UNIVERSITY SAINS MALAYSIA

FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT
CASE STUDY: COMPUTER SAINS BUILDING-UNIVERSITY SAINS MALAYSIA

MUHAMMAD IQBAL MUHAMMAD ISKANDAR BIN BASARUDDIN KUNG TZE PING HUAN LIN August 20, 2009

I.

MANAGING FIRE SAFETY Good management of fire safety is essential to ensure that fires are unlikely to occur; that if they do occur they are likely to be

controlled or contained quickly, effectively and safely; or that, if a fire does occur and grow, everyone in your premises is able to escape to a place of total safety easily and quickly. The risk assessment that you must carry out will help you ensure that your fire safety procedures, fire prevention measures, and fire precautions (plans, systems and equipment) are all in place and working properly, and the risk assessment should identify any issues that need attention (Source: Fire Safety Risk Assessment, Department for Community and Local Government, Eland Houses, Bressenden Place London SW1 E 5 Du, Mei 2006) As we are aware fire not only can injure or kill the people, whether the people inside the building or surrounding the building, but also can seriously damage or even destroy your business. The purpose of fire assessment is not just collecting the data and file, but how it use to improve Safety Management systems. The assessment have to be practical and in the systematic way. Naturally, there cannot be an “off shelf solution”. Every workplace has different view and scenario on the fire hazards, so there are many aspects to be look into and how it can improve the fire safety management. So it is vital that assessors are able to seek commitment from the top of the organization and to consult with all relevant personnel, to ensure that they are aware on this assessment. Paradigms are being shifted to emphasize the concept of fire assessment and safety systems as organizations attempt to effectively reduce losses and protect their reputation. So much so that all employees must have an understanding of fire, how quickly it can spread, and how devastating its impact can be. With this knowledge, employees will be better equipped to recognize fire hazards not just in their work environments but also in their homes. They will be able to take steps to introduce and practice fire safety

behaviors. The main objective of fire risk assessment is to ensure compliance with the requirements local authority in term of fire safety to protect the people from the risk of fire.

II. FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE Current legislation on fire precautions and procedures deals with the following general requirements:
• • • •

Means of detection and giving warning in case of fire The provision of means of escape from premises Means of fire fighting Training of employees and others in relation to fire safety In addition, fire legislation requires employers to:

Carry out fire risk assessments of workplaces and take into consideration employees, visitors, contractors, members of the public and others who may be affected by activities carried out within their premises. Identify significant findings of the fire risk assessment and record the findings. Implement and maintain suitable control measures for controlling the risk from fire. Provide information, instruction and training to employees and others about fire precautions in the workplace.

• • •

The following procedure should be followed:

a) The Occupational Health and Safety Department will carry out fire risk assessments on each building of the University used for teaching and research. A schedule of Fire Risk Assessments will be produced and published by the Occupational Health and Safety Manager. b) The following documents will inform the fire risk assessment:
• • •

Previous fire risk assessment documentation Actions plans arising from any previous fire risk assessment or fire inspection Fire evacuation procedures including Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans

c) Fire Risk Assessments will be recorded on the University’s Fire Risk Assessment form, copies of which will be retained by the Occupational Health and Safety Team, the Estates and Physical Resources Department and any other parties deemed appropriate. d) Once the fire risk assessment has been carried out, the documents will be forwarded to the appropriate Heads of School/Department, together with a copy to the Estates Department. Heads of School/Department, the Estates Department and the Occupational Health and Safety Department will meet as appropriate to discuss the findings of the fire risk assessment. e) Following this discussion, the Building Fire Action Plan will be updated and agreed. It will clearly state which actions need to be undertaken and who is responsible for each action. f) Fire Risk Assessments will be reviewed annually by the Occupational Health and Safety Team.

the activities carried on there and the likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premises.III. Fuel High Temperature or Heat Oxygen FIRE . whether is high or low of that harm occurring. Risk is the chance. fire has a triangle of needs which is fuel. A hazard is something that has the potential to cause harm. If deprived of any of these needs. The best way to identify the fire hazard is to understand the things that need to create fire hazards. high temperature or heat and oxygen. building fires will be extinguished. The aims of the fire risk assessment are:  To identify the fire hazards Before we can go further on identifying the fire hazards. As the principle. THE AIMS OF FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT A fire risk assessment is an organized and methodical look at your premises. we have to know what the meaning of hazards is itself.

but these can have serious safety consequences.1.  To decide what physical fire precautions and management policies are necessary to ensure the safety of people in your premises if a fire does start. so special water systems are often installed to deprive fire of the high temperature it needs.  To reduce the risk of those hazards causing harm to as low as reasonably practicable. This is might be a probably reason. to protect people and property. in the event of fire. this triangle’s influence the building’s design is as follows. The fire can cause fatalities and injuries. The temperatures achieved in fires are well beyond the ability of building cooling systems to control. Inside the policies itself show the regulation. As stated before.Fig. Many of these tragedies could be prevented if the people took the necessary fire prevention methods such as undergoing a fire risk assessment. where the designer controls the choice of structural and finishes materials. FIRE TRIANGLE NEEDS In general. do and don’t. The policies describes the arrangements for effectively managing fire safety so as to prevent fire occurring and. fire kills people. Oxygen may be denied to a fire partly by limitations on ventilation. The policies are structured to ensure the accountability and it will be the references to guide for . the guidance and responsibility of the person in charge. why people rather choose their homes or office to be burglarized than to experience in fire accident. The fuel is the building structure and contents.

