Page 1


Stewart a d d

Published by Historic Scotland

ISBN 1900168 7 l 5 O Crown Copyright Edinburgh 2001



Author Stewart Kidd

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS At the outset it was decided that, in addition to addressing the fire risk management issues related to the fabric of historic buildings, this TAN should also consider the risks related to the contents of buildings where these are of importance. A steering group was therefore convened to represent this broader constituency, and the group has been instrumental in ensuring the TAN is effectively targeted towards its twin audiences: building conservation professionals and collections care specialists. Members of the steering group included: Ingval Maxwell, Director, TCRE, Historic Scotland; Audrey Dakin, Conservation Architect, TCRE, Historic Scotland; William Jackson, Buildings Manager, National Library of Scotland; Gordon Anderson, Glasgow City Libraries, representing the Scottish Libraries and Information Council; Jane Robinson, Conservation and Collection Care Manager, Scottish Museums Council; Robert Galbraith, Head of Buildings, National Galleries of Scotland; Alastair Cunningham, Senior Buildings Officer, National Museums of Scotland. Invaluable help and advice was given throughout the project by a specially-convened Scottish Historic Buildings Fire Liaison Group which has reviewed, given advice and contributed to the TAN. Members of the Liaison Group included (in addition to the steering group members noted above): Dr Paul Stollard, Building Control Division, Scottish Executive Development Department; Dr Robert Docherty, Assistant Firemaster, Strathclyde Fire Brigade; Hugh Adie, Strathclyde Fire Brigade; Richard Emerson, Chief Inspector of Historic Buildings, Historic Scotland; Dr Sean O'Reilly, Director, Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland; Dennis Davis, HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services, Scottish Executive Justice Department; Graham Goodall, Assistant Inspector of Fire Services, Scottish Executive Justice Department; Una Richards, National Trust for Scotland; Gregor Stark, Regional Architect, Properties in Care, Historic Scotland; Tom Carroll, Chief Fire Officer, Oxfordshire Fire Service; Colin Packer, National Fire Adviser, National Trust; Dr Jim Denney, Director, Fire Protection Association; Adair Lewis, Fire Protection Association; Stephen Newsom, Architect; Alan Marshall, Gray, Marshall and Associates, Chartered Architects; Mike Coull, Grampian Fire Brigade; Jane Nelson, Buildings at Risk Officer, Scottish Civic Trust. The author would also like to thank the following: Dr William Dailey for reading and commenting on the fire risk assessment section; John Williams, Firemaster, Grampian Fire Brigade for his helpful comments on rural fire brigade cover; the National Trust for Scotland for allowing me to use their offices as an example for the fire risk assessment section; the Broughton House Museum, National Trust for Scotland, for drawing attention to papers relating to Robert Burns' Cottage; Ingval Maxwell and Audrey Dakin of TCRE, Historic Scotland.









1.1 The threat to heritage buildings and their contents


1.2 The legal position


1.3 Special problems of protection



1.4 Fuel load


4.3 Change of legal status


1.5 Traditional materials and methods of construction



Structural implications of a serious fire



Risk assessment


1.6 Change of use and its impact



The objectives of the fire risk improvement 22 project





The master plan





Project development


Objectives of risk assessment



The project

2.3 Risk management


4.10 The fire suppression system


2.4 Applying risk assessment data to inform the management of a heritage building


4.11 Conclusions



Legal requirements




The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended)


4.1 The importance of the building





5.3 Geographical and environmental problems




Fire brigade response

2.8.2 Consequences of fire


2.8.3 Aggravating factors


5.5 The obiectives of the fire risk im~rovement 26 project

2.8.4 Ameliorating factors


5.6 The master plan

2.8.5 Water supplies



Project development

5.8 The project 3







Robert Bums' Cottage


National Museums of Scotland Granton Store




Risk Assessment

Worked example Possible causes of fire


A brief history

Application of risk assessment techniques 2.8

The importance of the building's contents







Recommendations to improve fire safety management


Staff training

6.3 Ongoing maintenance of installed systems False alarm management Insurance matters





7.1 Tailoring a fire protection project to the building


7.2 Guiding principles

APPENDIX A Worked examples of fire risk assessments


APPENDIX B Checklists



B. 1 Daily inspections


7.3 Managing fire safety on construction sites


B .2 Weekly inspections



Special considerations


B.3 Monthly inspections



Grants and finance


B.4 Fire equipment maintenance schedules


7.6 The project brief


B.5 Arson prevention





7.7.1 Selection of consultants


APPENDIX C Crown Premises


APPENDIX D Consultants and the National Library of Scotland Project


APPENDIX E The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended)


7.7.2 Competence in the context of historic 35 properties


7.7.3 Initiating the project




7.8.1 Selection of contractors


7.8.2 Competence in the context of historic 36 properties 7.9

Management of the contractor

7.10 Handover documentation for building sevices



APPENDIX F An example of a scoring matrix 52

37 37








8.1 Consequences of failing to act


8.2 Technological developments


8.3 Lessons learnt from the two major projects


8.4 Future developments



National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge Building (National Library of Scotland) A listed building in Jamaica Street, Glasgow (Strathclyde Fire Brigade) Exterior and interior views, The Innerpeffrey Library, Crieff Shop at the Royal Museum, Edinburgh (Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland) The roof space at Duff House, Banff Damaged chimney (Ingval Maxwell) The Dean Gallery, Edinburgh (Stewart Kidd) Exterior and interior views, Malmaison Hotel, Glasgow (David Hutchison and Associates) The risk assessment cycle Flammable liquids store in a museum workshop (National Library of Scotland) Fire raising now accounts for nearly half of all fires in occupied buildings in the UK (Fire Protection Association) A special event in this museum has increased the fire load (Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland) Fire growth curve The artificial fire ponds at Camperdown House, Dundee are shown in the 6" to a mile First Edition map of 1872. (National Library of Scotland) Painting of Bums' Cottage, Alloway by Samuel Bough (Glasgow Museums) Bums' Cottage, Alloway Interior of store showing sprinklers (Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland) Exterior of George IV Bridge building, Edinburgh (National Library of Scotland) Mary Queen of Scot's last letter and The Gutenberg Bible (National Library of Scotland) Section through the George IV Bridge building (National Library of Scotland) Diagram showing structural arrangement of the George IV Bridge building (National Library of Scotland) Sidewall sprinkler in reading room, George IV Bridge building (Natiofial Library of Scotland)


1 2a &b

3 4 5 6 7a &b

8 9 10


12 13

14 15 16 17 18a &b

19 20


North staircase, George IV Bridge building (National Library of Scotland) Wrapped book stack, George W Bridge building (National Library of Scotland) Stainless steel joint to sprinkler pipework being made off, George IV Bridge building (National Library of Scotland) Pumps/valves to sprinkler system, George IV Bridge building (National Library of Scotland) Exterior view of Duff House in 1959 Duff House in 1995 Fire appliances outside Duff House While the fire protection systems imposed a service load on the building, this was minor when compared to that from the other service installations that were upgraded in the project (Ingval Maxwell) Concealed sprinkler head, the Vestibule, Duff House The ceiling in the North Drawing Room, Duff House, before and after restoration. Sidewall sprinkler, detection head and fluorescent light fitting, Duff House Interior view after restoration, the Vestibule, Duff House Staff being trained in the use of fire extinguishers (Fire Protection Association) Diagram describing the valuation of a church may be canied out (Ecclesiastical Insurance) Aerial view of Hampton Court (The Guardian) Modem low profile sprinkler heads can be provided in a range of finishes Jedburgh Sheriff Courthouse (Crown copyright:RCAHMS) Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4

Probability of fire by cause Consequences of a fire Comparison of Consequences Consequences of a fire in a heritage building judged in terms of recovery action necessary Table 5 25-square risk factor matrix Table 6 Fire equipment maintenance schedules


Preliminary research findings indicate that one important historic building is significantly firedamaged in Scotland every month. Historic Scotland's concern at the scale of such a loss has prompted a programme of on-going research and publications. This has centred on practical fire protection measures that can be appropriately employed in historic buildings. TAN 11: Fire Protection Measures in Scottish Historic Buildings (1997) and TAN 14: The Installation of Sprirzklers in Historic Buildings (1998) are the fruits of this work. Such technical material has also been supported by published Proceedings (1999) emanating from the Duff House Conference "Fire Protection and the Built Heritage" that was held in 1998. Whilst these volumes address the need for protection of the fabric of historic buildings, many buildings contain contents of great value. This is particularly obvious where historic buildings are used as art galleries, museums or libraries, but it can also be the case where they remain in private hands. This Technical Advice Note, Fire Risk Management of Heritage Buildings, addresses this area of concern. A considered methodology is proposed upon which to carry out an effective combined fire risk assessment for both property and contents. Following a General Introduction to the associated issues, the Principles of Risk Assessment are addressed. This section contains a number of helpful checklists and is followed by an analysis of a number of varied case studies.

Later sections consider how the findings of the fire risk assessment might be translated into a management strategy for the building. Carrying out a fire risk assessment is a legislative requirement for many historic properties but is also a procedure which is highly beneficial for these properties - but only if this is used to inform a programme of fire risk management will the risks that are identified be addressed, and a benefit in terms of improved fire safety generated. Only occasionally does a major fire risk improvement project result. The lessons learnt from the case studies are therefore also distilled to assist others who may find themselves to be in a similar situation. Throughout the compilation of this publication, Historic Scotland has been indebted to the members of the Scottish Historic Buildings Fire Liaison Group. They have provided support, encouragement and enthusiasm for the project, from start to finish. We are also indebted to them for their invaluable expertise. This has helped ensure that the relevance of the offered advice is fully applicable to situations where the safety of the contents may be as important, if not more so, than the buildings that house them.

Ingval Maxwell Director Technical Conservation, Research and Education Historic Scotland December 2000


TAN 11: Fire Protection Measures in Scottislz Historic Buildings, published in September 1997, provided an overview of the heritage fire safety and focused in detail on the vulnerability to fire of the fabric of historic buildings. TAN l 1 also reviewed the range of fire safety measures available to counter the impact of fire. TAN 14: The Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Historic Buildings, published in September 1998, carried this theme forward, looking in detail at how automatic sprinkler systems can be sensitively installed in historic buildings. This publication provides additional information and advice on the application of risk assessment principles to heritage buildings and their contents. It expands on the use of risk assessment as a tool which will enable those involved with historic buildings or buildings whose contents are of great importance such as museums, galleries and libraries, to consider how fire risks can be managed. The text draws on the experiences gained in the management of a number of major risk improvement projects. It explores the legal and technical justifications for carrying out a fire risk assessment (in particular noting the triggers for the assessment to be reviewed or repeated). It also gives examples of the factors which are helpful and those which are a hindrance to effective fire safety management. The work also includes examples illustrating how specific problems have been managed to address fire hazards and the risks which relate to them.

The recommendations and conclusions are based on two major projects. The first of these was undertaken at the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, the other at Duff House, Banff. A broader perspective of heritage fire protection is provided by descriptions of the early proposals for fire risk improvements at Robert Burns' Cottage, Ayrshire, and of the fire protection system provided at the National Museums of Scotland's Granton Store, Edinburgh. This TAN concludes with a review of current work being undertaken in Scotland and elsewhere. It also considers the possible benefits of new fire protection technology and how it might assist those charged with the management of our national heritage. With regard to further developments, the document includes a discussion of some of the problems currently being tackled at this level where it has been acknowledged that there is a general lack of statistical information and a common lack of understanding of the measures available to counter the effects of fire. Good guidance on how to sensitively install modern equipment into historic fabric is urgently required and there is also a need to develop management expertise for heritage buildings. Skills should be pooled and best practice developed in integrating new technologies with traditional disciplines. There is a need to develop synergies within related organisations so that loss levels to fire and to inappropriate measures to improve fire safety can be reduced and ideally halted. The underlying objective must be to preserve the cultural heritage in an authentic state.


British Standard


Loss Prevention Council


Building Services Research and Information Association


Museums and Galleries Co~mnission


National Galleries of Scotland

chlorinated polyvinyl chloride


National Library of Scotland


National Museums of Scotland


Property Advisers to the Civil Estate


Property Services Agency


Technical Advice Note


Technical Conservation Research and Education Division (of Historic Scotland)


CACFOA Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers' Association CO

carbon monoxide


Fire Protection Association


Historic Scotland

HMI Scotland Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Fire Services for Scotland


This TAN explains to practitioners, owners and regulators how the risk assessment approach should be applied to heritage buildings and outlines the benefits of this procedure in reducing the risks of and consequences from fire. The text includes two detailed case studies of the risk assessments carried out at Duff House, Banff, and the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, and information on how this process informed the major fire protection improvement projects carried out at both buildings. &.

The term 'heritage building' is used in this TAN to describe not only listed buildings and structures within conservation areas but also any building which is deemed to be of cultural significance. This definition includes buildings in which the contents may be of greater importance than the building itself, for example, museums, galleries, libraries or archives.


1.1 The threat to heritage buildings and their contents Fire can cause the total destruction of a building and its contents in only a few hours. In many cases the spread of fire is aggravated by the nature of the historic fabric, for example, the presence of voids and cavities inside walls or between elements of the structure will provide a ready avenue for unseen fire and smoke spread. Areas not directly damaged by flame or heat may be damaged by smoke, dirt and falling debris or by water used to fight the fire. Following the fire, the building may be structurally unstable, open to wind, weather and vandalism, and susceptible to decay caused by the high residual moisture content in the fabric. One threat which cannot be over-emphasised is the potential loss of authentic material to fire or to inappropriate interventions to improve fire safety. It should also be understood that all heritage fabric is of

A nznjorfire in n listed blrildiizg in Jalnnica Street, Glnsgow~(StraflzclydeFire Brigade)


The 1iznerpeffre)l Library, Crieff was Scotland's first lending library, founded in 1680 by David Drummo~ad. 2a and b Destruction of or serious damage to its collection would inevitably diminish the significance of the building


value, whether decorative or structural, plain or ornamented, visible or concealed, and care should be taken to ensure that any work involves the least possible physical intervention. While facsimiles of destroyed buildings or parts of buildings can be created (as at Uppark or Hampton Court) the loss of the actual historic fabric takes away from the building the very quality which makes it unique and important. Loss of contents may be just as damaging (particularly in the context of a museum or gallery). It is worth noting that the Registration Scheme for Museums set up by the former Museums and Galleries Commission defines a museum as 'an institution which collects, documents, preserves, exhibits and interprets material evidence and associated information for the public benefit'. Without its store of 'material evidence', many of the main functions of a museum are compromised.


In the context of heritage protection it has to be accepted that, while all legal requirements must be complied with, merely meeting statutory obligations does not, of itself, provide any kind of guarantee that a property or its contents will be safe from fire. In the past, many property owners who have undertaken fire protection improvement work in order to obtain a fire certificate have not understood this and in a number of cases there has been confusion between a fire authority's requirements and the advice given by fire brigades or insurers. It is emphasised that if an organisation has complied with its legal obligations to carry out a risk assessment, this will almost certainly have been done only in respect of the safety of people, not the protection of buildings or their contents. This publication, therefore, includes information on how the risk assessment technique can be applied to protect heritage buildings and their contents. If an organisation undertakes this type of risk assessment for its property, it should include the life risk assessment that is a legal requirement in most cases.

The legal position

Virtually all UK fire legislation is concerned with the protection of life. The provisions of legislation such as the Fire Precautions Act 1971 (as amended), the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended) and the Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 1990 are designed to reduce the threat to life safety posed by fire.


Many heritage buildings are open to the public and in the case of museums, galleries and libraries this is central to their existence. The presence of the public in the building may introduce the risk of wilfully set fires as well as a life safety risk from the numbers of persons present. Any risk assessment or risk improvement programme must consider the needs of visitors and the attendant demands on the building.

With the exception of such specific matters as, for example, the statutory duty of fire brigades to mitigate the damage to property which may result from firefighting, the protection of property has been of little concern to our legislators. The fact that many of the provisions of fire legislation will afford some measure of protection to buildings and their contents must be seen as an unintended but beneficial side effect of the legislation.


