EA shares approach to fire prevention plans

The EA is prepared to be flexible on how organisations meet fire prevention plan (FPP) requirements, Wiser Environment learnt last month.

Attending the Fire Prevention and Control Conference organised by the Environment Media Group, Wiser Environment heard speakers from the Environment Agency (EA), the Chief Fire Officers Association and Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) share opinions on FPP guidance and how best to prevent fires.

??????The EA explained the principles behind the fire prevention planning requirements, outlining its three core objectives – minimising fire risk, a fire to be extinguished within four hours and minimising the spread of fire. Whilst the FPP guidance outlines steps that need to be taken, the EA suggested they were willing to be flexible in the interpretation of the guidance and allow alternative measures to be proposed if they meet the three core objectives. The EA admitted that they were unable to provide examples of this flexible approach in practice as it was still early days.

Charles Thomas, Consultancy Director, Wiser Environment said: “Whilst we welcome clarification from the EA on their application of the guidance, the reality is that around half of submitted FPPs are currently rejected, costing businesses time and money. The process is complex so we would advise that anyone submitting a plan consults a specialist. Wiser Environment retains a 100% success rate in getting FPPs approved by understanding the complexities and liaising extensively with the EA.”

Other discussions at the conference included the disbanding of the EA Fire Panel and training for staff so that local officers and national permitting can the lead on Fire Prevention Plans and the initial results from the fire tests carried out by WISH in order to build their own guidance on fire prevention.