The fire safety policy is dependent on taking account of two principle factors. etc. The extent of policy depends upon the size and the uses of premises. halogen lamps). or . matches. cookers. fuel and oxygen. hot work: welding. friction: drive belts. lighting (e. It is physical factor and human factor IV. Occasionally oxygen can be found in chemical form (oxidizing agents) or as a gas in cylinders or piped systems. fire hazards will fall into the first two categories. grinding. then the fire risk could increase as a result. machinery. worn bearings. If all three are present and in close proximity.g. boilers. gas welding.the safety of fire management system.. hot surfaces: heaters.. whilst the oxygen will be present in the air in the surrounding space. etc. gas/oil heaters. electrical equipment. Here is the first of five steps to carrying out a fire risk assessment in the workplace. These policies must be review as to make sure it will be relevant to the respective building. Potential sources of ignition could include: • • • • naked flames: smokers materials. CARRYING OUT FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT A fire risk assessment helps us identify all the fire hazards and risks in our premises. flame cutting. etc. pilot lights. engines.. In the average premises. Step 1 of 5: Identifying the fire hazards For fire to occur there must be a source of ignition.

. Potential sources of fuel: anything that burns is a potential fuel. i. furniture. methylated spirits. rubber. acetylene. members of the public relevant persons as defined by the Fire Safety Order). which can very quickly incapacitate those escaping. deliberate ignition. packaging.. If a premises does not have adequate means of escape or if a fire can grow to an appreciable size before it is noticed. metal impact. electrical contacts/switches. white spirit. card. paper. the main risk to people is from the smoke and products of combustion. heat and smoke through the premises. Our assessment of risk to persons should include: • • • • the likely speed of growth and spread of any fire. Arrangements for giving warning to people if a fire occurs. and associated heat and smoke (remember some fuels burn much faster and produce more toxic products than others do). employees. If this happens. wood. varnish. Liquids: solvents (petrol. plastics. etc). grinding. visitors. the greatest danger is the spread of the fire. examples include: Step 2 of 5: Identifying people at risk If there is a fire. Arson. etc. etc. waste materials. Solids: textiles.• • • • • sparks: static electricity. thinners.e. the numbers of persons in the area including student. paints. PU foam. Gases: LPG. etc. lecturer. then people may become trapped or overcome by heat and smoke before they can evacuate. fixtures/fittings. Will any outbreak be conspicuous or will some form of fire detection and alarm system be required. and How they will make their escape as describe at the case study . paraffin. adhesives.

we must decide if any further control measures are needed in order to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. we must assess the effect of any particular hazards. Minimize the potential fuel load in the premises. Fire safety management systems. if the risk is the possibility of a fast growing fire.Step 3 of 5: Evaluating the risks Once the hazards and the persons at risk have been identified. Means of escape. . or Assist persons to escape from the effects of a fire. Staff training. Means of fighting fire. taking account of any existing control measures that are already in place. For example. Fire warning systems. Once this has been done. Further control measures may: • • • • • • • • Act to reduce the possibility of ignition. They may fall into a number of different categories: Different control measures can be applied to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. should it occur. potential control measures could include one or any combination of the following: • changing the process to use a slower burning fuel.

outside the premises. fire escape staircases. Remember. or Providing appropriate firefighting equipment / fixed installation e. sprinkler system.it is our starting point for deciding if any further action is necessary. Many of these measures will also be found in older buildings. e. If any areas of inadequacy are identified. fire lobbies.g. fire doors. providing a fire detection and alarm system to warn persons of the fire in its early stages. This should include time-scales for achieving the required level of control and specify who is responsible for the action. a full understanding and evaluation of the existing control measures is essential . If our premises are situated in a relatively modern building it should already incorporate important control measures that were installed to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations e.g. If our building was issued with a fire certificate under the Fire Precautions Act. it can be seen that there may be a number of different solutions depending on the nature of the situation. details of existing control measures will be detailed in that document. moving the hazard to an area that affects the minimum of persons. emergency lighting etc.• • • • • • removing or reducing possible ignition sources. e. Training the staff to reduce the possibility of a fire occurring. providing an additional exit/protected route to speed the escape of the occupants. monitor and review all the fire safety arrangements. While this list is not exhaustive and applies to one area of risk only. an action plan must to be included to show how the problem is being addressed. Step 4 of 5: Recording your findings . We should include details of these existing control measures in our fire risk assessment.g. control.g. housekeeping/safe working practices. We should plan.

what further action is required to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Step 5 of 5: Reviewing and revising the risk assessment It is important to remember that fire risk assessment is a continuous process and as such must be monitored and audited. the record must show whether the existing control measures are adequate and. More importantly. Remember to make sure any control measures identified or introduced remain effective by testing and maintaining them regularly. New and existing control measures should be maintained to make sure they are still working effectively. together with details of any people that are at particular risk. Changes to furniture layout or internal partitions could affect the ability for occupants to see a fire and escape in time. For this reason it is also important to review and revise our assessment regularly. However. For larger premises we are encouraged to include a simple floor plan in our fire risk assessment. or we are an employer and have five or more employees We must record the significant findings of our risk assessment. We can use the plan to record fire hazards and control measures in a simple format that is easily understood. • • A new work process may introduce additional fuels or ignition sources. For example. but the impact of any significant change should be considered.Where: • • • a license under an enactment is in force. if not. if we introduce changes into our premises our original risk assessment may not address any new hazards or risk arising from them. This doesn't mean that it is necessary to amend our assessment for every trivial change that occurs. . an Alterations Notice under the Fire Safety Order requires it.

