Open and transparent dialogue with Fire & Rescue Services is essential to tunnel development being completed in time and on budget, according to Mark Reilly of the Fire Safety Assessment Unit, Fire & Rescue NSW.
“The sooner you can engage representatives from the Fire Rescue Service, the better,” he says. “Be open and transparent so that fire safety can be incorporated as easily and economically as possible. The sooner we can start having discussions, the quicker the managers or developers can take fire safety requirements into consideration.”
Mark has served in Fire & Rescue NSW for 32 years and is responsible for managing a team of uniformed fire safety officers and civilian fire engineers who provide advice and input into major state infrastructure projects, high rise commercial and residential developments and major hazards facilities.
He is currently the FRNSW fire safety leader on a number of major infrastructure projects that have extensive tunneling components and has responded to a number of incidents in the underground infrastructure of Sydney CBD and inner precinct.
Mark says the most common fire safety issues he encounters in tunnel development relate to safe evacuation – both for intervention points for firefighters and exit paths for users. “It’s important to remember that developers have a duty of care to keep people who use their tunnels safe.”
While historically there had often been a lack of engagement with Fire Rescue Services, Mark says there has been a vast improvement in recent years. Not only does this lead to fewer complications late in the development, it also allows the Fire Service to better understand the needs of the infrastructure developer.
Mark Reilly will be facilitating a workshop on “Mitigating risk in emergencies through stakeholder collaboration” at the fourth annual Tunnel Safety & Fire Protection Conference in February. Book your conference ticket by November 20th to save $500.