From education to employment

Fire safety engineer (degree)



K1: The mathematical, scientific and engineering principles, methods and modelling that contribute and help to develop the design and construction to create a fire safe and sustainable built and natural environment. The analysis and understanding of fire growth and smoke movement, determining the behaviour of materials in fire, the behaviour of structure and people’s reaction to fire, as well as limitations that come with different analytical approaches. Back to Duty

K2: Understanding of the first principles of fire engineering including: fire dynamics, smoke dynamics, heat transfer, human behaviour, psychological impact of fire on humans, physiological impacts of fire (tenability), combustion process, products of combustion, structural response. Back to Duty

K3: Legal and regulatory frameworks, that govern the life cycle of the built environment such as Building Regulations, Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order. Back to Duty

K4: The differences between regulation, statutory guidance, British and European Standard guidance, and guidance produced by others, e.g. trade bodies. Back to Duty

K5: The application of the regulatory framework affecting the life cycle of the building i.e. from concept design through to occupation and beyond. Back to Duty

K6: Construction fundamentals including what makes a structure, construction methods and construction types. What designers are involved in the design of a structure (e.g. structures and their component parts), how they fundamentally work together as a system, and key design decision drivers (i.e. sustainability, energy, natural lighting etc.). The different fire hazards that arise from different construction methods (modular, mass timber, timber frame, etc). An understanding of common fire safety defects. Back to Duty

K7: Fire performance and material classifications (including reaction to fire, fire resistance and surface spread of flame), the test procedures associated with these and the certification process. Limitations of the tests and the applicability and suitability of the tests for the proposed purpose or function. This will include the difference between direct field of application and extended field of applications and limitation of such assessments. Back to Duty

K8: Principles of both active and passive groups of fire protection systems and the individual systems within both groups. Understanding of the principles to include function and application, cause and effect matrices, cost benefit analysis, interaction between systems, limitations, design freedoms and compensations, their design and use during and after construction. Back to Duty

K9: The principles, techniques and methodologies of risk assessment used to evaluate the impact of fire safety on life, property and environment in the built environment. This includes the importance and limitations of tools used to measure, enhance or protect welfare, health and safety and sustainability. Back to Duty

K10: Management and maintenance requirements for different fire safety strategies, systems and the impact these may have on owners / tenants during the life cycle of the building. Back to Duty

K11: A range of research techniques used to develop acceptable and safe solutions to fire engineering problems and the use of current and emerging technologies, products and fire safety data and research. Understanding of the use and validation of software, codes and data gathering to model, evaluate, test, build and manage fire safe buildings with an awareness of limitation of software and data. Back to Duty

K12: Building life cycle management, using acquired knowledge to understand the impact of their design from a commercial and practical viability viewpoint and demonstrate an awareness of fire safety beyond design into construction and occupation. This includes how fire safety measures are specified, constructed and maintained by others. Back to Duty

K13: Managing teams and developing staff to meet changing technical and managerial needs including reviewing and appraising performance in relation to delivery of fire engineering projects. Back to Duty

K14: The principles and techniques of effective project management to time cost and quality. Utilising change-management techniques and impacts on project design and delivery. Understanding the design and construction stages RIBA, BIM and other PM tools. Back to Duty

K15: Safe systems of work, their management and application. Back to Duty

K16: UK Engineering Council’s and other relevant codes of conduct and ethical principles. Back to Duty

K17: The capabilities and limitations of the fire service and how building design can facilitate safe and effective fire service intervention. Firefighting objectives that may need to be considered during an operational incident include: firefighter safety; life safety of building users; loss control; business continuity; property and environmental protection. Back to Duty

K18: The key topics related to sustainable development and how fire safety design methods can impact on these, and where challenges can arise with competing design requirements. Examples include the significance of carbon and climate change; building energy use; material selection; responsible procurement and efficient use of resources during construction; life cycle costing. Back to Duty


S1: Use and evaluate modelling software including smoke and evacuation models. Back to Duty

S2: Develop and or review, safe, technical solutions to fire safety engineering problems through the use of research techniques, current and emerging technologies, products and innovations as well as best practice. Examples include: ability to use of range of research methods to collect and analyses data to draw well-founded practical conclusions for implementation, applicable research strategy and methodology, literature searches. Back to Duty

S3: Communicate effectively and provide guidance to others using appropriate language to suit the audience through varying methods: design models, calculations, reports, drawings, specifications, presentations, digital media and discussions with those both inside and outside the industry. Back to Duty

S4: Demonstrate solutions proposed are safe and the level of safety they provide. Critically analyse prescriptive recommendations and alternative solutions, the use of bench-marking, cost/benefit and sensitivity analysis. Back to Duty

S5: Illustrate/present Fire Safety Engineering solutions to the appropriate level of detail for concept design and detailed design. Back to Duty

S6: Coordinate fire safety solutions with technical and non-technical people. Back to Duty

S7: Review and interpret fire related information such as product certification and test reports, cause and effect information and design detail drawings. Back to Duty

S8: Carry out and record the continuing professional development necessary to maintain and enhance knowledge and competence as a fire safety engineer. Back to Duty

S9: Interpret and apply design and quality standards including codes of practice, legal and regulatory frameworks, in the development of fire engineering solutions, Examples include: planning, designing, construction and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure in compliance with current codes, standards and legislation, industry regulations. Back to Duty

S10: When considering design options, evaluate the impact of fire safety engineering on society and the environment taking account of business, client and end user needs in its construction, management and use. Back to Duty

S11: Contribute to the management of the planning, budgeting and organisation of tasks, people and resources for a project, working to agreed quality standards, project programme and budget, within legal, contractual and statutory requirements. Back to Duty

S12: Contribute to effective team working and developing staff to meet changing technical and managerial needs. Back to Duty

S13: Apply acquired knowledge to develop and or review fire safety solutions and be able to objectively review, identify issues or offer alternative solutions/opinions including, fire engineered analysis, means of escape calculations, smoke ventilation calculations, heat transfer calculations and hazard identification and fire risk assessments. Back to Duty


B1: Adhere to the UK Engineering Council’s code of conduct and ethical principles. Back to Duty

B2: Be conscious of the need to create, maintain and enhance productive working relationships. Back to Duty

B3: Shares good practices/best practice and actively promotes their use. Back to Duty

B4: Take responsibility for personal development, demonstrating commitment to learning and self-improvement and be open to feedback. Back to Duty

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