Fire Hazard Assessments
Understand the probability of fires or explosions and their impact on your facility.
We are experts in Fire Assessments. PLC Fire Safety Engineering (PLC) is an engineering firm specializing in fire protection, with expertise in fire hazard assessments and fire risk assessments for facilities in a number of industry sectors across Canada and Internationally.
Our fire assessment team is knowledgeable in the design, installation, commissioning and inspection of fire and life safety systems, making us the perfect company to assess your facility.
Hazard Assessment Services
A Fire Hazard Assessment uses technical methods to identify possible fire ignition sources and conditions that may result in fire or explosion and to determine the appropriate fire protection systems for a facility.
Risk Assessment Services
A Fire Risk Assessment or Probabilistic Risk Assessment is a comprehensive analysis to determine the risk of fire or explosion, by analyzing loss data to determine what can go wrong, the likelihood of such failures, and the resulting consequences.
Our fire risk assessment services team has extensive technical expertise and the necessary industry experience to adequately analyze your facility for hazards and the probability of fire and explosion. The team’s extensive fire and life safety knowledge and experience, combined with industry-related experience, make PLC an ideal candidate to inspect your facility and analyze your operations for potential fire and explosion hazards and the probability of fire and explosion incidents.
PLC’s hands-on approach means our fire safety engineers can accurately document each facility’s building configuration, fuel sources, potential ignition sources, and unique physical and operating characteristics.
We know that every facility and every client is different, and we are prepared to handle any challenge. Wherever possible, our fire assessments leverage fire simulation technologies, including our proprietary hazard assessment software. For some clients—particularly in industrial sectors—assessments involve formal, defined methodology and have specific reporting requirements.
We are completely comfortable in these scenarios, thanks to our experience with a range of fire hazard assessment and fire risk assessment reporting methods, including:
- Computer-Based Fire Modeling
- Structural Response Modeling
- Fire Protection System Response Modeling
- Explosion Hazard Assessment (Gases and Dust)
- Preliminary Hazard Assessment (PHA)
- Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOP)
- Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
- Event Tree Analysis
Fire Assessment Experts
PLC engineers are experts in modelling, simulation, and the use of assessment software such as CFAST, and we have also developed specific tools to assist with the coordination of hazard data and protection information for larger industrial sites.
In the nuclear industry, for example, N293- and M393- compliant plants and facilities are required to revise and reaffirm their Fire Protection Assessments (FPAs) at least once every five years. This process includes updating their Fire Hazard Assessments (FHAs) and Fire Safe Shutdown Analyses (FSSA). These assessments often demand a substantial investment of finances, time, and resources.
The Value of Hazard Assessment Software
Our proprietary nuclear industry hazard assessment software – Performance-Based Fire Assessment for Nuclear Safety, or PB Fans as we commonly call it – also allows our clients real-time access to current plant information and the impacts of ongoing changes in facility conditions.
Our approach ensures that changes in facility conditions are confirmed on-site, reviewed, and evaluated soon after implementation. This process allows us and our clients the ability to continually maintain nuclear fire protection assessment technical content, including fire hazard assessments and fire safe shutdown analyses, as per regulatory standard requirements.
Closer to the end of the update cycles, our team inspects the facility to confirm the latest conditions and completes necessary updates to the assessments, ready for delivery to our clients. PLC’s innovative approach to maintaining fire protection assessments allows for early schedule planning, reduced financial commitments, and optimal resource utilization.
The PLC Fire Assessment Process
Our fire assessments are built upon extensive data collected through in-depth facility inspections and our industry experience. When completing a fire assessment of your facility, our process is as follows.
- Our team of fire assessment engineers visit your facility and meet with your operations team to identify possible fire and explosion hazards or the probability of unacceptable risks, depending on the type of assessment required. We also review how these hazards and risks may impact occupants and property in and around the facility. There are several different types of hazards that could be present depending on your industry and type of facility; check out our FAQs below for more information on the types of hazards and risks that PLC encounters on a regular basis.
- Where original design and construction documents are available, we will review them and incorporate information obtained from these documents into our analyses and report.
- We will assess the identified hazards and risks and recommend life safety and fire protection measures and systems to mitigate or avoid entirely all potential risks of injury or damage from future fire or explosion events.
- We will document all-important findings into our assessment report and can work with your facility team to plan and design system upgrades, inform, instruct, and train operations staff in new life safety systems, and provide instructions for future fire assessments to reduce financial commitments, mitigate downtime and ensure optimal resource utilization.