Special problems of protection

The interior of a heritage building is normally divided into areas in different occupation (public galleries, reading rooms, offices, workshops, conservation areas,

Shop at the Royal Museum, Edinburgh (Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland)



utility and store rooms). Problems may occur where security considerations conflict with fire safety. Additionally, the trend towards enhancement of ancillary functions such as shops, cafes, auditoria and so on has created significant differences in the way many museums, galleries and libraries are used. Unless precautions are taken, some of these provisions may impact unfavourably on the fire safety of the building. Care should always be taken when reorganising or reallocating space to consider carefully any fire safety implications and, where necessary, the fire risk assessment should be repeated.


Fuel load

An additional problem when considering the risks of fire in heritage buildings is the fuel loading of the building - literally, the potential quantity of combustible material. Heritage buildings may have, for example, substantial timber roof members which could have been rendered friable as a result of insect attack. This problem may be aggravated by some forms of timber treatment which use a flammable liquid as a cassier for the insecticide. As a further example, many forms of traditional upholstered furnishing will not meet modern standards of fire resistance. This may increase the amount of material which will readily burn; however, experience indicates that some natural materials such as horsehair stuffing are actually much less combustible than many contemporary upholstery materials. In many museums and galleries (as well as quite a few country houses and stately homes) the revenue obtained from catering, shops and conference/seminar activities is now a significant factor in the economics of heritage management. At the same time it must be realised that many of the materials brought into heritage buildings may contribute to the fuel load. Care must be taken to ensure that storage of bulk stocks of leaflets, brochures and books or catering supplies and equipment does not create a fire hazard. The fire fuel load implications of any materials brought into heritage buildings should always be assessed - this is particularly relevant in the case of temporary exhibits and similar activities. In many cases, illthought out schemes have had a significant impact on the fire risk. The likely fire hazard presented by display stands, backing materials and fabrics used as part of a display should also be considered. When selecting or specifying materials, items which ignite easily or prornote rapid spread of fire should be avoided. Adequately labelled, fire-rated materials can be procured easily and exhibition organisers or designers should be asked to provide the appropriate certification or test results if the appropriateness of a particular substance is in doubt.

The luof space at Duff House, Bnrzff was originally 4 uildivided

Traditional materials and methods of 1.5 construction The ways in which many historic buildings were constructed create proble~ns when fire protection improvements are deemed necessary or are under consideration. Some features actually assist in the rapid spread of fire (for example, undivided roof voids), while others may allow a fire to smoulder unnoticed for many hours before breaking out some distance from the actual point of origin (for example, voids in wall constluction, especially where dry timber is present). Interconllecting voids probably present the greatest hazard to the historic building in a fire. Long forgotten ducts, chases, chimney flues, ventilation shafts and even old dumb waiter shafts provide fire and smoke with an easy route by which to spread. While the blocking of any unused ducts that may contribute to fire spread should be considered, it is important that the role of the ducts in providing internal ventilation is also taken into account. Traditional buildings rely 011 relatively high air change rates to ensure that damp and rot are kept at bay, and upsetting this balance may have far-reaching consequences. One way to avoid such ~tnwanted side effects is to use mechanically or electrically operated fire dampers. Old fireplace chimneys and their associated features present a major hazard where a ceiling or roof structure is built directly into a chimney breast. If a hearthstone is in poor condition, a fire, once started, can spread unseen under floors and inside wall spaces and be out of control before it is discovered. The condition of mortar and stone in the flues is also often a significant factor.


In addition, in all cases where a change of use of a historic building is proposed, the planning authority should be contacted to find out if Listed Building Consent and Planning Permission are required. The local authority building control department should also be contacted to check if a Building Warrant is required for the proposed changes. If a Warrant is required and the change of use brings into effect more onerous requirements under the Building Regulations, then acceptable proposals to meet these will have to be made before a Warrant can be granted. Alternatively, a relaxation from a Building Regulation can be sought if, for example, the changes required to upgrade a building to meet a regulation are unreasonable given the historic nature of the building in question. The local authority will advise on how to apply for a relaxation and on how to appeal should an application for a relaxation be refused. In some cases, the change of use will also bring the building into the orbit of the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and this may require additional measures such as certification and licensing. 5

Wherever there is a requirement to improve fire safety measures in an historic building it is essential that this is accomplished with as little disruption to the fabric as possible and that, wherever practicable, all such interventions are reversible. In some circumstances the demands of life safety legislation may require such major damage to the fabric as to render a proposed project in a historic building unacceptable. In this case an alternative use for the building will have to be found. When considering the viability of a new use, reference should be made to S2.15 'New Uses for Old Buildings', Menzoranduin of Guidance on Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas (Historic Scotland 1998).

Damaged chimney ( I ~ ~ g vMaavell) al

More detail on the range of traditional materials and construction techniques used and their performance in fire can be found in Section 3.3 'Elements of Construction', TAN 11, Fire Protection Measures in Scottish Historic Buildings (Historic Scotland, 1997).

1.6. Change of use and its impact Where a building's original function changes there are inevitable changes in the range of hazards and risks which may be associated with the building. As a first principle, any change of use - whether or not a structural change takes place - invokes the need for a fire risk assessment to be repeated.


To consider an example: converting an office building to an hotel reduces the risks associated with office occupancy but creates new or enhanced risks from, for

The Dean Galleq, Edinburgh, now an art gallery, was built in 1833 as an orphanage (Stewart Kidd)



7a Exterior view, Malmaison Hotel, Glasgow,formerly St Judes Church (David Hutchison and Associates)

76 Interior view, Malmaison Hotel, Glasgow, showing open entrance stair sewing the sub-divided building (David Hutchison and Associates)

example, cooking or smoking. In addition, the presence of large numbers of people who will be unfamiliar with the layout of the building and will be vulnerable while sleeping creates additional life safety risks. This is, of course, a clue to how conflict between heritage and fire safety needs can be avoided - in the case of a conversion of an historic building to an hotel, it may be possible to provide adequate means of escape from an upper floor without recourse to installing external structures by a judicious blend of appropriate fire safety management, good fire detection and early warning and a restriction on the numbers of persons likely to be present.

does not create significant new hazards for heritage buildings. A good example of this is the practice of allowing museums and galleries to be used for receptions, cocktail parties and the like. While such activities bring in welcome revenue, care must be taken to factor-in the hazards (such as smoking) which can accompany such gatherings. If alcohol and food are to be provided, a smoking ban can be very difficult to enforce. Any changes in use, even temporary ones, should trigger a repeat of the risk assessment process and any precautionary measures suggested by the assessment should be implemented before the public are admitted or before a new space is opened.

Changes in the layout and use of spaces in museums and galleries are frequent and must be monitored continuously as collections grow, display items are rotated, and visiting exhibitions are put on show. Risks may be exacerbated by the introduction of additional building services, such as the installation or upgrading of air conditioning or the use of spaces as workshops or stores.

From the perspective of property protection, seasonal changes can have a significant impact on the fire risk to which the building is exposed. For example, if a house is to be left unoccupied for a long period of time, then some risks (fire resulting from smoking materials or cooking) are reduced, but the risks of an intrusion leading to fire raising are increased. In addition, the more remote the location, the more likely that an electrical or maliciously set fire could burn for a long period before discovery. Risk assessment must consider these possibilities carefully.

Care should be taken to ensure that the provision of conference venues, retail outlets and catering facilities




it was occupied by a single family will have to be repeated if the owners decide to let the building for shooting parties. Illus 8 below indicates what needs to be done and when.

Risk assessment is an essential part of the risk management process. Risk assessment not only assists the owner or manager of a building to understand the hazards to which that building is exposed but also helps to prioritise remedial measures. A life safety fire risk assessment is legally required to be undertaken for all workplaces and must be kept up-to-date. A more comprehensive property risk assessment (also covering buildings and contents) should be carried out for all heritage buildings. A new risk assessment should be carried out whenever any significant change takes place in the activities, layout or structure of a building or institution. It is simple and highly cost effective to combine life safety, buildings and contents risk assessments.


The objectives of a fire risk assessment are: to review the various features which make up a structure or building and to try to determine the likely hazards and the probable impact of a fire in that building. The whole assessment procedure should be undertaken to assist in the management of risk and to prioritise the allocation of resources to reduce or eliminate the hazards which remain. If a project needs to be undertaken to address outstanding hazards or deficiencies, the rationale of the project should be continuously borne in mind. Is the work being undertaken to prevent fire? contain fire? control the spread of smoke? or to protect the structure of the

In heritage buildings, risk assessments should be undertaken as suggested above but also before any activities take place that will affect the risk present, such as special events, a new lease being granted or contractors commencing work. Thus a fire risk assessment for a large country house undertaken when


Objectives of risk assessment

The Risk Assessment Cycle



building from collapse? A satisfactory outcome will only be achieved through continuous re-appraisal of the objectives. One of the problems with the perception of risk assessment is the loose way in which certain terms are used in everyday speech. 'Risk' and 'hazard' are often used interchangeably, but the two words are distinct. A 'hazard' is essentially an unsafe condition which could lead to harm - such as a loose piece of carpet upon which someone could trip. The 'risk' is the possible impact on the person or property which might result from interaction with the 'hazard', ie tripping on the carpet and falling, and the likelihood that this will happen. Risk is more correctly defined as 'the probability that a particular adverse event occurs during a stated period of time' (Royal Society, 1992, 2).


Flarizlnable liquids store in n rnuseuliz workslzop (Natioiznl Library of Scotlnizd)

In this TAN the term 'risk' is used to encompass not only the probability of harm but also the possible consequences of the impact of the hazard.


extinguish fires are in place; ensure that structural fire precautions will contain the fire and minimise fire spread and damage. Note: listed building or other statutory consents may be required before some of these measures can be put in place.

Risk management

Chapter 5, 'Fire Safety Management and Fire Precautions', TAN 11, Fire Protection Measures in Scottish Historic Buildings (Historic Scotland, 1997) summarised the measures which must be taken to ensure that the risks from and of fire are minimised. The first step is to carry out a fire risk assessment. The next step is to consider how these risks can be reduced. The two major projects refened to in Chapters 4 and 5 provide some excellent examples of this process in practice. Confusion has also arisen between 'risk assessment' and 'risk management'. Risk management in the present context is best described as the application of standard management techniques to the identification, elimination, control and acceptance of the hazards to which buildings and their contents might be exposed.

- do not have oDen fires risk risk transfer - [not appropriate in this case]

risk financing - ensure that the house insurance covers risks resulting from open fires risk acceptance - after reviewing the whole process decide that the risk is acceptable. Secondly, in a museum or gallery workshop it may be necessary to use a particular flammable solvent-based chemical. The solvent is a hazard as it can easily be ignited and may cause a fire. The risk to the premises and their contents is the fire which may occur. The risk can be managed in the following ways: risk elimination - find a non-flammable alternative risk control - minimise the quantity of liquid stored in the building; keep it in a secure container inside a proper flammable liquid storage cabinet; ensure that adequate fire protection measures to prevent, detect and extinguish fires are in place; ensure that structural fire precautions will contain the fire and minimise fire spread and damage

Two examples of this practice can be considered: Firstly, one might consider the risks which arise from open fires in a wholly domestic context. The fire is a hazard (it may escape from the fireplace and chimney to set the house on fire). The risk (the impact of the fire hazard on the building) can be managed as follows: risk elimination - replace open fire with another form of (safer) heating risk control - use a fire guard to retain sparks; sweep chimney regularly; use only seasoned wood to minimise tars and soot; re-pointlreline chimney; replace or upgrade hearthstone; replace or upgrade structural elements which abut chimnev or where chimney passes through floors; ensure that adequate fire protection measures to prevent, detect and


risk avoidance - do not undertake the activity risk transfer - contract out the process to another organisation take out insurance or make financial risk provision to underwrite the risk

risk acceptance - after reviewing the whole process, decide that the risk is acceptable. The above examples make it clear that risk assessment is the first step in understanding and controlling risks.


Applying risk assessment data to inform the 2.4 management of a heritage building The proper application of risk assessment principles in any given building will identify many fire hazards. Once hazards have been identified, efforts can be made to reduce, eliminate or control these using the tools already mentioned. At the same time, if the risk assessment process has been followed, the scoring or ranking of risks and their possible consequences also allows for prioritisation of a work programme to tackle fire risks and allocation of the necessary funding. A typical risk assessment in a heritage building might indicate the following unsatisfactory features or hazards: (a)

high fire risk from old chimney breast


possibility of delayed discovery of fire


probability of fire spread from kitchen via unstopped disused service shaft


arson risk from insecure windows of storerooms.

These factors can be ranked according to probable consequences or likely cost of rectification and a work programme established. The simplest (and cheapest) way to counter (a) would be to discontinue the practice of using the fireplaces which lead to that particular chimney. If this was not possible then the chimney flue and breast would have to be repaired. In the case of (b), either a 24-hour presence would need to be assured or an automatic fire detection system installed. In the case of (c) fireresistant materials could be used to seal the service shaft. In (d) the security weakness could be eliminated by adequate physical security measures to prevent entry.


Legal requirements

Risk assessment is now a requirement of legislation arising from the European Community under the Framework Directive (June 1989) and the Workplace Directive (November 1989). This has been implemented by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 which require employers to make an assessment of all risks to the health and safety of those in their employ and those whose health and safety could be affected by the employer's business activities. The range of risks covered will include the risk from fire. An employer who employs more than 5 persons must record the significant findings of the risk assessment.

2.6 The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended) These Regulations implement the remaining fire safety

elements of the two European Directives mentioned above. They require basic fire safety measures in all places of work including smaller premises and those such as libraries, museums, galleries and educational establishments which may previously have been outside the scope of the Fire Precautions Act 1971. Premises having fire certificates are now also subject to the Regulations. The Regulations are enforced by fire authorities or, in the case of premises owned or occupied by the Crown, by fire inspectors of HM Fire Service Inspectorate. The fire safety measures referred to in the Regulations include: fire detection and alarm systems (Regulation 4) fire-fighting equipment (Regulation 4) emergency routes and exits including escape signage and emergency lighting (Regulation 5) suitable maintenance of these systems (Regulation 6). Guidance is available in Fire Safety: An Employer's Guide (Scottish Executive / Home Office / DOE Northern Ireland / Health and Safety Executive, 1999). The Regulations themselves and the associated guidance, make it clear that the level of fire precautions required to meet the legislation should be commensurate with the level of risk identified by the risk assessment. Appendix E lists the relevant requirements in full. Again it is emphasised that the fire risk assessment and basic fire safety measures required under the above legislation address life risk only. An assessment of the risks posed by fire to the building and its contents will also be necessary and additional fire safety measures may be required for this purpose. Conversely, however, measures put in place to improve the level of protection to the building and contents will generally also enhance the safety of the occupants.


Application of risk assessment techniques

As already stated, the objectives of fire risk assessment are to ensure that fire safety risks are eliminated or managed in order to ensure that fires are prevented or the impact of those fires which do take place is minimised. It is axiomatic that there is no 'right' way in which the fire risk assessment at a particular building should be undertaken. However, certain elements of the process will be common to any activity of this sort, regardless of whether the process is being undertaken for statutory reasons (for life safety) or to determine the appropriate levels of protection for building andlor contents. At its simplest, risk assessment demands that one consider the following:


likely causes of fire materials likely to be ignited structural features which will permit fire or smoke spread how the building or contents are likely to be affected by fire means of escape occupants. When this has been done, the next stage is to review the measures which will help to counter the hazards and risks identified, for example:

likely causes of fire, if only to see whether they might be eliminated or reduced before the risk assessment is undertaken.

2.8.1 Possible causes of fire UK fire statistics consistently suggest that the likely causes of fire in a heritage building used as a residence are: fire raising electricity smoking materials

presence or absence of fire detection or fire protection features

contractor activitylhot work

presence of persons to counter an outbreak of fire proximity to a fire station

candleslnaked flames

time it will take for a fire brigade unit to intervene availability of fire-fighting water. From these factors (and others, see 2.8) it is possible to determine the range of risks to which the building and contents may be exposed and then to estimate the steps which can be taken to reduce the level of risk.


kitchens and cooking open fireplaces/chimneys. More information on these causes will be found in Chapter 5 of Heritage Under Fire (Kidd, 1995). Relevant examples of fires resulting from these causes will be found in the case histories in Annex 7 of Heritage Under Fire and Appendix 1 of TAN 1l : Fire Protection Measures in Scottish Historic Buildings (Historic Scotland, 1997).

