Last edited 06 Oct 2020

Fire safety engineer



[edit] Introduction

Setting the bar. A new competence regime for building a safer future. The Final Report of the Competence Steering Group for Building a Safer Future, published in October 2020, defines fire safety engineering: ‘Application of engineering methods to the development or assessment of designs in the built environment through the analysis of specific fire scenarios or through the quantification of risk for a group of fire scenarios.’

Fire safety engineers may also be referred to as fire safety specialists and several other professional titles - there is no fixed title or role, as is the case with many jobs in the construction and building management industries. Some of the responsibilities of a fire safety engineer may overlap with those of a fire engineer. For more, see Fire Protection Engineering.

[edit] Responsibilities

The primary responsibility of a fire safety engineer is to ensure that buildings are designed, constructed and renovated in a manner that minimises the risk of fire and prevent its spread, should a fire occur. This involves making recommendations based on research and engineering principles that would be suitable for the type of building being constructed or renovated. The recommendations also ensure that projects meet safety codes, regulations and requirements to protect people, property and the environment from the destructive effects of fire.

Fire safety engineers may:

[edit] Employment potential

Fire safety engineers may be employed full time in high risk industries such as oil refinery and chemical manufacture. They may also work for organisations such as architectural firms, property developers, insurance companies, engineering consultants, landlords, contractors, local authorities and so on.

Fire safety engineers work closely with architects, risk assessors and building services engineers. It is possible for fire safety engineers to specialise in a type of building (such as commercial, residential or mixed use, or even more narrowly in healthcare, education or retail, for instance) as they become more established in their careers.

[edit] Qualifications

Fire safety engineers should be appropriately educated, trained and experienced. There are a number of paths to qualification.

The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) is the professional body that represents fire engineers. The IFE registers suitably qualified IFE members as Chartered Engineers, Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technicians.

In Scotland, a degree level course for fire safety engineers has been available at the University of Edinburgh since 1974. It is one of the earliest programmes of its kind and includes degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Ulster University also has a Fire Safety Engineering Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Science, and the University of Central Lancashire offers an MSc in Fire Safety Engineering.

Fire safety engineers should understand:

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