The use of fire engineering procedures for design of fire safety components to increase the standard of fire safety in historic buildings is no different to the use of such procedures in non-historic or new buildings. However, the need to apply components of fire technology to historic buildings has to be established properly by the results of appropriate risk assessment procedures. The preservation of the character of the historic building is of paramount importance to the managers (owners) of the building and modified (reduced) standards of safety, when compared with new buildings, may be acceptable to the local authorities (government). It may be that some conventional fire engineering component solutions cannot be installed in an historic building. In such cases the fire engineering concepts of trade-off and equivalent safety may be used to ensure that the objective of necessary risk reduction is achieved. In this paper some of the features that are characteristic of historic buildings are discussed; and the application of fire engineering procedures is described. It seems that the greatest skill needed by the fire engineer is the process of selection of the components of fire technology that can be installed sensitively in an historic building and that will enhance the standard of fire safety significantly (0).
A strategy to identify fire safety factors, interactions and associated domains of knowledge is articulated. A management strategy to assess the life safety potential of occupants in historic buildings is developed. The concept of time available versus time required is employed to establish a safety index for the purpose of characterising public assembly areas in historic buildings, with respect to life safety. Equivalency is determined by comparison with a predetermined benchmark value which represents the status quo. The need for management procedures to be sufficiently flexible and capable of accommodating external perturbations is emphasised.