Worked example

Note: Because of the complex interrelationship of factors implicit in the risk assessment it is suggested that this section is read in its entirety. A good way for the owner/occupier of a small, relatively simple heritage building to carry out a risk assessment is to consider the guidance offered in A Guide to Fire Safety Risk Assessment (Scottish Fire Brigades 1 CACFOA Scotland, 1999). Although developed to facilitate (statutory) fire risk assessments for life safety, the worksheet incorporated in this publication is an excellent model for the owner/occupier/manager of a heritage building (see Appendix A for a worked example). Once this procedure has been understood, a more comprehensive 10 This shop with domestic accomodation over was approach can be adopted following the model given in constructed in 1830. The damage shown was caused by a Appendix IV of TAN 11, Fire Protection Measures in fire in September 1987 that it is thought was lit by someone Scottish Historic Buildings (Historic Scotland, 1997) igniting material through a basement window. (see Appendix A for a worked example) or in Fire Fire raising, the act of deliberately starting afire, now Safety: An Employer's Guide (Scottish Executive / accounts for nearly half of all fires in occupied buildings in Home Office / DOE Northern Ireland / Health and the UK. Certain categories of premises such as schools (where fire raising accounts for more than 80% offires) and Safety Executive, 1999). These latter risk assessment empty premises (where more than 70% offires are models are more suited to larger or more complex deliberate) are at great risk. Defences againstfire raising buildings. are mainly through good security management and good It should be noted that the approaches proposed in official guidance is primarily intended to cover the life safety risk and in a heritage context it is likely that the actual cause of a fire may not, of itself, be significant. In the case of heritage buildings and their contents it is suggested, however, that it is worth looking at the more

housekeeping. The checklist at Appendix B.5 sets out simple but effective precautions. Other advice can be found in The Prevention and Control of Arson (Lewis, 1999) published by the Loss Prevention Council and in a series of leaflets and guides published by the Arson Prevention Bureau including Arson: The Major Fire Threat to Places of Worship - and How to Prevent It (1996). (Fire Protection Association)


It is relatively simple to determine the actual level of risk arising from these hazards by reviewing such things as: the security precautions in place (fire raising) state of electrical wiring and appliances whether smoking takes place the extent of any maintenance or building work and the levels on the contractor the type and extent of cooking whether open fires, candles, etc, are used. Each factor can be scored using an estimate of the

Fire Probability

Fire raising





likelihood or probability of a fire resulting from them. Considering a specific example: if there is good security and the house in question is always occupied, if it is has recently been rewired, no one smokes in the house and candles or naked flames are never permitted, then the only higher scoring risks will be those arising from cooking or contractors. This can be displayed in a matrix as in Table l. This exercise suggests that greatest probability of fire in this example will result from cooking or contractors, which can be classified as 'likely' and a score of 3 noted.





Unlikely (1) Possible (2) Likely (3) Very Likely (4) Probable (5) Table I

Probability offire by cause


Impact Negligible Slight Moderate





Table 2

Consequences of afire


2.8.2 Consequences of fire The value obtained for the probability of a fire occurring is multiplied by a value representing the consequences of a fire taking place (usually expressed on a scale of 1 = Negligible to 5 = Disastrous) (see Table 2). In general terms, the impact of an incident such as a fire or accident can be expressed in a number of ways. The five categories used above (Negligible to Disastrous) offer a useful way to try to create some comparability. The criteria commonly adopted by



Cultural significance


Scrapes and bruises


Low impact


Some minor injuries


Minor impact


Many minor injuries


Substantial impact

Major injuries or fatality

>£l 00,000 lmillion

High impact

Multiple fatalities

>£l million

Majority lost


Disastrous Table 3

Comparison of Consequences


and its contents are increasingly compromised the more of its fabric of significance is lost. Table 3 gives an example of how the consequences of a fire might be expressed when using the criteria described above alongside a suggestion of the likely impact on cultural significance,

which to . judge - the consequences of a fire include: life safety loss (ie the impact on an organisation and its staff by injury or death) financial loss (ie the cost of replacement buildings and contents and the loss of business or production because of the interruption caused by fire). However, when assessing a heritage building, these criteria are insufficient, as neither measure recognises the cultural importance or significance of a building or collection. A useful starting point will be to assess which parts of the building or collection have most cultural significance and why. Since such statements of cultural significance have been found to be helpful when determining appropriate conservation action, one may already have been drawn up for a heritage building. If a statement is not already available, consideration should be given to preparing one. Even if a statement exists, it may be necessary to extend 'its scope to cover the contents of the building. Once an assessment of the cultural significance of a building and its contents is made, the consequences of a fire can be expressed in terms of its impact on the building's cultural significance: the value of a heritage building

An alternative approach to assessing the consequences of fire in a heritage building may be to consider the fire in terms of the action necessary to recover from its effects (see Table 4). The definitions of the terms used in this table have been noted alongside for the sake of clarity. To consider an example: if it is judged that the consequences of any fire will be disastrous then 5 points would be awarded. In the equation used to define the risk, R is the risk factor, P the probability that a fire will occur, and C the consequences of the fire, thus: R = P X C. Thus, in this example, a score of 15 is recorded. This can be plotted on a twodimensional grid (the Risk Factor Matrix, see table 5) showing scores from l to 25. Possible ranges for the levels of risk would be: Low:l-4, Normal:5-12, High: 15-25.


Action necessary to recover from fire

Definition of term as used here


Preservation only required

Preservation = maintaining the fabric of a place, object or collection in its existing state and retarding deterioration


Restoration required

Restoration = returning the existing fabric of a place to a known earlier state by reassembling existing components without the introduction of new material


Minor reconstruction required

Reconstruction = returning a place as nearly as possible to a known earlier state, distinguished by the introduction of materials (new or old) into the fabric


Major reconstruction required

Reconstruction = returning a place as nearly as possible to a known earlier state, distinguished by the introduction of materials (new or old) into the fabric


No recovery possible only re-creation

Re-creation = conjectural reconstruction, and beyond the scope of conservation

Table 4

Colzsequences of afire in a heritage building judged irz terms of recoveiy actior~necessary

Consequences /Probability

Key: Low Risk i_

Negligible (1)

Nornzal risk

Moderate (3)

Slight (2)

High risk

Table 5 25-square risk factor matrix 12

Severe (4)

Disastrous (5)


2.8.3 Aggravating factors In previously published advice on fire risk assessment, from the Home Office, Scottish Executive, HSE and the Fire Protection Association, much is made of 'aggravating factors' (usually a combination of structural features and the characteristics of those present) which render people in a building more vulnerable to fire. As stated above, this text concentrates on the property and contents risks and issues rather than the life safety risks which are covered by legislation. However, any action which reduces the fire risks for property will automatically reduce the risk for people. Aggravating factors in a heritage context might include: factors affecting fire growth and extinction: - speed of fire spread - time from ignition to commencement of firefighting activities - accessibility of the premises to the fire brigade

- materials, equipment or systems of unproven

reliability or performance seasonal decorations or features (eg Christmas trees, paper chains, lights, etc). -



In more complex risk assessments or in those affecting very large buildings, aggravating factors could be scored separately. At this stage it is worth considering that the speed of fire spread is a major factor in many heritage occupancies. Invariably, in fires in such buildings the occupants are taken by surprise by just how quickly a small fire can take hold and within 3 4 minutes render the atmosphere in a house fatal to humans. This subject (and its importance in considering what fire protection measures to adopt) is discussed at greater length in Section 4.6 'Fire Development' in TAN 11: Fire Protection Measures in Scottish Historic Buildings (Historic Scotland, 1997). Illus 12 demonstrates the various stages in the development of a fire and their effect on people and property.

- distance of premises from nearest fire station - availability of fire-fighting water - presence of un-fire-stopped voids, ducts or

spaces - surface finishes - fuel load.

factors affecting people:

- long or complex escape routes - unprotected staircases - people asleep - large numbers of people unfamiliar with the layout of the building - mobility - attitude towards rules and regulations.

~ t h e factors: r - whether nearest fire station is volunteer, retained or full-time staffed - introduction of new materials (which may

affect the fire load) - extensive networks of cables, pipes or ducts

associated with modern building services - purpose or function of buildingkontents - levels of security imposed/interface with

security systems - environment in which the building is found

11 A special event in this tnuseurn has increased the fire load (Trustees of the National Museunzs of Scotland)


EVENTS j IGNITION of an : item, smoke and toxic gases.


Item burns, hot

: gases/srnoke j

I Fire burns at full intensity.



: j

Temperature decreases.


I Another item ignites, I dense smoke and hot I gases. I Fire grows to



I flames and high



EFFECTS Atmosohere ON j polluted. PEOPLE




Atmowhere unpleasant




I Atmosphere lethal.




i None.



I Surface heating.

Fabrics smoke tainted.

j Contents, fabric and

: finishes smoke

i blackened.

: Paint bubbles.


Finishes destroyed, Structure stands if structural timber burns. j fire resisted. Gaps in construction I attacked and exploited. I j Structural timbers weaken j I and fail on limit of fire : I resistance. Supported j j masonry collapses.


Fire growth curve

2.8.4 Ameliorating factors Risk assessments must pay due attention to features which can reduce the likelihood or impact of fire. Examples of such features might include: control of smoking (but bear in mind that this might also create hazards) presence of 24-hour security personnel andlor trained fire wardens automatic fire detection connected to the fire brigade automatic fire suppression system(s) trained salvage team and effective disaster plan

installation of fire compartmentation to block the paths for fire spread through the building recent electrical re-wiring reducing visitor numbers plentiful water supplies for fire-fighting good all-weather access to all sides of building. Again, in a more complex risk assessment such features can be taken into account to reduce the final score. It would be quite normal in an industrial or commercial setting to rate a particular building as 'high fire risk' and then reduce this to 'normal' after taking into account features such as automatic sprinWer systems.


2.8.5 Water supplies The adequacy of fire-fighting water is often a significant factor in the loss of heritage buildings from fire. The more remote the location, the less likely that

the existing water mains will provide both the volume and pressure needed. At Duff House (see Chapter 5 ) the existing water supplies were considered adequate for fire brigade use, but underground storage tanks were constructed for the sprinkler system.

13 Where there is doubt about the availability of watel; the normal practice is to look for alternative sources (rivers, lochs, private lakes, ponds and even swimming pools) and where none of these are available, it may be necessary to construct private reservoirs. The artificial fire ponds at Can~perdownHouse, Dundee are shown in the 6" to a mile First Edition OS map of 1872 (National Library of Scotland).



Pniiztiizg of B L ~ Z Coftnge, S' Alloway by Saiizuel Bozlgh (1822-78) (Glasgo~vMlcseui~ts)

15 B L L ~ ZCoftnge, S' Alloway.


3.1 Introduction This chapter and the next two describe a number of fire risk improvement projects which serve to illustrate how fire risk assessment data can be used to inform project design. The first of these, Robert Burns' Cottage, is included to give a historical perspective on efforts to improve fire risk, while the National Museums of Scotland's Granton Store illustrates the measures it is possible to incorporate in a new building specifically designed to store an important collection. The following two chapters consider the major fire risk improvement projects at the George IV Building of the National Library of Scotland and at Duff House respectively.

3.2 Robert Burns' Cottage Burns' Cottage in Alloway was built by in 1730 by the father of the poet Robert Burns. It was saved from destruction when neighbouring cottages of similar construction were demolished in the late 19th century. In addition to the obvious importance conferred by its association with Scotland's most famous poet, the building is a precious reminder of traditional building techniques in this part of Scotland. The possible loss of Burns' Cottage to fire was identified as long ago as 1914 by an architect, James Morris. In a letter to the Trustees of the Burns Monument and Cottage, Mr Morris identified the hazards to which the cottage was exposed, including 'undesirable attention ... from militant suffragettes and petty pilferers'. Mr Morris appears to have been unusually prescient and clearly understood the risks from fire to which this unique building was exposed even identifying an arson attack as being potentially the most destructive. (Such an attack was made on the premises by members of the women's suffrage campaign in the 1920s.) He asked why the thatch should not be 'saturated at intervals by one of the many non-inflammable liquids or preparations presently on the market'. He also raised the question of open roof spaces and lamented the absence of fire separation between the Museum and a storeroom. Mr Morris went on to identify the need to protect particularly precious objects at night in a fire safe and criticised the fire-

fighting arrangements then in place as being likely to result in significant delay and proposed the replacement of the unwieldy hose and fireplug with a hose reel. No action was undertaken in response to these recommendations and Mr Morris wrote to the Trustees again in 1928 suggesting that the increase in road traffic from 'heavy traction engines ... emitting live cinders' posed a threat to the roof. He also pointed out that the effects of fire-fighting jets on the walls of the cottage might demolish them. At their next meeting, the Trustees again appear to have taken no action to deal with the hazards identified. In an article in the Glasgo\v Herald of 27 November 1928 the then Firemaster of Glasgow, Mr William Waddell, was quoted as saying that the Monument, Museum and Cottage are 'as fire-proof as they can be made'. This assurance failed to satisfy at least some part of the membership of the Ayrshire Association of Federated Burns Clubs who, in 1929, commissioned the recently retired Firemaster of Edinburgh, Mr Arthur Pordage, by this time practising as a fire consultant, to prepare a report on the state of fire safety in the premises. Mr Pordage was clearly less easily satisfied than his Glasgow colleague. His report listed a range of hazards to which the premises were subject and he endorsed most of what Mr Morris had been saying for 15 years. More interestingly, he suggested that two of several measures which should be adopted were the installation of an automatic fire detection system and the provision of 'automatic water sprinkler pipes in the roof'. Sir George Macdonald GCB (a member of the 1929 Royal Commission on National Museums and Galleries) added his weight to the case for fire risk improvements by suggesting that the Cottage was a case 'in which the magnitude of the possible loss is out of all proportion to the trifling cost that would be incurred in providing safeguards'. Despite the clear identification of the risk to fire Burns' Cottage faced, the Trustees determined that no work should be carried out at the time to address them.


National Museums of Scotland - Granton 3.3 Store

building area of 8500 square metres amalgamation of material increases risk of total loss

In 1990 the National Museums of Scotland (NMS) undertook a study to determine possible solutions to a major problem with collection storage. The condition and type of buildings that comprised the existing storage were wholly inadequate and the leases on the two main sites were due to expire in 1992.

single building includes workshop and storage greater risk of ignition

public access increases risk of intrusion / fire raising modern storage methods increase density of stored material After much consideration, senior management decided to request additional funding to allow installation of a wet sprinkler system which would provide protection for the collections. Unfortunately, finance was not forthcoming and Phase 1 of the building was erected and completed in October 1994 without a fire suppression system. Subsequently, possibly as a result of lessons learned after the Windsor Castle Fire and a change in VAT considerations at the NMS, agreement was given to install sprinklers in Phase I and to include sprinklers in the specification for Phase 11. As a result, the levels of protection provided are now commensurate with the importance of the collections.

There was an opportunity to create a new storage building which would improve the conditions under which the collections were kept and at the same time allow for improvement in collection management and public access. Another consequence of this project was that the collections would be brought together under one roof instead of dispersed among many buildings. While this would improve the effectiveness of collection management, it would also mean an increased risk of loss through fire. The fire protection objectives had to take into account several risk factors:



btterior of store showing sprinklers (National Museums of Scotland)



17 Exterior of George IVBridge building, Edifzbul-gh (National Library of Scoflnrzd)


18, Mary Queen of Scots last letter (National Libmiy of Scotlaizd)

The importance of the building

The George IV Bridge building of the National Library of Scotland (NLS) was purpose-built to house the collections. It is a Category B listed building designed by Reginald Fairlie, constructed between 1934 and 1939 and completed in 1950-55. The building has a complex layout comprising three floors above the level of the George IV Bridge and seven below.


