The Smart Approach to Fire Safety Design

With the rising costs of raw materials and the upward pressure on wages caused by the skills shortage, it has never been more important to maximise the value of a development. Fire Safety Design is one possible solution. Optimising the design of the building by utilising elements of fire engineering and design rationalisation.

There is a misconception that the only way for developers to get the most out of a property is to make cuts to reduce the initial build costs. In reality, maximising the value through an improved design is a far better approach. The obvious importance of fire safety systems means that often decision makers are understandably reluctant to change a specification and risk non compliance or even compromise safety. However, seeking the advice of expert fire consultants and involving them in the early stages of a building’s design will help ensure that the building’s design and systems are optimised while ensuring complete safety for occupants.

Fire Safety Design

In rationalising the design, specialist fire engineers will look closely at the proposed plans for the building in question and then formulate the best possible fire strategy based on the building’s unique characteristics, effectively creating a bespoke solution. These tailored plans will maximise the usable space and recommend solutions that will allow greater design flexibility.

For example, Mechanical Smoke Ventilation Systems (MSVS) may be proposed instead of a natural ventilation system. A Mechanical Smoke Ventilation System from FDS comprises powered fans attached to a smoke shaft that quickly removes the smoke from the affected area in the event of a fire, providing a safe escape route for occupants. The greater efficiency of the system allows larger spaces to be created, travel distances to be extended and, in some cases, even the removal of secondary staircases – all of which maximise the saleable space available.

The engineers will utilise techniques such as CFD Modelling and evacuation modelling to analyse how the installed systems will work and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed solution.

Ensuring the safety of building occupants will always be paramount. However, engaging with experienced fire consultants early in the process will allow optimisations to be made without affecting safety.

At FDS Consult UK, we have significantly benefited many clients by creating fire-engineered solutions. View our projects portfolio to find out more about what we offer and see examples of how we have helped.


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