Orion Fire Engineering Ltd

Building a Safer Future Champion Awardee

‘We are a privately owned professional services organisation providing fire engineering consultancy services in accordance with Part B of Building Regulations within the construction industry. We give design advice, aiming to comply with or improve upon the recommendations of BS 9999, BS 9991, Fire Safety: Approved Document B and other statutory requirements and legislation.

We cover the whole of England and Wales and work on projects from small residential refurbishments to multi-block masterplan sites with project values ranging from £500k to £300m.’

Our journey so far – what we’ve learnt

‘One of the main drivers for setting up the organisation was to prioritise life safety above all else.  We felt that for too long fire consultants have been reducing the scope and quality of the services they provide, while simultaneously increasing their fees to take advantage of the high demand for their services.  We wanted to provide a service that helps our clients right the way through from planning to construction and occupation, so that the eventual owner/occupier is confident that the fire safety measures included at the design stage have been properly implemented.

When we heard about the BSF Champion assessment, we immediately wanted to get involved.  We felt we could learn so much from how other industries prioritise safety and how that could be applied to construction, however we also felt that we had a lot to contribute to the construction industry and particularly how fire engineering services should be carried out.  We want to take the focus away from completing as much billable work as possible in a short amount of time, and instead encourage the industry to change their perception of the fire engineer’s scope from minimum compliance to a critical component of building design and construction, ultimately delivering buildings with life safety prioritised throughout.

It’s been fascinating so far to gain insight into how our employees at all levels feel about how we deliver our services.  The process has given us confidence that our ethos is being adopted throughout the organisation, along with highlighting some areas for improvement which we are already considering.  We are also hoping that our experience can assist other consultancies with how they can put more focus on life safety in the delivery of their services, and that we can learn from other organisations who have made the same commitment as we have.  If we can in some way help drive a culture change in the construction industry, we can hopefully arrive at a place where building owners/occupiers are rightfully confident that their environment is a safe place.  This can only be a good thing for all of us.’