etc. Adequate hazard identification requires a complete understanding of the working situation. The above list is not exhaustive and any change that could lead to new hazards or risks should be considered. It is also important to regularly review the step. not vice versa. How likely is it that a hazardous event or situation will occur? • • Very likely – could happen frequently Likely – could happen occasionally . Use the information to access the likelihood and consequences of each hazard and produce a qualitative risk table. Think about how many people are exposed to each hazard and how long. Occupying another floor of the building may mean that an electrical fire warning system is now necessary.• • Increasing the number of people may mean that a fire exit is now too small to cope with their escape within a safe period. Step 2: The risk assessment process Gather information about each hazard identified. especially there are changes in the work environment. They are based on the concept that the workplace should be modified to suit people. three basic steps should be taken to ensure a safe and health workplace. The three steps are: Step 1: Identifying the hazards The identification of hazards should involve a critical appraisal of all activities to take account of hazards to employees. the National Institute Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Malaysia has include the risk assessment process as one of the scope in their safety and Health Officer Health Module (1997) according to NIOSH. others affected by activities (members of the public and contractors) and to those using products and services. In Malaysia. new technology is introduced or standard are changed.

.• • Unlikely – could happen. Table below is the example of the qualitative risk table. but probably never will Consequences of a hazardous event or situation: • • • • Situation Major injuries (normally irreversible injury or damage to health) Minor injuries (normally reversible injury or dame to health requiring days off work) Negligible injuries (first aid) Once the decision on the likelihood and consequences of each hazardous event or situation have been made. the hazard with the high risk rating should be tackle first. then need to rate the hazard according to how serious the risk is. During the developing of risk control strategies. Consequences Fatality Major injuries Minor injuries Negligible injuries Likelihood Very likely High High High Medium Likely High High Medium Medium Unlikely High Medium Medium Low Highly unlikely Medium Medium Low Low The event or situations assessed as very likely with fatal consequences are the most serious (high risk) and those assessed as highly unlikely with negligible injuries are the least serious (low risk). but only rarely Highly unlikely – could happen. The risk rating for each hazard should be note on a worksheet. The risk table is one of the ways in rating the hazard and to translate the assessments of likelihood and consequences into level of risk.

It may be appropriate for this responsibility to be placed with the person designated with overall responsibility for health and safety. where necessary. It should be recognized that fire safety operates at all levels within an organization and therefore those responsible for fire safety should be able to develop. An organization’s fire safety policy should be flexible enough to allow modification. V. In small premises this can be achieved by the manager or owner responsible for maintaining and planning fire safety in conjunction with general health and safety.Step 3: Risk control The information and ideas on control measures can come from: • • • • Code of practice Industry or trade associations Specialists Other publications including those by manufacturers and suppliers. FURTHER GUIDANCE ON FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT AND FIRE PRECAUTIONS Good management of fire safety in your premises is essential to ensure that any fire safety matters that arise are always effectively addressed. a local action plan for their premises. . it is good practice for a senior manager to have overall responsibility for fire safety. In larger premises.

the quantities kept and the storage arrangements. by carefully considering the type of material. If we generate a considerable quantity of combustible waste material then we need to develop a formal plan to manage this effectively.1 HOUSEKEEPING Good housekeeping will lower the chances of a fire starting. so the accumulation of combustible materials in all premises should be monitored carefully. The more combustible materials store the greater the source of fuel for a fire. Keep waste material in suitable containers before it is removed from the premises. Good housekeeping is essential to reduce the chances of escape routes and fire doors being blocked or obstructed. Poorly arranged storage could prevent equipment such as sprinklers working effectively. Combustible materials are not just those generally regarded as highly combustible. such as polystyrene.2 STORAGE Many of the materials found in your premises will be combustible. 1. .Section 1 Further guidance on fire risks and preventative measures To develop long-term workable and effective strategies to reduce hazards and the risk of a fire starting we must take this item into consideration. 1. However. but all materials that will readily catch fire. the risks can be significantly reduced. If premises have inadequate or poorly managed storage areas then the risk of fire is likely to be increased.

a leak from a container of flammable solvents. • reduce the quantity of dangerous substances to the smallest reasonable amount necessary for running the business or organization. in a fire-resisting enclosure. to reduce the chance of them being used in an arson attack. Aerosols . the following principles will help you reduce the risk from fire: • substitute highly flammable substances and materials with less flammable ones. however. will produce large quantities of heavier-than-air flammable vapours. For example.1. and • ensure that you and your employees are aware of the fire risk the dangerous substances present and the precautions necessary to avoid danger. increasing the likelihood of their reaching a source of ignition well away from the original leak. e. These can travel large distances. Your supplier should be able to provide detailed advice on safe storage and handling. such as a basement containing heating plant and/or electrical equipment on automatic timers.3 DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES STORAGE. • Correctly store dangerous substances. All flammable liquids and gases should ideally be locked away. especially when the premises are unoccupied. Flammable liquids Highly flammable liquids present a particularly high fire risk. DISPLAY AND USE Specific precautions are required when handling and storing dangerous substances to minimize the possibility of an incident. such as methylated spirit.g.

