Fire Compartment & Structural Fire Protection Surveys
An essential starting point for most buildings without an existing system for Article 17 compliance is a building survey.
This can be either a Fire Compartment Survey or a Structural Fire Protection Survey, when in addition to the fire compartmentation we can investigate other built-in fire rated elements such as protection to the building’s structural steels, fire rated soffits & ceilings and fire rated ductwork. The external cladding can also be included if this is known or thought to be an issue.
A typical fire compartment survey will be of fire compartment walls, floor slabs, soffits, fire resisting doors and voids, including those in the roof and at the perimeter edge, to investigate what is in situ and to what extent it is likely to be fire compliant, but it may be limited to, say, just the seals, service penetrations, gaps and other imperfections in fire walls if this is what is required.
Both types of building survey can take the form of a full survey, where every element of the building is inspected forensically, or may be limited to an ‘indicative’ survey where generic issues of potential non-compliance can be investigated. The survey can also be visual, i.e. non-invasive, invasive or a mixture of both.
Because of the different options available, before the survey takes place it will be necessary to agree the ‘survey protocols’ that will apply.
Any form of survey will look to use whatever information is available including building drawings, fire strategy reports, fire door / fire damper schedules and specification details, often available to a greater or lesser degree in hard or electronic O & M manuals.
Similarly, survey reports will be tailored to a client’s needs:
If it is an indicative survey it can detail all or various building elements as listed in the ‘Regulation 7 Audit section’ and report issues found, together with photos and their locations to clearly indicate and record generic defects; providing ‘ball park’ budget figures and recommendations if required.
If it is a detailed survey we would normally photograph and record every defect electronically, including marked drawings and schedules and in such detail as would allow the required remedial work to be priced by a ‘competitive tender’ process. As with the actual survey we will agree the format and composition of the Survey Report before the work takes place so that the information is compiled in the format and detail required.