This section of National Operational Guidance identifies the hazards and control measures that should be considered when writing policies for dealing with fires in buildings. For the purposes of this guidance buildings are defined as "permanent surface or sub-surface structures that are partially or wholly covered”.
It contains information relating to various types of building design and construction materials. It also describes how building facilities and systems can impact on fire and rescue service intervention. The guidance recognises and reflects findings from significant incidents in the UK,
This guidance is underpinned by information from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) making it easier for the user to find their way through the guidance without an overload of technical information. The BRE supplementary information, which is referred to throughout the guidance, includes information on:
- Building design
- Construction materials
- Fire protection
- Facilities for firefighters
- Occupancy of the building
The guidance presumes that buildings comply with relevant regulations. However, some buildings may have been altered or changed since their original construction, such as a change of use, extensions or conversions. These changes may have been unregulated and could have an impact on the incident. For example, the structure or compartments may have been breached due to modifications to the original construction, compromising the fire separation within the building.
Depending on the nature and scale of the operational incident, a variety of significant hazards may be encountered. Where appropriate, other sections of National Operational Guidance should be referred to.
Guidance for fires in the built environment is supported by National Operational Guidance: Fires and firefighting, as it includes:
- Fire loading
- Compartment firefighting
- Firefighting media and techniques
- Fire and thermal radiation
- Flashover, backdraught and fire gas ignition
- Smoke and fire gases