Fire safety education and training in architecture: an exploratory study

Studies have shown that building designs contribute greatly to the magnitude of fire in building with severe consequences on safety of life and property. Hence, fire safety is an important consideration in building design which architects seek to fulfil at the early stage of design. Knowledge of fire safety amongst architects can aid the design of safer buildings in terms of fire protection. Fire safety designs are expected to meet the provisions in Approved document B of the UK Building Regulations which specifies basic fire safety requirements. The main objective of this paper is to explore the educational underpinning of architects with respect to designing fire safe buildings. This paper is based on literature review and interviews conducted among architects both in academia and in practice to ascertain the need for fire safety education in architecture, and as a working knowledge for practicing architects. Findings show that architects undergo fire safety education under different modules, but not as a distinct course. Fire safety education provides architects with basic understanding of fire safety principles, and to determine when to consult fire experts. Recommendations include creating a separate course on fire safety and if taught as part of other modules, more time/ depth should be allocated to its contents.