1. involving large quantities of oil and combustible food stuffs. Heat sources used for cooking processes include: gas. • inadequate cleaning of heat-shrink packaging equipment. electric and microwave. and ductwork fires from a build up of fats and grease. . • misuse or lack of maintenance of cooking equipment and appliances. The greatest risks arise from lack of maintenance and staff unfamiliarity with them. All machinery. produce fireballs and rocket to distances of 40m. When ignited they can explode. particularly those which are kept for emergency use during a power cut or as supplementary heating during sever weather. Heaters should preferably be secured in position when in use and fitted with a fire guard if appropriate. Cooking processes These cooking processes can operate with high temperatures. combustion of crumbs and sediment deposits. Heating Individual heating appliances require particular care if they are to be used safely. The main cause of fire are ignition of cooking oil. and • disabling or interfering with automatic or manual safety features and cut-outs.4 EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY Common causes of fire in equipment are: • allowing ventilation points to become clogged or blocked. Appropriate signs and instructions on safe use may be necessary.Some aerosols can contain flammable products stored at pressure and they can present a high level of hazard. causing overheating. • allowing extraction equipment in catering environments to build up excessive grease deposits. such as that used in in-store bakeries. apparatus and office equipment should be properly maintained by a competent person. Their presence in premises can make it unsafe for firefighters to enter a building and they have the potential for starting multiple fires.

and • embrittlement and cracking of cable sheathing in cold environments.7 MANAGING BUILDING WORK AND ALTERATIONS .6 SMOKING Carelessly discarded cigarettes and other smoking materials are a major cause of fire. Consider prohibiting smoking in your premises other than in the designated smoking areas. especially when surrounded by combustible material.g. Many fires are started several hours after the smoking materials have been emptied into waste bags and left for future disposal.1. • Little or no maintenance and testing of equipment. bunched or coiled cables or impaired cooling fans. • Damaged or inadequate insulation on cables or wiring. • Incorrect fuse ratings. due to overloading circuits. Display suitable signs throughout the premises informing people of the smoking policy and the locations where smoking is permitted. A cigarette can smolder for several hours. • combustible materials being placed too close to electrical equipment which may give off heat even when operating normally or may become hot due to a fault. • arcing or sparking by electrical equipment.5 ELECTRICAL SAFETY Electrical equipment can be a significant cause of accidental fires in shops and offices. • Incorrect installation or use of equipment. e. 1. 1. The main causes are: • overheating cables and equipment.

9 PARTICULAR HAZARDS IN CORRIDORS AND STAIRWAYS USED AS ESCAPE ROUTES • Portable heaters. 1. especially if they are not fire stopped above walls. • Unsealed holes in walls and ceilings where pipe work. • Gas cylinders for supplying heaters. e.g. • Introduction of combustibles into an escape route. • Loss of normal storage facilities.8 EXISTING LAYOUT AND CONSTRUCTION • Vertical shafts. soldering. cables or other services have been installed. • blocking of escape routes. welding. such as automatic fire-detection systems becoming affected. or paint stripping. • Doors. including external escape routes. e. • cooking appliances. lifts. open stairways. and .g. • Fire-resisting partitions being breached or fire doors being wedged open • Additional personnel who may be unfamiliar with the premises. 1. • False ceilings. • Fire safety equipment. which are ill-fitting or routinely left open. dumb waiters or holes for moving stock around. • Temporary electrical equipment.Additional risks can include: • Hot work such as flame cutting. • Voids behind wall panelling. bottled gas (LPG) or electric radiant heaters and electric convectors or boilers. particularly to stairways.

meters.• Unenclosed gas pipes. • Polyisocyanurate (PIR)/polyurethane (PUR) will char and will generate smoke and gaseous combustion products.10 INSULATED CORE PANELS • Mineral rock/modified phenol will produce surface char and little smoke or gaseous combustion products. and • a control and indicator panel. • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) will melt and will generate smoke and gaseous combustionproducts. 1. People leaving a building because of a fire will normally leave by the way they entered. • electronic sirens or bells. at temperatures above 230°C.1 Manual call points Manual call points. . at temperatures above 430°C PIR. enable a person who discovers a fire to immediately raise the alarm and warn other people in the premises of the danger. often known as ‘break glass’ call points. and other fittings. 2. Section 2 Further guidance on fire detection and warning systems Where an electrical fire-warning system is necessary then a straightforward arrangement typically includes the following: • manual call points (break-glass call points) next to exits with at least one call point on each floor. at temperatures above 430°C PIR and 300°C PUR.

2. such as lone workers. If you have an automatic fire detection system. • as a compensating feature. and • Where smoke control and ventilation systems are controlled by the automatic fire-detection system.4m (or less for premises with a significant number of wheelchair users).Consequently. no one should have to travel more than 45m to the nearest alarm point. to the secretary’s office) there should ideally be a repeater panel sited in the control point. Manual call points should normally be positioned so that. taking into account all fixtures and fittings. e. and • communicate with a central control room . • be maintained and tested by a competent person. storerooms). not just those designated as fire exits. machinery and stock are in place. They should be conspicuous (red). fitted at a height of about 1. This distance may need to be less if your premises cater for people of limited mobility or there are particularly hazardous areas. for inadequate structural fire protection. • give an automatic indication of the fire warning and its location. manual call points are normally positioned at exits and storey exits that people may reasonably be expected to use in case of fire.g. If the indicator panel is located in a part of the premises other than the control point (for example. in dead-ends or where there are extended travel distances.g. and not in an area likely to be obstructed. However it is not necessary in every case to provide call points at every exit. • If you have areas where a fire can develop unobserved (e. These can include: • If you have areas where people are isolated or remote and could become trapped by a fire because they are unaware of its development.2 Automatic fire detection Automatic fire detection may be needed for a number of reasons. the system should: • be designed to accommodate the emergency evacuation procedure.