The importance of the building's contents

The contents of the building- have an unique importance. A national library is, at its most fundamental, the repository of a nation's culture, ideals, experience and ethos. In such circumstances conventional approaches to risk management are inappropriate - for example, insurance or other fosms of financial risk transfer are irrelevant: how can money replace the last letter written by Mary Queen of Scots hours before she was beheaded, the Gutenberg Bible or the first book printed in Scotland, or the manuscripts of Robert Bums, Sir Walter Scott or Hugh McDiarmid? Equally, how can an insurance payment compensate the nation for the loss of the Scottish newspapers, the pages of which preserve a record of our society, or, indeed, any of the seven million printed items which have been collected systematically by the NLS since 1689? Public access is also crucial to the importance of the NLS collections - after all, what is the point of


The Gutenberg Bible (National Libraiy of Scotland)

preserving the collection if it cannot be examined, looked at or read?


Change of legal status

In 1988 the 'ownership' (and therefore the responsibility for managing the building) was transferred from the Crown to the NLS's Board of Trustees. Until then the Property Services Agency (PSA), an a m of the Government's Department of the Environment was responsible for all aspects of building maintenance, property management and fire safety. The Trustees appointed a Building Manager to cany out the work previously undertaken by the PSA and it became clear that the George IV Bridge building did not have a fire certificate and that previous fire safety improvements had been targeted to ensure that the building complied with the various pieces of



Section tl~roziglzthe George IV Bridge building (Natio~zalLibrary of Scotland)

relevant fire safety legislation. However, as previously noted, UK fire safety law is directed towards ensuring that adequate provisions are made for life safety.


Structural implications of a serious fire

An initial risk assessment of the George IV Bridge building was undertaken in 1989. The study made a number of recommendations which included the need to provide structural improvements and fire compartmentation. A full structural survey was therefore commissioned. This indicated serious flaws in the design and construction of the building. These can be summarised as: book stack upright supports in the core of the building were found to be supporting intermediate floors

the intermediate floors of concrete, which were supported by the book stack uprights, were only 65rnm thick a fire in a book stack could reach 1000째C in under 3 minutes and would result in deformation of steel stack elements any fire would be likely to deform the stacks to the extent that within 8 minutes they would collapse, leading to progressive collapse of intermediate concrete floors and the loss of the national collection. These very serious risks made it clear to the NLS's management that they had to face up not only to a range of newly-discovered fire safety problems but also to the fundamental fact that even a relatively small fire could result in the loss of a major part of the collections and very significant damage to the building itself.




Dingl-nnz showil~gxtru~furaInrrnligel?ielit of the George IV Brzdge O ~ ~ i l d(Nntiol~al i~~g Librnv of Scotln~zd)

Risk assessment

The studies prepared in respect of both the fire risk and the structural risk made specific recommendations by which to eliminate some hazards. These were acted on rapidly: the outdated fire detection system (using bimetallic strip sensors) was replaced by a modern analogue addressable detection system intrusive and potentially hazardous use of stack areas for non-storage purposes (offices and computer room, for example) was eliminated to reduce the risk of ignition 'first-aid' fire-fighting equipment (portable extinguishers) was increased and upgraded a programme of staff training in procedures to be taken in the event of fire was implemented. However, the situation became more complicated when

the way in which the fire brigade would be expected to fight a fire was examined. Satisfactory access by fire' fighters to tackle a fire at, or near, its source was hampered by: the absence of windows to give access to the stack floors which form the heart of the building staff offices running across the back of the building created a barrier to the inner core of the building the peculiar topography of the George IV Bridge site. These features would create an inevitable delay in beginning fire-fighting operations, thus allowing a fire to grow to the point where serious structural damage would be unavoidable. After consultation with the fire authority, it was decided to classify the George IV Bridge building as a 'dangerous structure', which in turn meant that great caution would be exercised in committing fire fighters to working in the building. The worst-case scenario


21 Sidewall sprinkler in reading rooin, George IV Bridge buildirzg (National Library of Scotlafzd).

22 Nortfz stair-case, Geor-ge IV Bridge buildirzg (National Library of Scotland)

facing the NLS was that fire fighters could only prevent the spread of fire to adjacent properties while the interior and its contents were ravaged by fire.

another location to be a realistic option. In effect, relocation of the archivelstorage functions was considered incompatible with the institution's mission and objectives.

4.6 The objectives of the fire risk improvement project

Thus the project was intended to ensure that the NLS could continue to occupy the George IV Bridge building and also that the NLS's collection (and hence its whole reason for existence) was protected to the highest contemporary standards including the installation of automatic fire protection systems within the building. The opportunity was also taken to improve certain life safety provisions by providing additional means of escape from the building.

The NLS was faced with the realisation that: the physical structure and layout of the George IV Bridge building were fundamentally unsafe and unsatisfactory for its purpose these problems, combined with the fuel load which the mainly paper-based collections constituted, made it inevitable that anything other than a minor fire would be utterly disastrous the building design no longer matched the requirements of fire safety legislation and could not be given a Fire Certificate (without substantial modification), so that continued occupation by staff and users was highly problematic. The discussions which took place looked at two possible alternatives: vacate the building, ie relocate the archivelstorage functions to another site - unrealistic and incompatible with the Library's mission and objectives protect the building by installing an active firefighting system (probably based on automatic water sprinklers) which would provide immediate response to any fire in the library and ensure that the steelwork was kept below its deformation temperature to prevent structural collapse. (There was, of course, a third option - to do nothing in the hope that the building, which had avoided a serious fire for some 50 years, would continue to be lucky.) The decision to retain the George IV Bridge building was perhaps the easiest part of the process. The site was too steeped in its history and the central city location too firmly established for evacuation to


The master plan

The decision to install a fire suppression system was only part of the fire protection work to be undertaken. Improvements in the provision of means of escape to bring the Library's fire safety regime up to acceptable contemporary standards were also included in the work, together with a range of other related work including renewal of electrical wiring (itself a major contribution to reducing the risks of fire), air conditioning plant and associated ductwork

A master plan for all the required work had to be prepared and a bid made to the then Scottish Office for the necessary finance. Approval for a project with a total budget of ÂŁ12.7 million (covering fees, VAT and forecast inflation) was obtained in June 1991. The Design Team was appointed in 1992 to undertake the development of the master plan and oversee the programme of works. The Design Team was also given the task of carrying out a risk assessment of the new designs in order to reduce the risks that would be generated by the new installation in the future. They also had to manage the risks inherent in the construction and engineering works.



Project development

Although the fire safety problems had been identified, it was essential to ensure that all of those involved with the NLS (the Trustees, Scottish Office, staff, readers) understood what was to happen. This was addressed by a series of detailed briefings. The philosophy in this case was to avoid the problems which can happen when, for example, a fire protection project is imposed on a building regardless of the needs or sensibilities of the users of that building. Given that a normal range of library services was to be maintained for the duration of the work, staff co-operation and the understanding of all the readers who use the building were clearly crucial to the success of the project. It was also helpful to be able to point out to staff the other benefits (additional space, better air conditioning, new accommodation) which would accrue from the project. Ultimately, everyone had to accept that the risk of losing the national collection far outweighed any disruption caused by the fire risk improvement project.


The project

Work commenced in 1992 and was phased to minimise the impact of the works on the provision of public services. Contract 1 involved the construction of a new North Staircase which was driven into the building through all of its floors to provide (for the first time) a direct fire exit route from the Reading Room. This staircase significantly enhances the life safety protection for those who work in or visit the library and greatly simplifies the way in which fire fighters can access this part of the building - with consequential benefits for the protection of the collections and the way in salvage and damage control can be carried out. Other benefits from Contract 1 included the creation of additional space at the same level as the Reading Room - now used as the Catalogue Hall. This, in turn has allowed a complete reorganisation of the layout of services in the Issue Hall, the main point of contact with readers. Contract 2 involved installation of a second external fire evacuation staircase running the full height of the building, installation of a sprinkler system on all stack floors and public spaces, and renewal of electrical, heating and ventilation plant and lifts. Additional benefits provided under Contract 2 included the creation of a new rooftop space (made possible by the relocation of new ventilation plant on the roof itself) which it is anticipated will be fitted out to extend services to users in the future. The problems of working on a very complex and

23 Wrapped book stack, George IV Bridge building (National Library of Scotland)

restricted site were exacerbated by the NLS's decision to remain open to the public throughout the work programme. The collections therefore had to remain on the stacks and the various contractor trades had to work around them. Given the relatively fragile nature of the collections and the (occasionally) destructive nature of contractor operations, it was decided to cocoon the stacks in a special fire-retardant sheeting in order to protect the books from physical damage and dust from the building works, and to limit the spread of any fire or smoke damage which might take place during the period of the works. The wrapping process had the additional benefit of protecting items in the collection from removal by curious hands. Leaving the collections in situ was an impediment to the progress of the works, but the huge effort and danger implicit in decanting, transporting and then reinstalling so many items could have added significantly to the cost of the project. Additionally, providing the necessary space for temporary storage would have been both difficult and expensive. Although disruption to the NLS's public services was significant, every attempt was made to minimise the effects on readers and staff. Wrapping the book stacks had the obvious consequence of making the books unavailable for use. As the rolling programme of sprinkler installations proceeded from floor to floor, readers had to be kept informed of stack restrictions which made books inaccessible. When inevitably the work moved to the public areas, the reading rooms and reference stack (some 25,000 items) and the Reference Services Division staff had to be transferred to the Library's Causewayside building for a period of 18 months.


The fire suppression system

In addition to its extent, the suppression system is


24 Stainless steel joint to sprinkler pipework being made 08George IV Bridge building (National Libmry of Scotland

25 Pu~~zps/valves to sprinkler system, George N Bridge building (Natiolzal Libraly of Scotland)

noteworthy for a number of reasons:


Stainless steel pipework was used for the system. The decision to avoid the use of 'black' steel was not taken lightly. All the alternatives tend to be more expensive, but, when costed over the life of the system and in particular when the problems of corrosion and sludge formation in black steel are considered, it can be seen that the benefits of stainless steel are considerable. In fact, when taking into account reduced labour costs and the cleanliness of the installation, it has become increasingly clear that stainless steel is a viable alternative. Most of the system was prefabricated off-site. This offers many advantages, not the least of which is the elimination of some dirty and dangerous processes which would otherwise have to be carried out in proximity to the collections. The huge number of joints in the smaller pipes used neoprene seals and were crimped, rather than being formed by brazing, making this element of the work rapid, clean and safe. In some locations the newest form of cpvc pipe (specially fabricated for use in sprinkler systems) was used. It was decided to use the sprinkler system pipework to provide background heating in the stack floors by circulating w a r n water through the system. This revolutionary concept was new to both the fire engineering companies and those responsible for sprinkler engineering standards. The approach enabled the NLS to avoid having to install a separate background heating system and minimised the extent of the service and pipework provision in the stack floors. The fact that the sprinkler system is fully monitored means that any leaks from the system are immediately notified to the NLS security control suite.


The sprinkler systems fitted to the new British Library, St Pancras, and the new Building 3 of the National Library of Wales both pre-date the work done at the NLS's George IV Bridge building. The NLS project was unique, however, in that a major civil and mechanical engineering project was undertaken in an occupied heritage building which continued to operate during virtually the whole contract period. The NLS was faced with problems which had persisted for many years and which were not of its own making. The use of the risk assessment technique to identify and then address these problems has resulted in a building whose layout is more efficient to use than before and in the safeguarding of Scotland's written and printed heritage. The project ensured that not only could the NLS continue to occupy the George IV Bridge building but also that the NLS's collection (and hence its whole reason for existence) was protected to the highest contemporary standards during the work. The opportunity was also taken to improve certain life safety measures by providing additional means of escape from the building which was occupied by staff during the whole contract period and which was open to the public for most of that time. An unforeseen benefit of the project was that it inspired the library's management to investigate potential improvements in the public areas. A request for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve disabled access and facilities was rejected, but much of the work involved in preparing the bid was turned to good use by carrying out as many of the basic elements of the scheme as normal funding would allow.



A brief history

Duff House, north-west of Aberdeen, is a mansion constructed in the Baroque style between 1735 and 1754 by William Adam, who was originally commissioned by William Duff of Braco, Lord Braco, later 1st Earl of Fife. The house was only one of several large houses owned by the Duff family and was rarely used. In 1906 the 6th Earl donated the house and its surrounding park land to the two neighbouring burghs of Banff and Macduff. For some 30 years the house was variously a hotel and a sanatorium. During World War I1 it was used as a prisoner of war camp and then as a barracks. Having suffered damage by bombing as well as the ravages of military occupation (visited upon many country houses between 1939 and 1945), Duff House was returned to joint municipal ownership in poor condition. Various options were considered (including demolition) and the condition of the property deteriorated further. In 1956

the house was taken into the care of the Secretary of State for Scotland as a Scheduled Monument and work was undertaken to render the building wind and watertight. Over the next 30 years debate over the future of the house was conducted locally and nationally. Although limited access to the public was available, the house was essentially a shell, empty of furnishings and contents. In 1990 a partnership of local and national organisations was set up to put in train the re-birth of Duff House. Not only was the house to be fully refurbished, it was also to become a major art gallery. Duff House was to become an outstation of the National Galleries of Scotland and the new home of rrlore than 180 paintings from the national collections as well as a range of important furniture, carpets and other furnishings. The building was to be jointly administered by the new Aberdeenshire Council, the National Galleries of Scotland and Historic Scotland. The refurbishment was intended not only to restore the fabric of Duff House to its original condition, but, for the first time in a century, to furnish its interior to match the richness of the exterior. Apart from the work required to bring the building back into use after it had stood empty for more than 50 years, the project also had to include for protecting the proposed contents of the House against the threats inherent in any gallery or museum.


Exterior view of Dnff House iiz 1959


Duff House in 1995



Risk assessment

Initial advice from the Museums and Galleries Commission's Security Advisor and Historic Scotland's specialists indicated that merely providing the legally required levels of fire protection would not prove adequate to protect the fabric of the building and its contents. Historic Scotland commissioned a fire risk assessment. When completed, this indicated that the risk from fire was significant and that the building's structural integrity would provide little or no fire separation for the areas where some of the most valuable paintings and artworks were to be displayed. The fire consultant recommended a programme based on the following: risk reduction and control to minimise the possibility of a fire upgrading of fire barriers to contain fire in the zone of origin for at least 30 minutes upgrading of supplementary escape routes installation of a full smoke detection system



call was received at the Grampian Fire Brigade control centre in Aberdeen. Contrary to popular opinion, automatic fire detection systems do not communicate directly with local fire stations but with a commercially-run central station which may be hundreds of miles from the protected premises. At these central stations calls are received on computer then re-transmitted on a direct speech line to the appropriate fire brigade control room. Delays of 2 or 3 minutes in passing such messages are not unusual at busy times since the central stations also receive security alarm notifications. If the nearest fire appliances were busy elsewhere (as was the case at the Windsor Castle fire), then it could take 15 minutes for the first appliance to arrive at Duff House and up to 20 minutes for any additional support to arrive from Aberchirder and Turriff. Specialist vehicles could take up to 35 minutes to arrive from Peterhead, whilst a high reach vehicle could take 45 minutes to arrive from Aberdeen.

The objectives of the fire risk improvement 5.5 prqject


Duff House is located approximately 45 miles northwest of Aberdeen. The main roads in the region are sometimes busy and the free flow of traffic can be hampered by slow-moving vehicles, especially tractors. It is not unusual for these roads to be dangerous and difficult to use in the winter months.


Fire brigade response

In addition to the lack of structural fire safety inherent in the building, the fire consultant expressed concerns about the location of the house and in particular about the relatively basic level of fire brigade intervention which might be anticipated should a fire occur. As is normal in rural areas, fire brigade cover is provided by a retained station (ie a fire station staffed by part-time fire fighters who respond from their homes or work when a fire is reported). In the case of Duff House, it is likely that the first fire appliance to respond would take some 7 minutes to arrive after the

Fire appliances outside Duff House

At this stage it became clear that there were three options for the future of Duff House: to do nothing and retain the house as an empty shell; to refurbish the building as a gallery and provide only the minimum fire safety measures required by law for life safety protection; to follow the recommendations of the consultant and upgrade the building with a fire safety system commensurate with the risks that the house and contents would face. The cultural significance of the proposed contents of Duff House made the case for upgrading the fire safety system compelling. It was decided that concerns related to the fire brigade's response time could be satisfactorily addressed by the installation of an automatic sprinkler system. However, the importance


of the fabric of the building meant that care had to be taken to minimise the impact (both physical and aesthetic) of all new installations.


