Revised British Standard BS 7974 on fire safety engineering published by BSI 

The original British Standard for fire safety engineering, BS 7974, was published in 2001 and has been supplemented by a series of later guidance documents – PD 7974-1 to 8 – covering each sub-system of application in greater detail.

Since 2001, there have been major changes within the fire and construction industry involving working practices and the regulatory framework, as well as new research, all of which prompted an update to the existing guidance framework. As a result, BSI has significantly revised the 2001 edition of BS 7974 and has published a new version entitled BS 7974:2019 – Application of Fire Safety Engineering Principles to the Design of Buildings.

The principal changes include:

*the incorporation of recommendations previously contained in PD 7974-0:2002 and PD 7974-8:2012

*a greater emphasis on the competence of the fire safety engineer

*additional recommendations for the quality assurance and verification of fire safety engineering reports

*the terminology has been simplified and consolidated. The underlying process of fire safety engineering based on the qualitative design review has not changed, but every effort has been made to ensure that the terms used to describe that process are consistent throughout the standard.

Reporting methodology

The British Standard sets out a reporting methodology which allows for a design to be readily assessed by approval bodies. It’s intended to facilitate the practice of fire safety engineering and in particular to:

*provide the designer with a disciplined approach to fire safety design

*allow the safety levels for alternative designs to be compared

*provide a basis for the selection of appropriate fire protection systems

*provide opportunities for innovative design

*provide information and assessment methods to support the design, construction, management and operation of buildings

Fire protection strategies

Ant Burd, head of the built environment at BSI, said: “As the demand for better and more innovative building design grows, the safety and protection of people – along with the asset itself – from fire remains of paramount importance. Based upon scientific and engineering insight, this framework allows for a range of alternative and complementary fire protection strategies that enable all of the design objectives to still be fulfilled safely.”

*BS 7974:2019 is a significant revision of the existing British Standard BS 7974 published in 2001. More information on the revised standard can be found here

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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