usually those closest to where the alarm was activated. 2. those people potentially most at risk from a fire. given enough authority and training to manage all aspects of the routine testing and scrutiny of the system. in some large or complex premises this may not be necessary as alternative arrangements may be in place. It requires able. However. fullytrained staff to be available at all times and should not be seen as a simple means of reducing disruption to working practices. Firstly. disabled people should be alerted on the first stage to give them the maximum time to escape. can be either horizontal or vertical. This is generally called a phased evacuation and the initial movement. .4 Staged fire alarms In the vast majority of premises sounding the fire warning system should trigger the immediate and total evacuation of the building. The second alternative is for the initial alert signal to be given to certain staff. who then carry out pre-arranged actions to help others to evacuate more easily.5 Testing and maintenance Your fire-warning and/or detection system should be supervised by a named responsible person. Where staged alarms are being used. will be immediately evacuated. These alternative arrangements broadly fall into two groups. while others in the building are given an alert signal and will only evacuate if it becomes necessary.2. depending on the layout and configuration of the premises.

Section 3 Further guidance on firefighting equipment and facilities 3.1 Portable firefighting equipment Fires are classed according to what is burning.The control and indicating equipment should be checked at least every 24 hours to ensure there are no specific faults. 2. Manual call points may be numbered to ensure they are sequentially tested. then the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 19965 requires it to have a back-up power supply. Whatever back-up system is used. Class of fire Description . it should normally be capable of operating the fire warning and detection system for a minimum period of 24 hours and sounding the alarm signal in all areas for 30 minutes. usually by inserting a dedicated test key (Figure 19).7 New and altered systems Guidance on the design and installation of new systems and those undergoing substantial alterations is given in BS 5839.16 If you are unsure that your existing system is adequate you will need to consult a competent person.6 Guaranteed power supply If your fire risk assessment concludes that an electrical fire-warning system is necessary. 2. activating the warning alarms. For electrical systems a manual call point should be activated (using a different call point for each successive test). Fire extinguishers provided should be appropriate to the classes of fire found in your premises in accordance with Table 1. All types of firewarning systems should be tested once a week. This will check that the control equipment is capable of receiving a signal and in turn.

They may already be provided in your premises or you may be considering them as a means of protecting some particularly dangerous or risk-critical area as part of your risk-reduction strategy. Fires involving metals.2 Fixed firefighting installations These are firefighting systems which are normally installed within the structure of the building. Where it is determined that there are additionally other classes of fire risk. diesel or oils. with a minimum of two extinguishers per floor. paper or textiles. Fires involving cooking oils such as in deep-fat fryers. number and size of extinguisher should be provided. will normally be adequate. Number and type of extinguishers Typically for the Class A fire risk. Fires involving flammable liquids such as petrol. Hose reels Permanent hose reels (Figure 20) installed in accordance with the relevant British Standard .Class A Class B Class C Class D Class F Fires involving solid materials such as wood. the appropriate type. Fires involving gases. the provision of one water-based extinguisher for approximately Every 200m2 of floor space. 3.

(BS EN 671-3: 200021) provide an effective firefighting facility. slip or trip hazards. and the relaxation of restrictions in the design of buildings. a sprinkler system is usually part of a package of fire precautions in a building and may form an integral part of the fire strategy for the building. or be in addition to. • Adequate for the number of people likely to use them. • Easily. safely and immediately usable at all relevant times. and . Where installed. • free from any obstructions. Section 4 Further guidance on escape routes Suitability of escape routes We should ensure that our escape routes are: • Suitable. A concern is that untrained people will stay and fight a fire when escape is the safest option. They can be designed to protect life and/or property and may be regarded as a cost-effective solution for reducing the risks created by fire. such as a reduction in the amount of portable firefighting equipment necessary. portable firefighting equipment. Where hose reels are installed and your fire risk Sprinkler systems Sprinkler systems can be very effective in controlling fires. They may offer an alternative. Sprinkler protection could give additional benefits.

for a higher risk. All doors on escape routes should open in the direction of escape and ideally be fitted with a safety vision panel. for a lower risk there can be a slight increase. In older premises. it is possible that the type of construction and materials used may not perform to current fire standards.g. computer cabling. Fire-resisting construction The type and age of construction are crucial factors to consider when assessing the adequacy of the existing escape routes. In multi-occupied premises. e. allowing the potential for a fire to spread unseen. • damaged or lack of cavity barriers in modular construction.• Available for access by the emergency services. escape routes should normally be independent of other occupiers. . floors and ceilings created by the installation of new services. Where this is not possible. i. To ensure the safety of people it may be necessary to protect escape routes from the effects of a fire. people should not have to go through another occupier’s premises as the route may be secured or obstructed. • Doors and hardware worn by age and movement being less likely to limit the spread of smoke. This number of 60 can be varied in proportion to the risk. lower numbers of persons should be allowed.e. This is particularly important if more than 60 people use them or they provide an exit from an area of high fire risk. Also changes of occupier and refurbishment may have led to: • Cavities and voids being created. At least two exits should be provided if a room/area is to be occupied by more than 60 persons. then robust legal agreements should be in place to ensure their availability at all times. and • Breaches in fire compartment walls.