The master plan

Once the decision had been taken to accept all the consultant's suggestions (see 5.2), these had to be translated into a series of contracts and a master plan drawn up. In addition to the normal submission of plans for the Building Warrant, close contact was maintained with Grampian Fire Brigade who were involved in many of the decisions regarding the detailed design of the protection installations. The final project was expanded to include compartmentation, full detection and a suppression system. The expanded project was then approved by the four client bodies and a project team of consultants appointed to detail the scheme and incorporate all of the fire engineering recommendations.


Project development

The project team produced the necessary design drawings and specifications together with bills of quantity and these were used to let a competitive tender. The whole project was let as a single contract with nominated sub contractors for the main elements of the fire protection work - this was done to ensure that appropriate expertise and experience of such installations in historic buildings was available.

While the fire protection systems imposed a service 29 load on the building, this was minor when compared to that from the other service installations that were upgraded in the project. (Ingval Mamell)

The contractor's workforce was subjected to an indepth induction to ensure that all personnel on site fully understood the difficulties and dangers of carrying out a project of this size in a historic building. Regular inspections of the site took place to monitor compliance with the clients' demands for working practices that minimised the physical impact of the work on the building's fabric.


The project

In addition to an automatic sprinkler system and necessary pumps and reservoirs to operate it, the Duff House project involved the installation of an analogue addressable fire detection system, an air sampling fire detection system, dry risers, emergency lighting and portable fire extinguishers. The building was also totally re-serviced which involved the insertion of 38km of electrical rewiring. The opening-up necessitated by the re-servicing afforded the opportunity to upgrade compartmentation and install fire suppression and detection systems. For further details of the sprinkler installation at Duff House, see TAN 14, The Installation of Sprinkler Systenzs in Historic Buildings (Historic Scotland, 1998)


Concealed sprinkler head, the Vestibule, Duff House



Sidewall sprinkle< defecfi


Olterior view

31 The ceiling in the Norflz Drawilzg Rooln, Duff House, after resforatiolz. Note tlze i~~sfallation of n sidewnll sprilzkler above fhe corizice.



Specific design problems which should have been noticed at the design stage and avoided included the reliance on a single source of electricity for the sprinkler system's electric fire pump with the same cable feeding the auxiliaries and battery charger for the diesel fire pump. The juxtaposition of a sprinkler head and a fluorescent light fitting cowl in a storeroom also caused a problem. Despite the difficulties and unexpected complexities of dealing with historic fabric, the project was completed according to programme and within the budget originally set. Completion of the project has allowed a major gallery to be established in a previously unused historic building. The application of modern fire protection engineering, informed by a thorough and detailed risk assessment,

resto,.atioll, flle

Duff House

has meant that the works of art on show enjoy high levels of protection. The level of disturbance of fabric caused during the installation of the systems was minimised by paying careful attention to the precise positioning of all the fire system components whether visible or concealed. This has been so successful that in 1998 Duff House was awarded a Europa Nostra Award 'for the nationally important restoration and cultural re-use of a major country house, in particular for the innovative fire protection measures'.


6.1 Recommendations to improve fire safety management

D. Each historic house or location should compile a fire safety manual setting out its strategy and detailing its plans in case of fire and as a basis for training. Locations should also maintain a log book to record all fire related events such as training, drills, inspections and equipment maintenance.

It is essential that fire safety be managed in a systematic way and the following plan, based on the recommendations of Sir Alan Bailey's report into the fire at Windsor Castle makes an excellent starting point. The priorities and order follow those published in the Report's Summary. Much of the material below relies on data to be found in Heritage Under Fire as well as other publications listed in the bibliography.

E. Premises should undertake a detailed fire risk assessment. This should make recommendations for fire safety improvements consistent with the preservation of historic fabric. (See Chapter 2).

F The installation of a modern, reliable fire detection and alarm system should be seen as a high priority. Such systems should be closely monitored by senior management to ensure that unwanted alasms do not undermine confidence in the system. Consideration should also be given to the advantages offered by sprinkler systems, particularly in their suitability for the protection of areas where effective compartmentation or segregation cannot be carried out or for high risk areas. Maintenance of all such systems should be to the highest standard. (See below, 6.3 and 6.4)

The obligations and duties imposed on those responsible for fire safety management in a heritage context can be summarised as follows:


Each historic house or premises should have a written fire safety policy statement. Effective internal mechanisms should exist to ensure that the policy is properly implemented and the policy should cover not only the normal operating regime of the location but take into account special or occasional events.

B. Each location should appoint an individual at senior level as fire safety manager with specific responsibility to implement the fire safety policy.


Following- the fire risk assessment, locations should establish a priority for implementation of physical fire safety improvements including establishing or upgrading fire compartments, segregation of areas of high fire risk and providing protected escape routes.


Where appropriate, particularly in larger premises, the fire safety manager (who may have other duties) may be assisted by a full-time, specialist, fire officer. (In some locations, this role may be combined with a similar activity such as safety or security).


Staff being trained in the use offire extinguislzers (Fire Protection Associatiorz)




Where legally required, fire certificates should be obtained and their requirements fully complied with.

Systematic and effective training programmes I. should be introduced to ensure that all staff know how to minimise fire risks, how to raise the alarm in case of fire and to provide enough trained staff to tackle incipient fires quickly. Where the historic structure includes one or more J. private apartments these must be included in any risk assessment or fire survey and re-inspected at least every five years. (Such inspections should include electrical equipment and the occupants should be given the opportunity of obtaining reliable fire safety advice.


Clear fire safety requirements should be included in all contracts for building, maintenance and other work and for special events. Management must check to ensure that the requirements are being carried out. (See Chapter 7)

L. Larger locations should form and train a salvageldamage control team.

M. Management should liaise regularly with local fire brigades on risk management, fire fighting and salvage. Exercises should be arranged periodically. N. A proper programme of preparation and safe storage (possibly off-site) of architectural, photographic and other information should be put in place. 6.2

Staff training

Staff training is a key factor in the effective management of all fire safety problems - and a legal requirement. It is essential that the following training is provided: all staff: action in the event of fire; use of equipment provided; evacuation of visitors security personnel: as above plus first-aid firefighting designated personnel: the emergency plan for the premises. In addition to the above, consideration should be given to the need for additional training to deal with the hazards resulting from special events and in handling temporary or transient changes. Prior to the opening of a special exhibition or a new gallery or exhibit it is essential that all staff concerned are given additional fire training and a proper briefing on any changes in the means of escape, layout of the gallery, etc. It should be noted that the requirement for fire training applies equally to part-time staff, temporary staff and volunteers. It is also worth remembering that providing

proper fire training is a legal requirement of current health and safety legislation and also may be additionally mandated by the special provisions of a Fire Certificate.


Ongoing maintenance of installed systems

Most heritage buildings are unlikely to have staff capable of maintaining their own fire protection systems. It is essential, therefore, that this matter is given serious consideration at the time a new system is being selected. It may be thought desirable to include the first two years' maintenance in the main contract. In the case of very large, complex or unusual systems, it is worth considering the benefits of requiring the installer to provide maintenance for a 12-month reliability period starting on the day the system is handed over or accepted. The completion of the project and the handing over of the systems and equipment together with the relevant manuals (which should have been prepared by a competent technical author) are the signal for the immediate imposition of the highest standards of maintenance procedures. All fire protection system maintenance requirements are covered by British or European Standards and the manufacturers and installers should provide the end userlowner with full details in the manuals. If requested by the client, documents and drawings should be provided in electronic formats. Any failure to maintain fire protection equipment not only risks equipment or systems failure but could result in prosecution, liability under civil law, or rejection of a subsequent insurance claim. More details of fire protection system maintenance requirements can be found in Appendix B.4. If a system requires complex or expensive maintenance, this may affect the procurement decision. It will also affect the demand on training local staff to respond appropriately to faults or malfunctions (The Report by Sir John Garlick into the Hampton Court fire on 31st March 1986 commented on some of these issues).


False alarm management

Good maintenance is essential in order to ensure that fire detection and alarm systems operate properly when needed. It is also important to ensure that detection systems connected to the fire brigade through a central station are managed carefully in order to minimise the risks of unwanted, spurious or false alarms. Such incidents can impose serious burdens on the fire brigade and the resources allocated to a spurious alarm will not be available to fight a real fire.


False alarms can result from any or all of the following: improperly installed equipment inappropriate sensor selection (ie fitting a smoke detector in a location such as a kitchen) failure to isolate the system and inform the central station before a test improper operation of system by poorly trained staff. Where new systems are being installed, it is recommended that the contract specifies retention of an appropriate sum of money until such time as the system has proved reliable.


Insurance matters

Two useful publications, Insuring your Historic Building (English HelitageRICS 1994) and Irzsuring your Churcl? and Chapel (English HeritageIRICS 1994) suggest that:

'For all buildings it is important to take all reasonable measures to reduce the chances of fire breaking out or spreading, and to minimise the risk of theft of architectural features. No matter how accurate the restoration, a repaired historic building has always lost some of its authenticity, its cultural and historic value , as well as its patina of age. Prevention measures may also reduce insurance premiums. Insurance is important in the management of any property. This is especially true of historic buildings whose design and construction may make them more vulnerable to damage, especially by fire, and more expensive to repair afterwards'. Insurers are always keen to support any measures which reduce the probability and consequences of a fire. It therefore makes good sense to discuss proposed upgrading of fire safety provisions with insurance


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brokers or underwriters. While in the past discounts have been provided in recognition of the reduction of risks, this is not so likely in the present, competitive insurance market. The question of reinstatement after a fire is contentious. More information on the position in Scotland can be found in S3.0.0 in Menzorandunz of Guidance on Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas (Historic Scotland, 1998). Other useful information can be found in the papers delivered by Richard Emerson and James Campbell at the Duff House Conference in Proceedings of the Conference on Fire Protection and the Built Heritage (Historic Scotland, 1999).

Valuation is always difficult. One simple solution to this may be to adopt the principles suggested in a leaflet entitled Insurance Valuations for Church Buildings (Ecclesiastical Insurance, 1995) - a system based on valuing each element of structure and contents in order to derive an overall valuation. Insurance brokers, particularly those who have an expertise in heritage buildings and their contents, are a useful source of advice. In addition, Historic Scotland are shortly to produce advice on the insurance of churches.


7.1 Tailoring a fire protection project to the building When it has been decided that fire protection improvements are essential either to reduce the risk from fire or prevent it increasing where occupancy or circumstances change, a number of factors must be carefully considered and evaluated before any work can begin. In particular, the criteria noted in 7.2 must be satisfied to ensure that the proposed work will not cause unnecessary damage to historic fabric or contents. A conservation plan is the ideal management tool to inform choices about the level of intervention that is appropriate. More guidance on the preparation of conservation plans is given in the Historic Scotland Booklet Conservation Plans: A Guide to tlze Preparation of Corzsewation Plans. Even if the advantages of carrying out the work seem overwhelming there may be other factors which may swing the balance. A decision to convert a heritage building into a hotel, for example, will almost certainly require the installation of an automatic fire detection system which, with care, can be accommodated with little damage to the heritage fabric (depending on the choice of detection devices, selection of cable routes, etc). However, some required work may be unacceptable, for example, the enclosure of a grand staircase to the proposed guest rooms. An alternative means of securing a safe escape route must therefore be sought.


Guiding principles

Any changes to a heritage building must satisfy a number of criteria:

Minimal intervention Any changes to a listed or heritage building must cause as little impact on the building and its fabric as possible. Any work undertaken 'to improve compartmentation, or to provide fire detection or suppression, should not cause unnecessary disruption or damage during installation, maintenance or eventual removal' (Maxwell, 1999).

Reversibility Any changes to a heritage or listed building should wherever possible be reversible, ie 'adopting a plug-in, plug-out philosophy' (Maxwell ibid)

Essential Only the minimum amount of work necessary to

achieve the stated objective(s) should be undertaken and all work should be justified and informed by a detailed fire risk assessment.

Sensitive Fire protection devices, equipment and systems should be installed with due consideration to the overall appearance of the building as well as having the minimum impact on the fabric of the building which they are intended to protect. Appropriate use should be made of existing features (such as voids, risers, old chimneys and ducts) to allow concealed pipe or wiring runs. Any unavoidable notching or penetration of structural timbers should be subject to an expert review and continuously monitored.

Appropriate The fire protection measures adopted must be appropriate to the level of risk - for example, there may be little point in providing a full automatic sprinkler system for a location which is sparsely furnished and where there is little or no fuel load.

Legal Compliance The fact that certain fire protection measures are required by law does not overrule the need to comply with other legal requirements (listed building consent, planning permission, building standards, fire regulations and certification procedures). Where a building is not listed or is not in a conservation area, due consideration should still be paid to protecting its valuable historic fabric. The relevant authorities may need to agree a compromise in order to achieve the best means of satisfying these separate requirements.

7. 3 Managing fire safety on construction sites Reliable statistics suggest that, in the UK, fires during the construction, modification or conversion of buildings result in more than ÂŁ40 million worth of damage each year. Reference to the toll of fires in heritage buildings suggests that such buildings are particularly vulnerable during this kind of activity - not only as a result of fires started by careless contractors but also as a consequence of the presence of contractors, their tools and their materials in the building.

In 1992 the Building Employers Confederation and the Loss Prevention Council published the Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construcfion Sites arzd Buildings Undergoing Renovation. This


document, 'The Joint Code', is now in its 5th edition. It suggests a managed approach to the problems of fire safety on construction sites as follows: Design Phase: the risk from fire resulting from the proposed works should be properly assessed and minimised. Construction Phase: a plan, detailing responsibilities for: - fire safety - site fire precautions, fire detection and alarm - control of Hot Work - site accommodation (including the design and location of temporary buildings - site evacuation procedures - liaison with the fire brigade - staff training - security measures against arson - safe storage of materials (including flammables) - safe use of energy The Joint Code also provides useful guidance on related issues including temporary methods of fire protection, temporary protection of finished surfaces and the management of waste. It is essential that a proper contractual responsibility be imposed for compliance with the Joint Code (or in the case of Crown Premises, the equivalent document: Standard Fire Precautions for Contractors Engaged on Crown Works as well as the guidance contained in the PACE Fire Safety Guide). In some circumstances the Contractor's own insurance company may make compliance with the Joint Code a requirement for continuing insurance cover. All construction work should also comply with the requirements of the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996. It should be noted that the Joint Code's requirements are more onerous than these Regulations.


Special considerations

The special problems of fire in heritage buildings are covered in detail in TAN 11: Fire Protection Measures in Scottish Historic Buildings (Historic Scotland, 1997), Heritage Under Fire (Kidd, 1995) and in Proceedings of the Conference on Fire Protection and the Built Heritage (Historic Scotland, 1999). For the purposes of this guide these can best be summarised as: non-compliance with contemporary building standards and legislation; use of traditional materials and method of construction; presence of hidden elements of structure; built-in decorative features which may be of great significance;

the original purpose and occupancy of building may have changed; buildings may be open or accessible to the public; contents may be of great significance; fires and smoke may spread unseen; buildings are often in locations with poor fire brigade accessibility andlor a restricted fire brigade response; fire-fighting water supplies may be limited; the building may be uninsured or under insured. The aim of most fire protection projects should be to improve fire safety provision by eliminating, countering or providing supplementary protection to manage the risks resulting from these conditions.


Grants and finance

There are no statutory grants available to those who have decided (or been compelled) to improve the levels of fire safety in a heritage building. Discretionary grants may, however, be available. The Heritage Lottery Fund, for example, might finance improvements, which may include appropriate fire protection measures, in the housing and storage of museum collections.


