(GMT +2)
Mining News
SA fire-protection regulatory framework still immature, warns ASP Fire
27 May 2019
SA fire-protection regulatory framework still immature, warns ASP Fire

Buildings that accommodate large numbers of the public are often not designed with specific occupant characteristics in mind. Shoppers are often unfamiliar with the layout of the emergency escape paths and are unaware of sounding fire alarms and other emergency systems. 
Large buildings such as shopping centres, very tall buildings, or highly-hazardous industrial environments are not specifically catered for in South Africa’s codes and standards, according to ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk.

“South Africa’s fire-protection regulatory framework is relatively young compared to British, European, and North American standards and codes. We often have to refer to standards and codes outside of our framework, or we have to resort to performance-based fire-engineering designs to develop a safe and practical fire-protection solution,” van Niekerk comments.

“We have experienced a high demand for assistance in developing designs for new buildings, as well as requirements for bringing existing non-compliant buildings, especially older buildings, up to standard. I see the industry growing both in terms of size and depth of knowledge as more engineers specialise in fire engineering.”

As a turnkey fire-engineering solutions provider, ASP Fire works closely with the professional design team to provide cost-effective, compliant fire-protection solutions, and either supplies and installs equipment directly, or manages sub-contractors installing the equipment. With about 13 shopping centre fire-risk evaluations to date, ASP Fire is well-placed to comment on the regulatory and health-and-safety requirements for smaller shopping centres.

“The nature of retail stores implies that there will always be a degree of fire risk that shoppers or retailers are exposed to. The key is limiting the exposure, or mitigating the fire risks, so that the environment is safe for everyone, including the young, the elderly, and those with disabilities. This process requires careful assessment of the fire risks, and a comprehensive fire safety design that integrates all aspects of the mall’s fire-safety elements,” van Niekerk explains.

Most retailers and shopping mall owners are not aware of the full extent of the regulatory fire-safety requirements that they must comply with. Retailers often believe that the mall management is responsible for their fire safety, while the mall management holds the opposite view. Certain malls have outdated or unserviceable fire detection or sprinkler protection equipment installation, and management is unaware that the systems will not work in the event of a fire.

Fires can be dealt with through three main actions: The first is controlling the growth of the fire to prevent it from spreading; the next is suppression, which involves cooling the fire rapidly. Finally, extinguishing the fire means that there is no heated substance remaining. Evacuation should also be safe and easy, while allowing unrestricted access for emergency services. The installed fire-detection system must be able to detect the fire as soon as possible, warn occupants, and allow them to escape in time.

“We also provide flammable liquid-store designs and certification, special-risk fire protection systems, visual safety-awareness programmes, SHEQ safety file drafting and implementation, emergency response and business continuity plans, emergency evacuation plan design, emergency evacuation drills, and fire equipment training,” van Niekerk elaborates.

ASP Fire also offers standardised and customised client training. The client has the option to select a standard fire risk and safety course, or have a customised training programme developed around individually specific needs, or the areas indicated in the fire-safety risk-assessment report.

News ArticleView Article
Easing the pain of liquid spill clean-ups View
Cummins continues to drive growth in Africa with service focus and latest technology View
Next-generation receiving and dispatch software suite takes the weight off logistics operations View
Specialised demolition services for furnace structures View
Skyriders consults on fall-protection plan for platinum-smelter project View
Cummins AME introduces digital solutions to maximise vehicle uptime View
Milwaukee Power Tools plays a key role in revolutionising sensitive blasting-and-drilling View
Multi-franchise Nelspruit branch meets all Goscor needs under one roof View
Mandirk Lifting offers Ingersoll Rand, Enerpac range for A-to-Z solutions View
Anchoring the underground mining industry with fischer fixings View
Our Partners
ArriveAlive ALCO-Safe
Alcohol Breathalysers PSA
HSE Solutions Old Mutual iWyze
Ctrack Intelligent Solutions Become a Partner
Become a Partner Become a Partner
Quick Links
  • Easing the pain of liquid spill cle
  • Cummins continues to drive growth i
  • Next-generation receiving and dispa
  • Specialised demolition services for
  • Skyriders consults on fall-protecti
  • Cummins AME introduces digital solu
  • Milwaukee Power Tools plays a key r
  • Multi-franchise Nelspruit branch me
  • Mandirk Lifting offers Ingersoll Ra
  • Anchoring the underground mining in
  •        Articles
  • What is a water audit and why does
  • What to Consider When Hiring Equipm
  • How to Apply for Mining Finance
  • Top Tips for Improving Welding Safe
  • Behaviour based safety programmes r
  • Training and preparedness the steps
  • DRA Sets Gold Standard On Elikhulu
  • How drones are assisting companies
  • Dangerous jobs: what is and is not
  • Safety Tips for Working With a Dump
  •        Useful Links
  • Mining Laws
  • Training
  • Downloads
  • Blog
  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • Home  |   Contact  |   Browser  |   Disclaimer  |   Privacy Policy  |   CMS    
    © 2019 Mining Safety