e. Number of people using the premises As your escape routes need to be adequate for the people likely to use them you will need to consider how many people. For means of escape purposes a 30 minutes fire-resisting rating is normally enough. For shops. including employees and the public. Where premises have been subject to building regulations approval for use as either an office or a shop.g. fire stopping and dampers in ducts are appropriately installed. such as the disabled. the fire resistance should extend up to the floor slab level above. ducts and vertical shafts linking floors) walls. floors and ceilings protecting escape routes should be capable of resisting the passage of smoke and fire for long enough so that people can escape from the building. There will also be an appreciation of the use of the building by those with special needs. the responsible person will normally be aware of the maximum number of people liable to be present from a personal knowledge of trading patterns. a dead-end corridor or protected stairway. If you propose to make changes to the use or layout of the building which may increase the number of people. For offices. In such buildings where the risk has changed or buildings were constructed before national Building Regulations it is still necessary to confirm the provision. the maximum numbers of staff. • Where suspended or false ceilings are provided. the number and width of escape routes and exits will normally be enough for the anticipated number of people using the building. may be present at any one time. visitors and contractors liable to be in the building at the same time will be known by the responsible person. Cavity barriers. then you should ensure the following • Doors (including access hatches to cupboards. you should check the design capacity by referring to guidance given in the Building Regulations Approved Document B. Mobility impairment .Where an escape route needs to be separated from the rest of the premises by fire-resisting construction.

. Staff should be aware of routes suitable for disabled people so that they can direct and help people accordingly. or an open space such as a flat roof. Disabled people should not be left alone in a refuge area whilst waiting for assistance with evacuation from the building. This does not mean that every exit will need to be adapted. • Normal lifts may be considered suitable for fire evacuation purposes. having reached a refuge a disabled person should also be able to gain access to a stairway (should conditions in the refuge become untenable). Specialist evacuation chairs or other equipment may be necessary to negotiate stairs. they should be enclosed in a fire-resisting structure which creates a protected escape route which leads directly to a place of total safety and should only be used in conjunction with effective management rescue arrangements. • If firefighting lifts (provided in high buildings as firefighting access) are to be used for evacuation. a refuge could be a lobby. • Since evacuation lifts can fail.• A refuge is a place of reasonable safety in which disabled people can wait either for an evacuation lift or for assistance up or down stairs (see Figure 23). balcony or similar place which is sufficiently protected (or remote) from any fire risk and provided with its own means of escape and a means of communication. • Stairways used for the emergency evacuation of disabled people should comply with the requirements for internal stairs in the building regulations. • Enough escape routes should always be available for use by disabled people. this should be co-ordinate with the fire and rescue service as part of the pre-planned evacuation procedures. subject to an adequate fire risk assessment and development of a suitable fire safety strategy by a competent person. part of a public area or stairway. An evacuation lift with its associated refuge should therefore be located adjacent to a protected stairway. Your fire safety strategy should not rely on the fire and rescue service rescuing people waiting in these refuges. • Where refuges are provided. corridor. Depending on the design and fire resistance of other elements.

Ramps should be constructed in accordance with Approved Document M Figure 1: An example of a refuge . • Stair lifts should not be used for emergency evacuation. no parts of the lift.• Plans should allow for the careful carrying of disabled people down stairs without their wheelchairs. Where installed in a stairway used for emergency evacuation. should be allowed to reduce the effective width of the stairway or any other part of an emergency evacuation route. such as its carriage rail. • Where ramps are necessary for the emergency evacuation of people in wheelchairs they should be as gentle as possible. should the wheelchair be too large or heavy. You will need to take into account health and safety manual handling procedures in addition to the dignity and confidence of the disabled person.

• 100 people in normal risk premises. Escape routes Suggested range of travel distance Where more than one escape route is provided 25m in higher fire-risk area1 . or • 120 people in lower risk premises. The capacity of a route is determined by a number of factors including the width of the route. the next step is to establish that the capacity of the escape routes is adequate for people to escape safely in sufficient time to ensure their safety in case of fire. • 200 people in normal risk premises. the time available for escape and the ability of the persons using them.Widths and capacity of escape routes and stairways Once you have established the maximum number of people likely to be in any part of the premises. A width of at least 1050mm can accommodate up to: • 160 people in higher risk premises. A width of at least 750mm can accommodate up to: • 80 people in higher risk premises. or • 240 people in lower risk premises.

that these distances are flexible and may be increased or decreased depending upon the level of risk after you have put in place the appropriate fire-prevention measures (Part 1. • A separate fire compartment from which there is a final exit to a place of total safety. you now need to confirm that the number and location of existing exits is adequate. Once you have completed your fire risk assessment you need to confirm that those distances are still relevant. When assessing travel distances you need to consider the distance to be travelled by people when escaping. from the most remote part of an office or shop on any floor) to the nearest place of reasonable safety which is: • A protected stairway enclosure (a storey exit). This normally determined by the distance people have to travel to reach them. however. or • The nearest available final exit. Escape routes Suggested range of travel distance . allowing for walking around furniture or display material etc. Table 2 gives guidance on travel distances. In new buildings which have been designed and constructed in accordance with modern building standards the travel distances will already have been calculated.45m in normal fire-risk area 60m in lower fire-risk area2 Where only a single escape route is provided 12m in higher fire-risk area1 18m in normal fire-risk area 25m in lower fire-risk area2 Travel distance Having established the number and location of people and the exit capacity required to evacuate them safely. (see Figure 24). Step 3. It should be understood. The distance should be measured from all parts of the premises (e.3).g.

Where more than one escape route is provided 25m in higher fire-risk area1 45m in normal fire-risk area 60m in lower fire-risk area2 Where only a single escape route is provided 12m in higher fire-risk area1 18m in normal fire-risk area 25m in lower fire-risk area2 Figure 2: Measuring travel distance Figure 4: Alternative exits .