The project brief

The initial description of the project to allow the appointment of the project manager or lead consultant can be termed the strategic brief. Once appointed, this individual will advise on the selection and appointment of other professionals whose input will be needed. The project brief will be developed in consultation with all the professionals employed on the early stages of the project. However, the project brief must be fixed in order to allow work to start on a planned and agreed basis. This 'freezing' of the brief must occur before contractor tendering and should ideally occur after scheme design stage. With historic properties, investigative work will be necessary prior to finalising the brief in order to achieve integration of any new installations with the existing structure. Without a full understanding of the unpredictable nature of the building fabric all subsequent documentation and effort are liable to be flawed and consequently additional expense and delay are likely to be incurred. It is essential that a proper project brief is drawn up at the outset, The brief must include details of the fire protection objectives to be achieved and full information about any other work which is to be undertaken. The first task of any appointed consultants may be to advise on the preparation of the brief. The brief will include details of: levels of protection (on a room by room basis if necessary)


how the fire protection systems interface with means of escape requirements technical specifications standards to be met health and safety and fire safety regime to be followed by contractors (eg ban on hot work) where responsibility for the design of systems will lie interfaces with other trades and contracts (eg electrical) environmental conditions to be maintained during the work.


The practice should be able to demonstrate financial stability and capacity to undertake the project - have previous projects been of a similar size or very much smaller? It is essential to meet and interview the individual professionals who would work on the project in order to judge their professional and interpersonal skills and therefore their ability to deal with sensitive retrofit projects where the building may continue to be occupied or may contain objects of value. Professional body accreditation in conservation is now available for architects, surveyors and conservators and there is a growing recognition that conservation work should be entrusted only to persons educated and trained to be competent in these specialist activities. The individuals must have had proven experience of work of similar size and complexity. It may be prudent to appoint an individual (eg Project Manager) for the life of the project. This may require agreementlarrangements with the special individual/consultant.


The group of professionals (who carry the strategic brief forward into a project brief and detailed project design and specification and, following the appointment of a contractor, oversee the implementation and physical and financial completion of the works) will vary in size depending on the complexity of the proposed fire risk improvement project. Appendix D lists the consultants required for the National Library of Scotland (NLS) project described in Chapter 4. A brief description of the role of each of the consultants is also included in this Appendix. While a large team of professionals was required for the NLS project, not all the disciplines will be required for all projects. However, even the smallest projects will require co-ordination of all professionals employed. This task is normally undertaken by the project manager or lead consultant, but may be undertaken by the client for simpler projects. Allocation of Design Responsibilities for Building and Engineering Services, BSRlA Technical Note TN21197 and TN22/97 (Parsloe, 1997) provides invaluable advice on this.

7.7.1 Selection of consultants Consultants employed to work on heritage buildings must have relevant skills and experience, and the criteria for selection must reflect this. Some guidelines are: The practice must have experience of similar projects and this should be verified by following up references with people who have previously worked with them. Information on practices with relevant conservation experience can be obtained from the Scottish Conservation Bureau of Historic Scotland. The practice should be able to demonstrate success in meeting time, cost and quality objectives on other projects. The practice should be adequately resourced to cope with the expected size and duration of the project.

7.7.2 Competence in the context of historic properties The best way to judge this area of competence is to follow up references and study previous projects in detail. It is important to speak to both Project Managers and owners/occupiers as their views may be very different, and to visit the sites. Look at previous work and consider whether the installation has been designed and installed sensitively. A key test of the suitability of an existing installation is to consider if it is reversible - in other words, is the work so well planned and executed that it could be removed and leave no damage in its wake? Reversibility is desirable as services have a much shorter life than the building they are installed within. Service installations are therefore likely to be replaced many times during the life of the building. It is essential that this replacement can be achieved with minimal damage to the fabric. When appointing consultants the standards expected of them should be defined specifically and design responsibilities delineated. When standard terms of contract have to be altered to accommodate this, specialist construction lawyers should be used. Where competitive tenders are sought, the bids received should not be evaluated solely on price. Consultants should be informed when invited to tender of the criteria that will be used to evaluate the bids. Criteria should include:


and experience personnel proposals for provision of design services and project management understanding of the scope and style of the project price.


A scoring matrix can be used to evaluate bids received. An example of such a matrix is given in Appendix F. For larger projects, it is worth considering the use of one of the recognised qualitylprice selection methodologies such as that published by the Construction Industry Board in Selecting Consultants for the Tearn: Balmzcirtg Quality and Price.

7.7.3 Initiating the project It is essential to spend time at the beginning of the project ensuring that all appointed consultants really understand the project, the context of the work, and the roles of the other consultants and of staff in the client organisation (not just the immediate buildings services staff) with whom they will be working during the project. Restrictions and constraints which may have been included in the contract documentation but perhaps not fully understood should be reiterated. Essentially, the best consultants will work pro-actively; they will seek to work closely together, to foresee problems and offer solutions, and to reassess and evaluate what is being done throughout the contract. Prior to agreeing to proceed to tender, all consultants involved in designing the installation should supply signed certificates confirming that the detailed design has been completed and fully co-ordinated with the designs of the other consultants and with the existing building structure. This is intended to ensure that design changes on site are kept to a minimum because the installation has already been carefully considered to minimise its impact on the fabric and finishes of the building.



Ensuring that the fire protection contract is awarded to an appropriate engineering company is critical to the success of the project, therefore great care must be exercised in the pre-selection of possible contractors. All companies considered should have a track record in the installation of complex systems in similar locations and pre-tender submissions should be viewed with some scepticism. In addition to ensuring that management responsibilities are clearly delineated, any design responsibilities the contractor will be taking on must be clearly defined. This is particularly important as any design work carried out by the contractor will have to be co-ordinated with the work of other contractors and the consultants (see Parsloe, 1997).

7.8.1 Selection of contractors There are many ways of procuring contractors; professional advisers should advise on the best route to take in relation to the size and type of project. The guidelines for selecting contractors are similar to those

for selecting consultants: The company must have experience of similar projects and this should be verified thoroughly by following up references with people who have previously worked with them. Information on companies with relevant conservation experience can be obtained from the Scottish Conservation Bureau of Historic Scotland. The company should be able to demonstrate success in meeting time, cost and quality objectives on other projects. The company should be big enough to have the resilience to overcome the absence of a few key individuals (this is especially important for larger projects). The company should be able to demonstrate financial stability and capacity to undertake the project - have previous projects been of a similar size or very much smaller? It is essential to meet the individuals who would work on the project in order to judge their interpersonal skills and commitment to meeting the project's objectives. These qualities are paramount in dealing with sensitive retrofit projects where the building may continue to be occupied and may contain objects of value to their owners. The individuals must have had proven experience of very similar work; it is very unwise to allow someone without specialist experience to acquire it at your expense. It may be prudent for an individual to be appointed as Site Agent for the life of the project. This will require special agreementlarrangement with the individuallcontractor. As with consultants, more emphasis is now being placed on quality-based selection of contractors. More information is available in the CIRIA publication, Selecting Contractors by Value. Recent practice has included a move to a 'partnering' approach in which the contractor is involved. This method is worth considering given the very sensitive nature of historic properties - a specialist contractor can contribute significantly to the early planning of the work. If price is not the primary basis for the selection of contractors, it will be necessary for a procedure to be adopted which demonstrates best value has been achieved.

7.8.2 Competence in the context of historic properties As with consultants, the best way to judge this area of competence is to follow up references and study previous projects in detail to determine whether these have been carried out sensitively and in accordance with the original design. Contractors will physically carry out the work required and, hence, will have the greatest impact on a property. Invitations to tender


should only be issued to contractors who have demonstrated through successful previous projects that they can understand and accept restrictions in the contract and manage their work force to accommodate these. In tendering price not be the primary basis for selection. Instead, selection should be made on a balanced evaluation of the competence and experience of the contractor together with the cost quoted for the work. Contractors should be informed when invited to tender of the criteria that will be used to evaluate the bids received. It is vital that the contract adequately controls all subcontracting aspects of the work. Without this, there is no way to prevent an unsuitable sub-contractor from being let parts of the work, so perhaps creating unacceptable risks.


Management of the contractor

A supplementary fire risk assessment should be undertaken to ensure that the proposed work when complete does not introduce any new hazards and that the actual construction processes are safe. It has already been established that construction or maintenance work is a significant causal factor in fires in historic buildings and it is impossible to overstate the need for care and control of contractors and their activities. Contract documentation must clearly spell out these obligations. Some practices that have been successfully employed to control the risks associated with contractors are: security clearances identification badges with photographs site-specific fire, health and safety training method statements control - access, hot work, clean site policy supervision - by Clerk of Works or other agent. Full details of the sort of controls which should be introduced can be found in Chapter 5 of Heritage Under Fire (Kidd, 1995) and also, for Government Departments l Crown Premises, in Work 1.0: 'Works and Alterations to Buildings' in the Fire Safety Guide (PACE Central Advice Unit 1998). Reference can also be usefully made to guidance published in Fire Prevention on Construction Sites (Loss Prevention Council l BEC, 1997) and in the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996. This latter regulation is of interest to those managing projects in heritage buildings as it gives Fire Authorities powers under Section 33 to enforce general fire precautions in respect of construction sites forming part of occupied premises and to extend the control to parts of a building undergoing renovation or refurbishment.

Even when care has been taken to choose an appropriate contractor, the nature of work in historic properties requires a much higher degree of supervision of operatives than might be the case in simpler sites. On larger projects, therefore, there may be a need for an on-site representative of the client or consultant eg Clerk of Works or Resident Engineer.

7.10 Handover Documentation Most projects will need to meet the requirements of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994. These regulations require the production of a health and saf& file, which includes information on the construction of building and installation of the services. However, the client and design team may require more infornlation than is provided for under the basic legal requirements of this Act. If this is so, the project manager or architect involved in the project should ensure that the provision of fully detailed buildings and buildings services handover documentation is a contractual requirement. These documents, which will include record drawings and operation and maintenance information, are important for all projects - smaller projects as well as the medium or large construction projects with which this type of information is more normally associated. The Building Services Research and Information Association in the introduction to their Technical Note TN15195 Handover Information for Building Services make the case very clearly when they state;

'The period imnzediately preceding project handover can be a particularly arduous time for all parties involved in the construction process, including the client organisation. Whilst contractors are under pressure to meet contractual deadlines, the client is often preoccupied with preparations for fitting-out and occupation. This situation can lead to inadequate project completion procedures, with the result that important building services documentation is produced to an inadequate standard or overlooked entirely. The problem may be further aggravated by the lack of appropriate contractual provision for the production of effective operation and maintenance rnanuals and record drawings. U

Forward planning of information requirements by the design team and client, combined with a structured approach to handover can alleviate this problem.' This quote applies equally to architectural record drawings and all other relevant documentation on the project. Comprehensive and reliable handover documentation will prove invaluable for future reference.



Aerial view of Hampton Court (Martin Argles and The Guardian)





Consequences of failing to act

All heritage buildings should be carefully examined to determine the risks from fire which may exist. While some modern buildings (such as the new Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh) or recently converted structures (such as the Dean Gallery, Edinburgh) will have had careful attention paid to the way in which the fire risk is controlled and managed, most heritage buildings are highly vulnerable to the effects of fire. In some cases, the owners, occupiers or managers of heritage buildings may feel that the cost of introducing modern fire protection - measured both in financial terms as well as in impact on historic fabric - is too high.

It is only since the mid 1980s that any particular degree of concern has been expressed about the need for heritage structures to be protected from fire. The major losses at Hampton Court, York Minster, Uppark and Windsor Castle have focused the attention of those responsible for managing and preserving our heritage on the need for proper fire safety management of the built heritage. Greater interest in the subject has inevitably motivated the manufacturers of equipment to focus on a previously untapped market. This has manifested itself over the past few years in the development of products designed to detect fire more effectively and at an early stage (some of these may be more clearly suited to installation in heritage buildings, for example smoke aspiration fire detection systems), to prevent fire spreading (lightweight passive fire protection materials), etc.

While there may be some limited truth in these fears, it is also true that it is impossible to make an informed decision about the risks and hazards in any given case until a fire risk assessment has been carried out. It is one thing to say 'I can't afford to install fire detection' when one has no informed view of the actual hazards facing a building. It is entirely different to say 'Having carried out my fire risk assessment, I am confident that the level of risk disclosed does not warrant expenditure on a fire detection system'.


Technological developments

Every effort should be made to examine new fire technology to determine whether it may have an application in respect of heritage protection. The types of systems currently being developed that may be of value include:

Modern low profile sprinkler heads can be provided in a range offinishes



water mist systems - can extinguish fires with very small amounts of water (most of which is vaporised to steam) charged coupled device flame detection - these use a miniaturised TV camera to 'look' for the exact frequency emitted when a flame is created; they have the potential to provide a false-alarm-free fire detection device CO fire detection - these use a new type of carbon monoxide sensor, this device may prove to be less prone to the false alarm problems which affect conventional detectors radio-based detection - further developments in these devices may make it possible to have, reliable, long range, discreet 'wire-free' fire detection systems. From the heritage protection perspective it is to be hoped that the manufacturers of fire protection equipment and systems have begun to appreciate and understand the constraints facing fire protection projects of the type described in this text. Any new technology introduced must not only be effective and appropriate but must also be capable of installation (and removal and replacement once its service life is over) with minimal intervention into any historic fabric.


Lessons learnt from the two major projects

Lessons learnt from the National Library of Scotland's George IV Bridge building and the Duff House projects can be summarised as follows: The project objectives need to be firmly established before funding is sought and before any consultants or contractors are commissioned. Clear allocation of responsibility for design drawings must be established. Great care must be taken in the selection of contractors and equipment suppliers. Specialist legal advice may be needed, especially in very large or complex projects. The complexities of heritage buildings require correspondingly greater attention to detail, particularly at the project design stage, and this needs to be reflected in the careful selection of the design and project management teams. Careful co-ordination at the planning and project management stage is essential in order to ensure minimal impact on the building's structure and fabric. U

Significantly greater care must be paid to quality control of components and supervision of installation activitv in heritage ~roiects. Staff and others who may be affected by the project -



must be fully briefed, not only before the work starts but at regular intervals during its progress. Great efforts must be made to minimise the risk of fire during installation - all personnel must be trained to follow the fire regime which is in place and regular refresher sessions must be organised. Both the major projects have been successful and received international acclaim due to the care taken to sensitively integrate the elements of the fire protection systems. However, the project highlights the need for greater care to be exercised in areas hidden from view to ensure minimal loss of historic fabric. This will require a degree of lateral thinking, for example the use of warm water in the sprinkler pipework of the George IV Building eliminated the need to provide a separate background heating installation, and this may not always be present within the construction and fire protection industries. It will also require a greater understanding of historic buildings, their design, materials and finishes by all those involved in the process of installing or improving fire protection systems.


Future developments

The actual number of historic buildings in Europe is not known: there are almost 36,000 listed buildings in Austria, 110,000 in Bavaria and more than 45,000 in Scotland, but detailed figures for the rest of Europe are lacking Equally, a range of pertinent topics on fire loss matters has not yet been addressed. As was discussed at the 1998 Duff House Conference, issues yet to be examined include: How well historic building construction and traditional materials actually perform under fire conditions. The installation of detection and suppression systems in historic properties has not yet been explored in many European countries. Alternative state-of-the-art solutions to sprinklers should be sought and a risk assessment of the technologies in terms of false-alarms, benefits and conservation implications carried out. Insurance companies have insufficient data to calculate the real risk but, increasingly with price competition, they need to take into account the actual range of risks they face. The accumulation and dissemination of relevant knowledge and expertise to owners and managers of public and private assets needs to be planned, prepared and promoted. The increased demand for knowledge transfer between eastern and western European countries needs to be accommodated.


