Fire and life safety within facilities management

Upkeep of a building asset is as critical for fire and life safety as the stages before a building is opened to occupants. Once a building has been handed over, the responsibility of ensuring ongoing adherence to the Code of Practice and Civil Defense requirements falls to building owners and facilities management (FM) service providers .

Therefore, it is essential to ensure fire and life safety is included within the contracted FM services of a building’s operations. Stakeholders must ensure they appoint an FM provider that understands and respects the importance of fire and life safety and ensures the fire safety systems are tested thoroughly and in adherence to the code. For example, it is mandatory for stair pressurisation to be tested twice a year, fire alarms to be tested four times a year and for all ducts and dampeners to be kept clean and working sufficiently.

However, the responsibility of fire and life safety does not stop with the FM provider. Chapter 18 of the UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice defines stakeholder responsibilities, stating that FM responsibility also lies with building owners, tenants and residents.

The common but unfortunate reality is that some asset owners and their third-party suppliers only ensure the building’s life safety system’s paperwork is in order and do not engage with an unbiased third party to oversee regular performance testing on all systems including fire alarms, sprinklers and emergency stair pressurisation systems. By appointing a specialist fire engineer, any faults in the systems can easily be identified, a full risk assessment can be carried out to pinpoint high-risk areas and all of the options available to safeguard the building to ensure the preservation of life.

To speak with one of our team about ensuring compliance to fire and life safety regulations, please contact: info@tenablefec.com

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