Figure 3: Inner Figure 5: Alternative exits separated by fire-resisting construction CASE STUDY Site Map Guar d house .

developments and achievements of Computer Science pertaining to academic programmes. of floors: 7 floors History of School of Computer Science The School of Computer Sciences was established officially on the 1st of March 1995 after functioning for a period of 10 years as the Division of Computer Science. community services and others. consultancy. Penang Building code: G31 Type of building premise: School offices No. The period had witnessed various advances. research and development.General Description Location: USM. . an independent and autonomous unit within the then School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences.

Since its establishment. research and development.The School of Computer Sciences will continue its efforts to strengthen its curricula and at the same time explore research areas that contribute significantly to the development of the nation. History of School of Mathematical Sciences The School of Mathematical Sciences was established in May 1974. teaching and consultancy. It was previously known as the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences until the separation of the two sections on March 1. the School has undergone rapid development and made significant advances pertaining to academic programs. 1995. Computer Labs Facilities for Undergraduate Teaching .

The General Office for the lab is located on Level 3 (Room 305). during semester breaks.• • There are an average of 45 computers (Pentium 4) are allocated to each lab. and are open until 11:00 pm during the semester. These labs are operated by 8 technicians The labs are open during office hours. Computer Labs Facilities for Research and Undergraduate Project .

1.The labs are open 24 hours a day to students who have been given permission to use the labs and the list of the students will be posted on each lab. Analysis and Identifying the fire hazards on case study ! ! ! ! ! . Each lab is supervised by a coordinator and is assisted by security personnel who are supposed to patrol the designated area.

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5th and 7th floor) This type of room mostly will be used for presentation. microphones. conference and meeting events.7th Floor Legend ! Location of fire hazard To identify fire hazard. Meeting room and VIVA room (Location: Ground. Since there are many types of electrical equipment like computers. LCD screen and compact fluorescent lights occur in this room. . This situation will bring hazard to people. Short circuit from the electronic equipment will create the sparks. therefore. Conference room. the flow of electricity may overload or short circuit may happen if the total voltage is too high. projectors. speakers. and then produce the fire.

Computer Lab. the possibility to produce sparks from the computers will increase if water was sprayed on it. However. there are many number of fire sprinklers and computers in the computer lab. paper. Data Processing Lab. boiler etc. 7th floor) The fire hazards in this room are papers. Artificial Intelligent lab. 2nd. If fire happen. other sources like wood. 1st. 6th. However. papers and furniture can be said as the main hazards because there got some furniture especially book shelf will be used to store student’s assignments. 5th. If the all the book shelf are put at the specific corner. then fire will not spread so fast. 4th. furniture. 3rd. electronic equipment (computer) and the fire sprinkler system. The fire sprinkler system should not install above the electronic equipment because the water sprayed from the fire sprinkler will cause short circuit among the computer. that is. furniture and electrical . But. machinery or flammable liquid will exist in lecturer rooms of Computer Science School. the fire will spread around the area and finally burn the book shelf and papers. 6th floor) Two hazards can be found in computer lab. Information Security Engineering Lab and Audio Lab (Location: Ground. Conversely. it will increase the rate of fire to spread. engine. if the book shelves are anyway. Lecturer Rooms (Location: From Ground floor to 7th floor) Basically. Network Research Room.General Office (Location: Ground. no potential sources of ignition and fuel like arson.

it require electricity input. if people use it continuously from morning to evening. The relationship of these type hazards can be described as following.equipment cannot be ignored as fire hazards. all are exist in this room. Photostat machine. Forensic Lab (Location: 5th floor) Forensic lab has a lot of chemical liquid and some of these chemical liquid are flammable liquid. if this type of chemical was heat up by fire. For example. outside the lecturer rooms have some recycle materials like small book shelf was put along the corridor. Therefore. . with only one piece of fire sprinkler being installed for each room. electrical equipment. When we operating the Photostat machine. Furthermore. At the same time. this will make the means of escape not wide enough for people to run out from the building due to the corridor was blocked by waste materials and difficult to access. Then. is it capable to put out the fire in short period? In addition. some will explore directly and this situation may also affect the room which is next to it and let fire spread immediately. As a result. the possibility of fire is very high. Photostat Room (Location: 5th floor) There have both potential sources of fuel and potential sources of ignition. the motor inside the machine will become very hot and may burn itself. Some lecturer will smoke in the room and if they accidentally put their cigarette on piece of paper but didn’t realize it. During fire. whole room will be easily burned by fire. then fire will happen. paper and furniture like wooden shelf. papers which are put near to that machine will also be affected by the fire and burn itself automatically until the fire was spread to wooden shelf.

. Every storey has manual for escape route and exit light in doors which connected to exit entrance. Analysis and Identifying People at Risk Identifying people at risk can show at escape route which formulated on the building.2.

Manual escape route on each storey Base on our assessment. the building has 3 exits in each storey with open space in the centre and we has mapping of escape route for the case study like describe at the below: .

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Evaluating the Risk .3.

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Ground Floor .

1st Floor .

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5th Floor

6th Floor

Step 4- Record, Plan, Inform, Instruct and Train. In Step 4 there are four further elements of the risk assessment we should focus on to address the management of fire safety in the building. In smaller premises this could be done as part of the day-to-day management, however, as the premises or the organization get larger it may be necessary for a formal structure and written policy to be developed. As we survey the identified building, we saw a there are a structured organization in term of fire management team. During our investigation, we saw most every level, there is an information about who is the responsible person if there is any fire. This people must have been train to organize the evacuation in such of fire. This information is easy to get and most of the people within the building are well known about this information because it already stick to the place where it easy to get. Emergency plan You need to plan the action that people in the building and other people in the workplace should take in the event of a fire. If there are more than five people then it must have a written emergency plan. This emergency plan should be kept in the workplace, be available to the people and outsider and form the basis of the training and instruction which have been prepared or provide. Any written plan should be available for inspection by the fire authority. The purpose of the emergency plan is:

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to ensure that the people in the building know what to do to if there is a fire; and To ensure that the workplace can be safely evacuated.