Information about the total number of cultural heritage buildings needs to be gathered, as well as an assessment of their value in cultural and financial terms and of the actual risks to be insured undertaken. The conclusions from and analysis of major fires to be accumulated, interpreted and disseminated. In summary, although there is considerable expertise in fire brigades, insurance companies and some special institutions, fire loss to historic buildings is a Europewide issue, characterised by a lack of: general statistical information a common state-of-the-art understanding and appreciation of available appropriate countermeasures expertise in the management of the problem in historic properties good guidance on the integration of countermeasures into historic fabric. A Europe-wide strategy of fire risk assessment and the organisation and development of an appropriate discussion forum are called for to address these problems and difficulties. Key membership of a forum should comprise representatives of: end users and beneficiaries public asset managers

fire brigades and authorities insurance companies building conservation and loss prevention experts. Appropriate to European historic buildings and heritage, the aims of the strategy would be to: define the implicit terms and problems and determine how to find relevant solutions promote statistical research into the frequency and causes of fires in European historic buildings establish a well-documented survey of the state-ofthe-art technical expertise define an appropriate range of passive and active technical equipment counter-measures promote easily accessible pragmatic advice on relevant assessment methodologies organise a series of conferences and workshops to develop effective risk assessment activities effect knowledge dissemination by publishing proceedings and recommendations promote a broad range of associated training courses define themes and strategies for future research topics.


A.l Worked example using the worksheet from A Guide to Fire Risk Assessment (Scottish Fire Brigaded CACFOA Scotland, 1999) Building: -

Residential / Shop 1 Restaurant 1 Gallery l Offices / ~ o r k s h d ~ s

Owner 1 Occupier: **** Location: ****

Assessors: **** Signature: **** Date of Assessment: ****


Record finding

Worksheet 1: Life Risk Residential f l a t on t o p floor (attic). S t a f f numbers maximum of 1 0 0 b u t visitorsldiners could add up t o 100. Escape routes complex but well signed.

Worksheet 2: Ignition Sources Basement boiler plant area well protected. Workshops a t rear of premises n o t directly connected. Kitchen in basement





/ / /




Below benchmark Compensation Sub-standard

Worksheet 3: Combustible Materials


Storage of material for shop. Timber etc in workshop.


Below benchmark Compensation Sub-standard

Worksheet 4: Prevention and Management


New premises so n o t able t o fuliy assess but indications are t h a t good management regime will be imported (Excellent rating t o be considered a f t e r occupation).



Below benchmark Sub-standard

Worksheet 5: Communications


Excellent automatic fire detection system with direct connection: Good exit signs and action notices


Benchmark Below benchmark Sub-standard

Worksheet 6: Structural Precautions


Heritage (listed) building complex b u t good standard o f compartmentation and protection. Control o f penetration needs t o be maintained.


Benchmark Below benchmark Sub-standard

Worksheet 7: Means of Escape


Escape routes meet standards b u t some are complex, There needs t o be high standard of training and supervision t o obtain "Excellent" rating



Below benchmark Sub-standard

Worksheet 8: Operational Facilities for Brigade Firefighting These meet s t a t u a t o r y requirements and good liaison exists. To obtain "Excellent" rating these would need t o be assessed and strategy co-ordinated with Brigade


comfortably exceeds 'benchmark' standards and therefore of no concern; may mitigate some hazards marked for compensation


meets minimum standards, no concern

Below benchmark no serious concern, just reminders about importance of housekeeping

Excellent Benchmark


Below benchmark Sub-standard


no concern, if all precautions are excellent or to 'benchmark' standards


serious concern and remedial / enforcement action required.


A.2 Worked example using the framework given in Appendix IV of TAN 11, Fire Protection Measures in Scottish Historic BuiMirigs (Historic Scotland, 1997) A. The Building Name of building: **** Address:


Means of access to the building, including approaches to site or grounds: Access from **** or via lane a t rear. Name of the person(s) carrying out the survey: **** Date and Purpose of survey: ****; Preliminary survey a t completion of building works. Map Reference: ****

1. Historic Building Information Description of the Building Type including other buildings/structures within curtilage: Symmetrical 3 storey basement and attic, 2 7 bay neo-classical palace block formerly consisting of nine houses entered from the front and tenements entered from either end. Designed by Robert Adam and built 1796-c1810 forming key site in an important square s e t o u t in 1791. Listed category A, i t has j u s t been converted t o house offices, shop, restaurant, gallery, workshops and caretaker's flat.

2. Summary Building Appraisal Number of storeys: three plus basement and partial a t t i c Building use: a s above External environment: City centre Record of significant past alterations: significant over past 100 years. Record of previous fire inspections/installations: none available Location: Part of terrace in busy city centre. Road access: main on one side, restricted access t o rear. Pedestrian access: on two sides. Car parking arrangements: none. Landscaping features: limited flower beds planned for rear area. Fire Brigade Access: difficult. Fire hydrant location and details: t o be confirmed Water supply details: t o be confirmed Adjacent structures: offices. Construction materials: stone, lathlplaster, timber. Walls: timber, lathlplaster and plasterboard. Floors: timber, carpeting, concrete in basement. Windows1 doors: timber sash and case and timber doors, mainly original or early. Roof construction and finishes: slate on sarking Wall finishes: plaster with emulsion paint and some wallpaper and panelling. Wall fixtures and fittings: t o be confirmed Internal fabrics and furnishings: Usual office, kitchen etc. Note also: restaurant and exhibition space. EntranceIExit doors: main entrance direct t o open air; secondary exits t o rear courtyard


3. Means of escape and access for fire fighting General assessment of escape routes: those in non-public spaces are complex but well signed and otherwise acceptable. Travel distance and exit widths: all acceptable. Escape to protected zones: wheelchair exits from restaurant. Protected zones and staircases: yes. Fire compartments: partial compartmentation has been achieved but is unlikely t o provide more than 30 minutes protection.

Fire doors: all provide adequate standard, m o s t have new closers and seals.

4. Appraisal of Fire Protection and Life Safety measures Fire breaks: New partition walls and some upgraded doors provide good standard of fire break. Compartmentation: only a s provided by refurbished compartment walls, doors and new construction. Flame retarding treatment: n o t applicable. Fire detection and alarm systems: Modern automatic detection and alarm systems with direct connection t o fire brigade via central monitoring station.

Fire suppression systems: portable extinguishers and hose reels Smoke control system: n o t applicable. Fire fighting facilities including water supply: n o t applicable. Emergency lighting: meets current requirements. Provision of fire escape signs: good.

B. Risk Assessment Methodology

1. Fire Risk Evaluation

Positive aspects External environment: neighbouring buildings do n o t present high risk. Building construction: refurbishment has enabled better standard of fire resisting material t o be introduced. Building interior: low risk activities (except in workshop which is physically segregated from rest of building) and kitchen. Existing fire protection and life safety measures: generally acceptable; good new detection; high standard of fire awareness among staff; good exit signing.

Negative aspects (Hazards) Sources of ignition: workshop activities; residential accommodation; kitchenlsocial functions. Presence of fuel (combustible contents): acceptable. External environment: none noted b u t prominent public organisation - may be possible fire raising risk. Building construction: older fabric may present some risk. Building interior: older finishes may present some risk. Existing fire protection and life safety measures: no problems.


Overall assessment Potential for ignition: moderate. Isolation of ignition risks: good. Potential for smoke spread: low t o moderate. Potential for fire spread - continuity of available fuel: moderate. Ease of escape from the building: good. Access for fire fighters: good. Provision (where required) for disabled people: good. Degree of compartmentation: acceptable. Presence of automatic fire detection system: good. Presence of automatic fire suppression systems: none. Facilities for calling the emergency services: good. Presence of portable fire extinguishers: good. Presence of signs: good. Training of people in the building: undetermined a t time of inspection - probably good. Evacuation drills when building in use: undetermined a t time of inspection - probably good.

Summary of Conclusions Risk assessment rating: normal.

Recommendations 1. Re-inspection on completion of works. 2. Regular liaison with fire brigade.

3. Introduce a regime of fire training and drills for all employees.

4. Smoking to be banned throughout the building (including residential flat and restaurant).

Urgent Work 1. Training of staff - workshop and kitchen staff must be trained 'hands-on' in use of extinguishers. 2. Security/reception/restaurant staff must be trained in evacuation of public.

Necessary Work 1. Care should be taken that activity or events in the exhibition space do not introduce new hazards into the building. 2. Salvage plan should be drawn up to deal with archives and any key artworks, etc.

Desirable Work 1. Automatic fire suppression system to be installed in kitchen range hood.

2. Consideration be give to automatic fire suppression equipment to protect computer and communications room. Most appropriate type would be an inert gas system.



Daily inspections

Prior to opening the premises or admitting the public, the following should be undertaken: Chains and secondary locking devices should be removed/unlocked from fire escape doors. Fire control panel should show correct indications ('green lights'). Any work scheduled must be covered by the appropriate permits and the necessary fire zones isolated and staff notified. Wastebaskets should be emptied and combustible rubbish removed to a secure place. Fire extinguishers which may have been moved should be returned to the correct locations. All fire doors which should be shut or secured are in the correct position. Fire exit signs should be lit and visible. Security staff, wardens or others such as telephone operators should be briefed on any special events or activities. Any open fire should be extinguished or protected by a fixed fire guard. Ashes from open fires should be removed from the building in a steel container with a lid and disposed of safely.

After closing for the day: All contractor work should cease, permits should be withdrawn and work sites inspected Fire doors should be secured Fire alarm panel should show correct indications Internal doors should be closed Fire exit signs should be lit Night telephone line should be checked Open fires should be checkedlextinguished.


Weekly inspections

All weekly equipment checks (see table 6) should be completed. Fire exits should be in proper working order and external escape routes walked to check that they are clear. Seals on fire extinguishers should be checked. Fire extinguishers with pressure gauges should be checked for correct reading. Hose reel cupboards should be opened to check for leaks or signs of corrosion. Fire alarm system should be tested (including direct link to central station). Emergency lighting should be tested. A visual check for fire hazards should be carried out electrical appliances off (as necessary) extension leads overloaded sockets unauthorised equipment signs of illicit smoking storage on obstruction of escape route safe storage of flamrnables, gases, chemicals, etc.


Monthly inspections

All monthly equipment checks (see table 6) should be completed. Fire Instructions must be up-to-date. Fire wardens list must be up-to-date. Call out list must be up-to-date



Fire equipment maintenance schedules

Equipment /system



Detection and alarm systems


Check all systems for state of repair and operation; repairlreplace defective units


Clean and change batteries of self-contained smoke alarms. Full check and test of system by competent engineer


Repairlreplace defective units, replace torch batteries as required


Check all systems for state of repair and apparent function


Full check and test by competent engineer


Visual check on state of repairlpressure, number and location


Full check and test by competent engineer

Emergency lighting

Extinguishers and hosereels

Table 6


Fire eq~iipiitelztrnnintennitce schedules

Arson prevention

Any of the following questions which are answered 'yes' indicate the presence of a risk of fire raising. A total of 12 'yes' answers or more than four 'yes' answers in any one section indicates premises which may be a high risk.

B.5.1 External security Are there any premises (such as youth clubs, discos or football grounds) which may attract a large number of young people? Are neighbouring businesses/premises of a nature which might make them a high arson risk? Does the design of the buildinglsite incorporate hidden areas where someone could easily hide? Does the buildinglsite lack perimeter protection or have a poorly defined boundary? Are there more entrances to the building than are necessary for fire escape purposes? Are any of the entrances out of sight of security or other personnel? Have parking arrangements been designed with security in mind? Is easy access to rooftops possible? Is security lighting installed and effective? Are contractors at work and is scaffolding present? Do vehicles have access outside normal working hours?

B.5.2 Internal security Is there an effective access control system in operation? Is the building fitted with an intruder detection system? Are all doors, windows, etc, secured outside working hours? Does any letter slot give access directly to the building rather than to a solid box?

B.5.3 Fire hazards Is access to internal ignition sources denied to intruders outside working hours? Are storage areas where combustible materials might be found secured outside working hours? Are flammable liquids and gases stored securely?


Is combustible waste stored securely outside the premises? Are all tanks and drums stored securely with padlocked taps? Where services pass through compartment walls are the gaps fire-stopped? Have ducts passing through compartment walls been fitted with dampers? Is the building fitted with an automatic fire detection system? Is the detection system connected to a central monitoring station or other location? Are all staff references checked psior to employment? Is the building or others in the area prone to graffiti or vandalism? Have there been unexplained small fires in the building or nearby in the past 12 months?

B.5.4 Potential arsonists Do young people habitually gather near the premises? Do large numbers of the public enter the premises? Are visitors permitted beyond a reception area? Are contractors monitored while on the premises? Have trespassers been found on the premises in the past? Are staff alert and briefed on challenging strangers? Do any of the activities that take place in the premises attract the attention of protest groups? Are there problems in stafflmanagement relations? Have there recently been redundancies or are redundancies likely? Adapted frorn inaterial produced by the Arson Prevention Bureau and the Fire Protection Association/Loss Prevention Courzcil.


Crown land includes buildings owned or occupied by government departments, by some 100 executive agencies and by a number of non-departmental public bodies. It also includes property owned by the Crown Estate. In Scotland this portfolio includes listed and unlisted historic buildings, buildings in conservation areas, scheduled and unscheduled ancient monuments and archaeological sites. There are at present in Scotland some 250 government buildings which are listed or otherwise protected. Some of these were s~eciallvdesi~ned and. like court " houses, continue to function more or less as intended. Others have been acquired at various times and for various reasons, and may have been converted or adapted in various ways.

To assist government bodies in discharging their property management function, a range of guidance is available to staff, including the Care of Historic Buildirzgs and Ancient Morzunzents by Governments in Scotland (undated) and a series of guides published by Property Advisors to the Civil Estate (PACE). PACE is currently an executive agency of the Cabinet Office and will soon form part of the new Office of Government Commerce. Three PACE publications (listed in the Bibliography) make particular reference to fire safety.

The Historic Buildings Register is a computerised inventory and management information system maintained by the Government Historic Buildings Advisory Unit at English Heritage on behalf of government departments. The register includes listed buildings, scheduled monuments other than field monuments, and other buildings judged to have merit. It contains data on statutory protection, estate, historical and maintenance matters. It should be noted that the substantial provisions of the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 as amended, apply to premises owned or occupied by the Crown. The responsibility for enforcing the legislation, however, rests with fire inspectors of HM Inspectorate of Fire Services of the Scottish Executive Justice Department rather than with the local fire authority.

38 Jedburglz Sherzff Courthouse (Crown copyriglzt: RCAHMS

APPENDIX D CONSULTANTS AND THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND PROJECT This appendix is based on the experiences gained from the major fire risk improvement project carried out by the National Library of Scotland (NLS). All consultants were members of the Design Team (DT), but it is important to distinguish between what can be called 'control' consultants and 'design' consultants. Within the DT these consultants have different roles.


The Quantity Surveyor's (QS) role was to provide cost advice and ensure that the procurement documentation is drawn up in accordance with the industry standards, tendered, reported, awarded and costs reported throughout the contract and is responsible for preparing the final account. The QS calculated, monitored and reported costs. The CA controlled the costs. Like the PM, the QS is a consultant and a member of the DT, but had the role of 'control' rather than 'design'.

'Control' consultants

The Project Manager (PM) was appointed by the client to act as the client's representative for the project. The PM's role was to ensure that the brief was constructed properly and followed through to completion within time, budget and quality. Although the PM was a 'consultant' and member of the DT, it is clear that the PM role is one of 'control', ie management and co-ordination, rather than design. The PM was appointed before the other consultants and involved with the selection of the other members of the DT. The PM appointment is critical. For some jobs it may be necessary to obtain advice (from a consultant!) about selecting and appointing the PM. The Contract Administrator (CA) was the person named in the documentation as responsible for financial control and administration of the contract. For the NLS project, the CA was the PM. Since the CA effectively has control of the contract, ideally they should not be involved with design matters and resultant costs in order to avoid a conflict of interest.


