Fire Strategy & Fire Risk Assessments
As former Fire and Rescue Fire Safety specialists, LBA’s fire engineers are well versed in the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire) Order legislation and what it governs, as well as in other fire safety guidance and best practice. They have a wealth of experience in how to apply these in a range of different scenarios.
LBA support architects’ teams during the early stages of projects, ensuring the fire safety compliance of designs against relevant standards. We have also helped a number of clients develop bespoke fire strategies for the construction phase of projects. This phase differs from the fire strategy of the final design of the building as the varying site hazards and risks during construction need to be considered.
LBA are a specialist project Fire Risk Assessor with our fire engineers formally registered with recognised industry bodies. Our Fire Risk Assessors actively contribute to industry events through presentations as well as supporting the development of standards and best practice, specifically through the Institute of Fire Engineers transport working group and the Rail Industry Fire Association.
We currently work across a number of sectors and projects ranging from Thames Tideway and multiple contracts on Crossrail to the Houses of Parliament, Landmark Pinnacle 233m residential tower, and the Dartford River Crossing and Hindhead road tunnels. We also complete Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) for a range of existing building types including commercial, offices, residential and licensed premises.
Tunnel Safety Management & Operations
Fire Safety Engineering & Tunnel Safety Officers:
LBA carry out Tunnel Safety Officer (TSO) duties as defined in The Road Tunnel Safety Regulations to ensure that safety checks align with guidance and standards, and to provide advice on the commissioning of the structure, equipment and operation of tunnels.
The TSO coordinates with Emergency Services and takes part in the preparation of operational schemes and the planning, implementation and evaluation of emergency operations, as well as the formulation of safety schemes and the specification of the structure, equipment and operation of new or modified road tunnels.
LBA’s first involvement in Road Tunnels was the initial study into the Stonehenge tunnel when Les Fielding worked alongside LBA to develop the safety design parameters for the tunnel. Les has subsequently become an industry renowned advocate of safety in road tunnels and has led on PIARC (International Road Safety body) working groups with the aim of establishing consistent road tunnel safety standards across the world.
Fire Safety Audits and Compliance:
LBA have carried out a number of road tunnel refurbishment projects, both from a project co-ordination perspective as well as from the tunnel safety perspective. We have undertaken complex FRAs for road tunnels including the Dartford River Crossing and the Hindhead Tunnel, and we are currently working on Holmesdale, Bell Common and Hatfield tunnels.
Construction Site Fire Safety
LBA’s fire engineers are able to provide a complete construction fire safety service to our clients and are able to utilise their own fire safety experience as well as being able to reach back to the construction expertise of the wider LBA team.
Our fire engineers support Safety Health and Environment (SHE) teams across a number of infrastructure projects, including the water, rail, and construction sectors. They also take on the role of Fire Safety Manager on behalf of clients where they take ownership of implementing and delivering fire safety across the entire project, co-ordinating liaison meetings with the blue light services, developing incident management plans, training staff and attending project insurance reviews and project SHE audits.
Emergency Services Liaison
LBA act as the point of emergency liaison on most of the projects we are involved in. Our team’s background in fire and rescue services allows them to appreciate all aspects of the design process.
We have been appointed as the Emergency Services liaison manager for the HS2 Railway systems team. In this role, we provide strategic support advice and guidance to the head of railway systems and act as the co-ordinator for all emergency services interfaces with the project. The role also involves co-ordinating Quality Design Review (QDR) meetings and engaging with the emergency service groups to ensure all design factors have been explained and fire safety considerations made.
Emergency Planning & Exercises
We have extensive experience, predominantly in infrastructure projects, in emergency planning and carrying out emergency exercises. This allows all stakeholders to test the new systems and procedures in place, in order to be able to deal with emergencies in the tunnel.
As part of LBA’s role as Fire Safety Manager for Crossrail C610 (System-wide fit-out of the running tunnel sections of Crossrail) we developed the project’s incident management plan which was based on JESIP (Joint Emergency Services Interoperability principles), the operational guidance provided by the emergency services.
At Crossrail C610 a number of exercises needed to be carried during construction to demonstrate that staff were properly trained in evacuation as well as in how to respond in an emergency situation including an injured person. Where physical scenario testing was not possible due to operational constraints, a desktop study was carried out in order to test awareness of the required response.
Tunnel Safety Regulations and Requirements
Conducting tunnel emergency exercises is a requirement of the UK Road Tunnel Safety Regulations 2007 which state that the Tunnel Manager and the emergency services shall, in co-operation with the Safety Officer, organise joint periodic exercises for tunnel staff and the emergency services. The exercises should be as realistic as possible, avoiding any damage to the tunnel, and yield clear evaluation results.
Additionally, table-top or simulation exercises are created to complement the live exercises.
Full-scale exercises under conditions that are as realistic as possible are required to be conducted in each tunnel at least every four years. Partial and/or simulation exercises must be conducted every year in between. The exercises are then jointly evaluated by the Safety Officer and the emergency services, who draw up a report and make appropriate proposals. This is supported by Highways Agency Guidance as defined in BD 53/95 (DMRB 3.1.6) and BA 72/05 Appendix F (DMRB 3.2.3).
Here it is stated that exercises should be undertaken: before a new tunnel is opened to traffic; when a tunnel is modified or refurbished; or as part of the Principal Mechanical & Electrical inspection, which is normally carried out every three years.