In drawing up the emergency plan, we need to take the results of the risk assessment into account. For most workplaces it should be easy to prepare a reasonable and workable emergency plan. In some small workplaces the final result may be some simple instructions covering the above points on a Fire Action Notice. However, in large or complex workplaces, the emergency plan will probably need to be more detailed. If the workplace is in a building which is shared with other people or occupiers, the emergency plan should be drawn up in consultation with those people and the owner(s) or other people who have any control over any part of the building. It can help to agree on one person to co-ordinate this. The plan should provide clear instructions on: • • • • the action employees should take if they discover a fire; how people will be warned if there is a fire; how the evacuation of the workplace should be carried out; where people should assemble after they have left the workplace and procedures for checking whether the workplace has been evacuated;

. how the fire brigade and any other necessary emergency services will be called and who will be responsible for doing this. any machines/processes/power supplies which need stopping or isolating in the event of fire. if necessary. • • specific arrangements. • procedures for liaising with the fire brigade on arrival and notifying them of any special risks. • • • the fire-fighting equipment provided. • where appropriate.• identification of key escape routes. how people can gain access to them and escape from them to places of safety. those with disabilities. eg the location of highly flammable materials. the duties and identity of employees who have specific responsibilities in the event of a fire. such as contractors. arrangements for the safe evacuation of people identified as being especially at risk. for high-fire-risk areas of the workplace. and • what training employees need and the arrangements for ensuring that this training is given. members of the public and visitors.

most of the people must be well train enough to fight and mange if the fire occurred.Information and instruction to the people It is important that the people in the building know how to prevent fires and what they should do if a fire occurs. such as cleaners or shift workers. those with learning difficulties and those who do not use English as their first language. On their first day. They should all be given information about the fire precautions in the work. and the location. all employees should be given information about: • • the location and use of the escape routes from where they are working. The type of training should be based on the particular features of the workplace and must take a few consideration such as : • it should explain the emergency procedures. Train About the training.place and what to do in the event of a fire. Ensure that training and written information is given in a way that the people can understand. The management also need to ensure that they include people working in the premises outside normal hours. and take account of those with disabilities such as hearing or sight impairment. . operation and meaning of the fire warning system where they are working.

the duties and responsibilities of people. It is very important that the people know about any changes to the emergency procedures before they are implemented. such as cleaners or shift-workers. to check people's understanding of the emergency plan and make them familiar with its operation.including those who work in the premises outside normal hours. Besides that. Training should be repeated as necessary (usually once or twice a year) so that the people remain familiar with the fire precautions in the workplace and are reminded about what to do in an emergency . . you should ensure that all people (and contractors) are told about the evacuation arrangements and are shown the means of escape as soon as possible after attending the premises.• • • take account of the work activity. eg fire drills. The training should include the following list such as: • the action to take on discovering a fire. take account of the findings of the risk assessment. Training should preferably include practical exercises. and be easily understandable by the employees. this might consist of making sure that people are aware of details of the Fire Action Notice. In small workplaces.

how to open all escape doors. how to stop machines and processes and isolate power supplies in the event of fire. • • • • • • • • the arrangements for calling the fire brigade. where appropriate.• • • how to raise the alarm and what happens then. the location of the escape routes. including the use of any emergency fastenings. when appropriate. the action to take upon hearing the fire alarm. the procedures for alerting members of the public and visitors including. the use of fire-fighting equipment. directing them to exits. the evacuation procedures for everyone in your workplace to reach an assembly point at a safe place. where appropriate. heat and smoke. the location and. the importance of keeping fire doors closed to prevent the spread of fire. . the reason for not using lifts (except those specifically installed or adapted for evacuation of disabled people and • the importance of general fire safety and good housekeeping. especially those not in regular use.

including leaks and spills of flammable liquids.In addition to the training in general fire precautions. particularly their role in reducing and controlling sources of ignition and fuel for the fire. eg changes to the work processes. and relevant legal requirements. plant. the people should be informed of the risks from flammable materials used or stored on the premises. Where appropriate. training should cover: • standards and work practices for safe operation of plant and equipment and safe handling of flammable materials (especially flammable liquids). reporting of faults and incidents. machinery. buildings. emergency procedures for plant or processes in the event of fire. or the number of people likely to . • • • • housekeeping in process areas. spills or leaks. They should also be trained in the precautions in place to control the risks. Step 5 – Review and Revise Sooner or later there will be changes in the workplace which have an effect on the fire risks and precautions. furniture. Those working in high-risk areas should receive specific training in safe operating procedures and emergency responses. substances.

be present in the workplace. then the existing assessment may be out of date or inadequate and should reassess. Any of these could lead to new hazards or increased risk. Do not amend the assessment for every trivial change or for each new job. So if there is any significant change. you should keep your assessment under review to make sure that the precautions are still working effectively. If a fire or 'near miss' occurs. In any case. there will be need to review the assessment in the light of the new hazard or risk. but if a change or job introduces significant new hazards you will want to consider them and do whatever you need to keep the risks under control. It is a good idea to identify the cause of any incident and then review the fire risk assessment in the light of this. .

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