
  • Plan further exercises

Preparedness Training

LBA develops and delivers fire safety training for staff, tailored to meet the needs of individual projects or tunnel operators to ensure staff preparedness in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Simulated Fire Emergency

London Bridge Associates (LBA) can provide emergency response plans for all construction sectors. By thorough coordination with emergency services and other stakeholders, LBA can assist tunnel operators and constructors in the preparation of operational schemes. These will typically include assessment of:

  • Relevant information
  • Risks

Plus coordination of:

  • Tunnel Design & Safety Consultation Group or other consultation
  • Emergency Planning
  • Exercise Planning, simulated incidents and table top workshops
  • Emergency exercises
  • Exercise and incident debriefing

Fire Safety Audits

The consequences of underestimating risk or overestimating a subsequent loss relating to fire and safety can have a huge impact on insurers profitability. London Bridge Associates (LBA) provides independent advice to insurers on all aspects of risk identification, assessment, management and mitigation, including assistance with underwriting surveys and audits.

Tunnel Fire-safety Design

We understand that we are unable to totally control the potential for fire or accurately predict the likelihood of it occurring. LBA can assist with tunnel fire safety design, constructors fire safety risk analysis, and operators and owners fire risk management. With the identification and implementation of appropriate control measures and procedures, we can help to reduce the possibility of fire occurring, minimise its consequences and satisfy the legal duties under:

  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

And meet the industry best practice using:

  • The Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation

Fire Safety Compliance

We understand that we are unable to totally control the potential for fire or accurately predict the likelihood of it occurring. LBA can assist with tunnel fire safety design, constructors fire safety risk analysis, and operators and owners fire risk management.

The consequences of underestimating risk or overestimating a subsequent loss relating to fire and safety can have a huge impact on insurers profitability.

With the identification and implementation of appropriate control measures and procedures, we can help to reduce the possibility of fire occurring, minimise its consequences and satisfy the legal duties under:

  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

And meet the industry best practice using:

  • The Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation

Fire Engineering Solutions

  • Tunnel Fire Safety Engineering
  • CDM Services
  • Exercise Planning and Management
  • Tunnel Safety Officer (as EU Directive)
  • Fire & Emergency Response Planning
  • Fire Safety Auditing (Insurance Code)
Tunnel Design Safety

Risk analysis and Fire prevention

Issues that may need to be considered include:

  • Risk analysis.
  • Prevention, detection and monitoring.
  • Fire development, mitigation measures and fire investigation.
  • Human response.
  • Fire effects, tunnel performance and structural response.
  • Evaluation of safety levels and upgrading of existing tunnels and underground structures.
  • Emergency services, access, egress and emergency procedures.
  • Tunnel fire safety guidance and the law.

Conclusions reached will inform tunnel safety decision-making and risk assessments and influence design.

Fire Safety Engineering

LBA can provide practicable assessment of these fire safety issues and design considerations for:

  • Existing tunnels undergoing refurbishment.
  • New tunnels under construction.
  • Tunnel boring machines (TBM).
  • Rail and metro stations.

In addition to our practical fire risk assessment and advice, with the support of our partners LBA can provide the full range of complex fire engineering solutions for tunnels and other structures.

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