The Design Guide for the Fire Protection of Buildings has been prepared by the Loss Prevention to allow architects and designers to take into account business risk management issues in relation to the fire protection of buildings. These relate mainly to protection of the business by minimising fire and smoke damage and business disruption. The design guide should be used in conjunction with the documents supporting building regulations and be regarded as being of equal importance.
The financial losses occurring each year due to fire damage to buildings, contents and the consequent business interruption amount to in excess of one billion pounds. The overall objective of the design guide is to assist in reducing the financial loss by containing the fire to one compartment of the building, ensuring that when combustible materials are used in the construction of a building they do not make a significant contribution to the growth of a fire.
Emphasis is placed on the importance of early consultation between architects, risk managers and insurers and the value of risk assessment to fine tune the recommendations given in the design guide. Risk assessment allows appropriate, economical levels of performance to be set which result in adequate levels of fire resistance and practical limits on compartment areas. It also allows due consideration to be given to the control of fire spread by automatic sprinkler systems.