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Unlike most fire investigation companies, IFIC Forensics is uniquely placed to provide clients with expert capability in fire engineering. As well as pursuing his career in fire investigation, Chairman and Principal Investigator, Professor James Lygate, trained and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Engineer underpinned by his MSc in Fire Safety Engineering and a PhD in Hazard Analysis. His breadth of experience has seen him appointed as a fire engineering expert witness on many complex building cases where building design and/or refurbishment has been at issue or cited as responsible for the spread of fire resulting in damage to property and /or loss of life. Establishing a culture of technical excellence within the business, Prof. Lygate has ensured that the IFIC Forensics’ team has been trained and developed to place fire engineering principles at the centre of their fire investigations.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy many buildings across the country, both public sector and private, have failed the fire safety tests ordered by the Government. There are a range of measures which require to be considered including replacing cladding, installing sprinklers, improving escape routes, providing detection and warning, firefighting strategy, the “stay put” advice and updating fire risk assessments. The cost implications are significant. Building owners will be seeking to recoup their costs by establishing liability for the failings by their architects, fire risk assessors, contractors and suppliers, who in turn will look to their professional indemnity insurers should fault be proven.

IFIC Forensics is equipped with the vital fire engineering expertise to support clients in defending or pursuing recovery in relation to such building regulations / fire safety cases.

Our proactive approach ensures rapid, consistent and high quality service delivery which focuses on the following key areas:-

  • In depth knowledge of the Building Regulations, Approved Document B (ADB) and the Scottish Technical Standards (STS);
  • Understanding of the applicability of small scale fire tests to demonstrating compliance with ADB and the STS;
  • Fundamental understanding of the reaction of materials to fire and their role in promoting / resisting fire spread;
  • The fire risk assessment of complex buildings where there is significant life risk.

For further information on building fire safety tests see our Building Regulations and Fire Safety Requirements advice sheet, issued as an industry alert in June 2017.

Prof. Lygate is campaigning to improve the current building fire safety test regime and to establish the need for fire risk assessments of complex buildings to be approved by a Chartered Fire Engineer.

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