'Design' consultants

The Design Team Leader (DTL) co-ordinated the input of all the design consultants and the QS. The DTL reported to the PM, but also retained a considerable responsibility for control of the project on a day-to-day basis. The DTL is often an architect or building surveyor who should be independent of the design function within the consultant organisation. The other design consultants on the DT for the NLS project comprised: Safety Planning Supervisor (Construction Design Management Regulations) Conservation architects Interior designers Mechanical and electrical engineers Structural engineers Fire engineers Building control consultant Lighting consultant Value management consultant

APPENDIX E FIRE PRECAUTIONS (WORKPLACE) REGULATIONS 1997 (AS AMENDED) For ease of reference, Regulations 4, 5 and 6 (as amended by Regulation 6 of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended) are reproduced here:

Fire-fighting and fire detection 4. - (1) Where necessary (whether due to the features of a workplace, the activity carried on there, any hazard present there or any other relevant circumstances) in order to safeguard the safety of employees in case of fire (a) a workplace shall, to the extent that it is appropriate, be equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment and with fire detectors and alarms; and (b) any non automatic fire-fighting equipment so provided shall be easily accessible, simple to use and indicated by signs' and for the purposes of subparagraph (a) what is appropriate is to be determined having regard to the dimensions and use of the buildings at the workplace, the equipment they contain, the physical and chemical properties of the substances likely to be present and the maximum number of people that may be present at any one time. (2) An employer shall, where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of his employees in case of fire (a) take measures for fire-fighting in the workplace, adapted to the nature of the activities carried on there a n d the size of his undertaking and of the workplace concerned and taking into account persons other than his employees who may be present; (b) nominate employees to implement those measures and ensure that the number of such employees, their training and the equipment available to them are adequate, taking into account the size of, and the specific hazards involved in, the workplace concerned; and (c) arrange any necessary contacts with external emergency services, particularly as regards rescue work and fire-fighting.

Emergency routes and exits 5.- (l) Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of employees in case of fire, routes to emergency ' (g) See the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations

exits from a workplace and the exits themselves shall be kept clear at all times. (2) The following requirements must be complied with in respect of a workplace where necessary (whether due to the features of the workplace, the activity carried on there, any hazard present there or any other relevant circumstances) in order to safeguard the safety of employees in case of fire (a) emergency routes and exits shall lead as directly as possible to a place of safety; (b) in the event of danger, it must be possible for employees to evacuate the workplace quickly and as safely as possible; (c) the number, distribution and dimensions of emergency routes and exits shall be adequate having regard to the use, equipment and dimensions of the workplace and the maximum number of persons that may be present at any one time; (d) emergency doors shall open in the direction of escape; (e) sliding or revolving doors shall not be used for exits specifically intended as emergency exits; (f) emergency doors shall not be locked or so fastened that they cannot easily and immediately opened by any person who may require to use them in an emergency;

(g) emergency routes and exits must be indicated by signs (a); (h) emergency routes and exits requiring illumination shall be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity in the case of failure of their normal lighting.

Maintenance Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety 6. of employees in case of fire, the workplace and any equipment and devices provided in respect of the workplace under regulations 4 and 5 shall be subject to a suitable system of maintenance and be maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

1996 (19961341) which impose requirements in relation to fire safety signs


Note - The weighting and list of criteria used for scoring should be set on a project-by-project basis.


(A) Weight

1. Appreciation of the commission


2. Calibre of relevant professional staff. Accounting and management skills and depth of experience


3. Quality of account manager (for the whole commission)

4. Approach to undertaking the commission, including resources allocated and ability to cope with peak workloads

5. Experience of similar commissions


6. Experience of public sector working

7. Quality AssuranceIChecking systems

8. Specialist advice to be brought in

Mark awarded


(B) Marks (out of 100)

(A)x(B) Weighted marks

BIBLIOGRAPHY Arson Prevention Bureau 1996 Arson: the Major Fire Threat to Places of Worslzi11 - arzd How to Prevent If, London. Binney et a1 1990 Bright Fufure - T l ~ eRe-use of Industrial Buildings, SAVE Britain's Heritage, London. British Standard 476 1984 Fire Tests or1 Building Materials and Structures: Part 4 (1984) Non Combustibility Tests for Materials, BSI, London British Standard 7913 1988 Guide to tlze Prirzciples of tlze Corzsewafion of Historic Buildings, BSI, London. Cook, Nicholas N 2000 Selecting Consultants for the Team: Balancing Quality and Price, Construction Industry Board, Thomas Telford Publishing: Tonbridge, Kent Ecclesiastical Insurance 1995 Inszirance Valuations for Cl~urclzBuildings, Gloucester. English HeritageRICS 1994 Iizsuriizg Your Historic Building, English Heritage 1997 The Use of Iiztu~?zescent Producfs irz Historic Buildings English Heritage 1997 Timber Panelled Doors and Fire Fire Protection Association 1992 Fire Protection in Old Buildings and Historic Town Centres Fire Protection Association 2000 Fire Protection Yearbook 2000/01, London. Garlick, Sir John 1986 Report by Sir Jolzlz Garlick into tlze Hampton Court Fire o n 31st Marclz 1986, Department of the Environment, South Ruislip Health and Safety Executive 1994 5 Steps to Risk Assessment, London. Historic Scotland and the Department of Natural Heritage (undated) The Care of Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments in Scotland, Edinburgh Historic Scotland 1997 Technical Advice Note 11: Fire Protection Measures in Scottish Historic Buildings, Edinburgh. Historic Scotland 1998 Technical Advice Note 14: The Irzsfallation of Sprinkler Systenzs in Historic Buildings, Edinburgh. Historic Scotland 1998 Meilzorarzdurn of Guidance on Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas, Edinburgh. Historic Scotland 1999 Proceedings of the Conference on Fire Protection and the Built Herifage, Edinburgh. Historic Scotland 2000 Consewafiorz Plans: A Guide to the Preparation of Colzsewation Plans, Edinburgh. Jackson-Robbins, Adrian 1998 Selecting Contractors by Value Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) Jerome, I 1997 Guide to Fire Safety Signs, 2nd edition, Loss Prevention Council, London. Kidd, S (ed) 1995 Heritage Under Fire, 2nd edition,

The Fire Protection Association, London. Latham, Sir Michael (Langford, D (ed))1996 Constructing the Team (publislzed as CIB Working Comi?zissiorz 65 Organisation and Managenzent of Construction Sy~nposiurn), Conseil international du Batiment, E&F Spon, London Lewis A, 1999 Tlze Prevention and Control of Arson, FPALoss Prevention Council, London Lewis, A & Dailey, W 1999 Fire Risk Management iiz the Workplace, FPALoss Prevention Council, London. Loss Prevention Council/BEC 1997 Fire Prevention on Construction Sites - the Joint Code oiz tlze Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovatiorz, 4th edition, London. Maxwell, I 1999 'Fire Protection Measures in Scottish Historic Buildings - An Introduction' in Fire Protectiorz and the Built Heritage, Historic Scotland, Edinburgh. NFPA 909 2001 Standard for the Protection of Cultural Resources Including Museums, Libmries, Places of Worship and Historic Properties NFPA 914 2001 Fire Protection in Historic Structures (under revision) PACE Central Advice Unit 1997 Crown Fire Starzdards, London. PACE Central Advice Unit 1998 Fire Safety Guide, London. PACE Central Advice Unit, 1998 Business Continuity Planning Guide, London. Parsloe, CJ 1997 Allocatiorz of Design Respo~zsibilities for Building Services, TN 21/97, BSRIA. Parsloe CJ 1997 Allocation of Design Responsibilities -Example Drawings, TN 22/97, BSRIA. Pride, Glen L 1996 Dictionary of Scottish Building, Historic ScotlandJRutland Press, Edinburgh. Royal Society 1992 Risk: Analysis, Perception, Managernerzt, London. de Saulles, T 1995 Handover Information for Building Services, TN 15/95, BSRIA Scottish Executive/Home OfficeJNI OfficeMSE 1999 Fire Safety - A n Employer S Guide, London. Scottish Fire Brigades/CACFOA Scotland 1999 A Guide to Fire Safety Risk Assessnzeizt, Edinburgh. Standing Committee on Fire Precautions 1995 Standard fire precautions for contractors: engaged on crowlz works - applicable to contractors engaged or1 works for crowrz civil and defence estates HMSO, London The Stationery Office 1995 Starzdard Fire Precautions for Corztractors erzgaged on Crown Works, London. (Under revision - December 1999) Wormald Fire Engineering 1997 Sprinkler Systenzs Explained


This section is intended to explain terms used but not fully defined in the text; it does not explain terms used in building and construction. Readers who require help in this area are directed towards Glen Pride's Dictionary of Scottish Building (qv). A fire Analogue addressable detection system detection system where each sensor has a unique identity permitting the exact location of a fire to be indicated and signalled. The deliberate setting of any fire with Arson intent to damage property or endanger life; in Scotland the crime is known as wilful fire setting.

Authenticity Defined as being true in substance. The western concept of authenticity has derived from its historical beginnings to be centred on whether or not the material truly proceeds from its reputed source or author ie material authenticity. However, in vernacular and eastern traditions, it can be seen that authenticity resides in the tradition of workmanship passed from generation to generation rather than the actual material present at the time ie authenticity in workmanship. While the debate is ongoing as to the precise meaning of authenticity in each culture, it is recognised as the one quality probably most essential to the value of sites of cultural significance. Bimetallic strip sensor A wholly obsolete method of detecting fires which utilises the differences in heat expansion of two different metals. Book stack (1) A (usually) metal, prefabricated structure of uprights and horizontals designed to provide optimum storage for books; (2) That part of a library or archive containing these. Central station A specially equipped location which monitors fire and security alarms on a 24 hour basis. Collection The books, artefacts, works of art or other items displayed, exhibited or used for study in a museum, library, gallery or similar institution. Conservation Action to secure the survival or preservation of buildings, cultural artefacts, or other thing of acknowledged value for the future. Conservation area Area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.

Cultural significance means aesthetic, historic, scientific or social value for past, present or future generations Physical material of which a building or Fabric artefact is made.

Fire appliance General term for a fire brigade vehicle. Appliances consist of 'water tenders' or 'pumps' which transport 5-7 fire fighters together with a high capacity pump and hose as well as a small supply of water. Specialist appliances include turntable ladders, hydraulic platforms and salvage vehicles. Fire authority A legal entity set up under the Fire Services Act 1947 responsible for providing fire brigade cover to a geographical location. Increasingly composed of joint boards representing a number of local authorities. A room or other part of a Fire compartment building separated from it by fire-rated construction. Device for blocking an air duct in the Fire damper event of fire. Usually operated by activation of a fusible link or electrically by smoke detection.

Fire detection system Equipment intended to detect and report the presence of a fire through sensors which respond to smoke, flame and other products of combustion. Fire protection Theory and practice of applying technology and management to reducing the probability of loss of life and property in fire. Fire-rated Description of a product or element of construction designed to withstand the effects of fire for a predetermined period. Fire-retardant A substance or treatment applied to a material to increase its resistance to fire or its products. An employee designated and trained Fire warden to undertake specified tasks (particularly evacuation of people) should a fire take place A metal component of systems (such Fusible link as the mechanism of a roller shutter or fire damper (qv)) which will melt at a predetermined temperature to allow a safety component to operate.

High reach appliance A fire brigade vehicle, such as a turntable ladder or hydraulic platform, used to gain


access to upper floors of buildings or to project water on to their roofs.

Heritage building Any building or structure which has either aesthetic or historical interest or which contains or is used for the storage or display of cultural artefacts. Hot work Any activity undertaken during construction or maintenance work which employs the use of heat or a naked flame or produces heat or sparks. Hot work permit A document issued by a responsible person to a tradesman or contractor judged to be competent to permit the performance of a task deemed to be hazardous indicating the conditions under which the work is to be undertaken. Non-combustible (1) Not capable of sustaining combustion (2) A building material tested and certified to meet the performance requirements of BS 476: Part 4. Passive fire protectionAny fire protection measure which depends on the resistance of materials to fire or products of combustion. Products of combustion Flames, heat, gases and solid matter (including residues) emitted by a fire or combustion process. Protective systems Any equipment or systems intended to protect a building or its contents from threats such as fire, intrusion, theft and flood.

Retained fire fighter A member of a local authority fire brigade who (normally) follows another full-time occupation and responds to fires only when called by radio or pager. Reversibility Concept of work to a building, part of a building or artefact being carried out in such a way that it can be reversed at some future time, without any significant damage being done. Smoke aspiration system A fire detection technique which utilises narrow bore pipes to draw air continuously from protected areas for analysis. The air sample is monitored to detect any particulate matter which would indicate a fire or incipient fire. Sprinkler head Mechanical device fitted to a water supply network which opens at a pre-determined temperature and showers water in a predetermined pattern into a protected area. Suppression system Any equipment or mechanism designed to (usually) discharge automatically a firefighting agent (such as water or an inert gas) with the intention of controlling or extinguishing a fire. Volunteer fire fighter A fire fighter usually attached to a small, geographically-remote fire station such as those found in north-west Scotland. Called to fires in the same sort of way as retained fire fighters, volunteers are not necessarily trained to the same standards and receive no remuneration.


The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, The Glasite Meeting House, 33 Barony Street, Edinburgh EH3 6NX Tel0131 557 0019; Fax 0131 557 0049. Arson Prevention Bureau 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ Tel0207 216 7474; Fax 0207 696 8996 Association of British Insurers, 5 1 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ Tel0207 600 3333; Fax 0207 696 8999. British Automatic Sprinkler Association, Richmond House, Broad Street, Ely, CB7 4AH Tel 01353 659 187. British Fire Protection Systems Association, Neville House, 55 Eden Street, Kingston-upon- Thames, Surrey KT1 1BW Tel 0208 549 5855; Fax 0208 547 1564. Building Services Research and Information Association Old Bracknell Lane West, Bracknell, Berks RG12 7AH Tel01344 426 51 1; Fax 01344 487 575 British Standards Institution, 389 Chiswick High Road, London W4 4AL Tel0208 996 9000; Fax 0208 996 7400. Building Research Establishment Ltd, Bucknall's Lane, Garston, Watford, Herts WD2 7JR Tel 01923 664 4000; Fax 01923 664 4010. Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Scottish Region, c10 Steensen, Varming Mulcahy and Partners, The Matrix, 64 Newhaven Road, Edinburgh EH6 5QB Tel 013 1 554 3666; Fax 0131 555 1723. Chiltern International Fire Limited, Stocking Lane, Hughenden Valley, High Wycombe, Bucks HP14 4ND Tel01494 563 091; Fax 01494 565 487 (Note: Chiltern International Fire Limited is the fire division of TRADA (Timber Research and Development Association) at the same address).

Fire Extinguishing Trades Association, Neville House, 55 Eden Street, Kingston-upon- Thames, Surrey KT1 1BW Tel 0208 549 8839; Fax 0208 547 1564. Fire Protection Association, Bastille Court, 2 Paris Garden, London SE1 8ND Tel 0207 902 5300; Fax 0207 902 5301. Fire-resistant Glass and Glazed Systems Association, 20 Park Street, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, HP27 9AH Tel01844 275500. Glass and Glazing Federation, Fire Resistant Glazing Group, 4 4 4 8 , Borough High Street, London, SE1 1XB Tel0207 403 7177; Fax 0207 357 7458. Guild of Architectural Ironmongers, 8 Stepney Green, London E l 3JU Tel 0207 790 3431; Fax 0207 790 8517. Government Historic Buildings Advisory Unit, English Heritage, 23 Savile Row, London WIX 1AB Tel0207 973 3722; Fax 0207 973 3792. Health and Safety Executive, Belford House, 59 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3UE Tel 0131 247 2000; Fax 0131 247 2121. Historic Scotland, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH9 1SH Tel0131 668 8600; Fax 0131 668 8788. Institute of Fire Safety, PO Box 687, Croydon CR9 5DD Tel0208 654 2582 Institute of Public Loss Assessors Limited, 14 Red Lion Street, Chesham, Bucks HP5 1HB Tel01494 782 342; Fax 01494 774 928. Institution of Fire Engineers, 148 Upper New Walk, Leicester LE1 7QB Tel0116 255 3654; Fax 01 16 247 1231. Institution of Structural Engineers, Scottish Branch, c10 D J Nicoll, 4 Dixon Road, Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire G84 9DW. Tel01436 675 100.

Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, 5 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DR Tel0131 220 7720; Fax 0131 2207730

International Council on Monuments and Sites, 10 Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4PH Tel 0208 994 6477; Fax 0208 747 8464.

English Heritage, 23 Savile Row, London W1X 1AB Tel0207 973 3000; Fax 0207 973 3001.

Intumescent Fire Seals Association, 20 Park Street, Princes Risborough, Bucks HP27 9AH Tel 01844 275500; Fax 01844 274002.

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