Once we have completed the fire assessment report, we will schedule future fire assessment inspections with your facility. Where regular fire assessments are required by your industry’s governing body, we will work with your operations team to schedule ongoing update inspections to minimize time spent on the next formal report submitted to the governing body.
PLC’s understanding of the engineering fundamentals, enhanced by years of practical experience, means we bring crucial expertise and the right technologies for hazard identification, hazard quantification, and establishing the appropriate loss control measures.
How Can We Help?
We’d love to understand your fire and life safety needs to see how we can help. Please reach out to us to schedule a conversation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a fire hazard assessment?
- A Fire Hazard Assessment (FHA) is a comprehensive analysis of the potential for fire in a building while ensuring that the possibility of injury to people or damage to buildings, equipment, or the environment is within acceptable limits. Our fire assessment services team will review the facility, including the hazards and the protection measures in place. The assessment results will conclude if the appropriate levels of fire protection for your facility are in place or if additional protection measures are needed.
What is a fire risk assessment?
- A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) or Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) is a comprehensive analysis to determine the risk of fire or explosion, by analyzing loss data to determine what can go wrong (i.e. failures), the likelihood of such failures, and the resulting consequences. Thus, fire risk assessments or probabilistic risk assessments provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the design and operations of a facility.
What is the difference between a fire hazard assessment and a fire risk assessment?
- A fire hazard assessment is the identification of potential fire hazards and the protection measures in place to control them and prevent unacceptable fire loss. A fire risk assessment is similar to a fire hazard assessment as they both evaluate the fire hazards, but the risk assessment will include a detailed evaluation of fire data to quantify the probability of fires occurring. With PLC’s extensive technical expertise and experience, we can complete both types of fire safety assessments for your facility.
Why is it important to obtain a fire assessment for my facility?
- Obtaining a fire assessment and ensuring a safe facility can significantly reduce loss of life and property, should a fire incident occur; while also ensuring that your business operations are safe from long-term interruptions. Additionally, there may be legal requirements for routine fire safety assessment, depending on your industry.
How long will the assessment take?
- Depending on the size of the facility and the complexity of the operations, a typical assessment can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 year to complete. For example, an assessment of a six-storey apartment building can be completed in 2-3 weeks and a large industrial facility may take anywhere from 4 – 12 months.
What is the next step after a fire assessment of my facility has been completed?
- After completion of the fire assessment, PLC where necessary will work with facility owners and operators to determine options for managing risks and provide fire system designs (passive and active) where necessary, assist with the construction management and commission the systems where required. PLC can also work with facility owners to plan for future fire assessments to ensure regulatory compliance, reduce time and mitigate added costs.
How often does my facility require a fire assessment?
- Fire safety assessment should be completed during the design phase of any facility. It should be done when an existing facility is modified or a new hazard is introduced. It may also be determined by regulations in your industry. For example, nuclear facilities typically require their fire safety assessments to be updated every five years.
Which types of fire hazards and risks are PLC most familiar with?
- PLC’s fire assessment team is educated and trained to identify various fire and explosion hazards and risks for various industries. Some examples include:
- Facilities with vulnerable occupants (e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, senior assisted living homes, penitentiaries/jailhouses, etc.);
- Hazardous processes involving the storage and handling of flammable/combustible liquids, flammable gases, combustible dust, etc.;
- High rise buildings;
- Nuclear sites (radioactive materials, protection of nuclear reactor safety systems, etc.);
- Facilities with high occupant numbers (arenas, dance clubs, schools, etc.);
- Wildland fire exposures;
- Hazardous Equipment (oil-filled transformers, diesel generators, high voltage electrical rooms, etc.);
Which industry sectors does PLC specialize in for fire assessments?
- PLC team provides fire safety assessment services for health care, institutional, residential/commercial, facilities with combustible dust hazards (wood industrial, pharmaceutical industry, and agricultural/food industry) and various industrial applications with extensive experience in the nuclear industry.
Why should I hire PLC to complete my fire assessment?
- PLC has decades of technical expertise and industry experience performing fire assessments in facilities throughout Canada and Internationally. In addition, members of our team participate on committees for the National Building Code of Canada, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada. PLC’s innovative approach allows for early schedule planning, reduced financial commitments and optimal resource utilization.
Download our Complete Services Guide
Our Services Guide provides complete descriptions of all our fire and life safety services, a mapping of services to sectors, plus information about our:
- Quality Management Program
- Health and Safety Program
- Corporate Security Program