Fashion Show Fire Safety and Crowd Management

A Globally recognised PLC Fashion Brand chose a Grade 2 listed, former 18th century courthouse, building in London, UK, to showcase the brands’ new collection to the media and distinguished guests. A photography exhibition to celebrate the brands September collection, would then be on display within the building, to the public, over a period of weeks, after the fashion show.

The building presented significant complex fire safety issues which would have impacted detrimentally on the creativity of the event, whilst preventing the desired occupancy sought.

Crowd Safety were appointed to assess the building, review the Brand and production team’ requirements to enable a pragmatic raft of passive and active fire safety precautions for the purposes of “Life Safety”. Crowd Safety produced a Fire Strategy document that spanned the entirety of the event phases, inclusive of a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk assessment. A fire safety briefing was also produced for the teams working on the event.

The location, comprising of 5 floors, including a basement, presented the aesthetics which the brand were seeking however, the building had poor fire separation throughout and was undergoing a full restoration. Single skin timber floor construction spanned across all floors, with interconnecting shafts, hidden voids, electrical trunking, ventilation shafts and locked rooms storing a significant accumulation of the landlord’s property. The building had no fire suppression, detection or alarm system and was surrounded by roads on all four sides.

Crowd Safety worked closely with the client to fully understand their creative requirements, event duration, content and desired occupancy.

Using this information, we produced a holistic Fire Safety strategy, and event specific Fire Safety Management Plan.

The building condition determined that any evacuation would require a full simultaneous evacuation to take place.

We factored in the need to detect a fire in its embryonic phase, means of escape, a suitable fire alarm system, the speed and growth of any fire within the building, travel distances, human behaviour of the occupants in an emergency evacuation, the positioning of London Fire Brigade if they were called, dangerous substances within the building, pinch-points within the premises, evacuation of persons with special needs, fire fighting equipment required, emergency lighting needs, manual call points, fire marshals, fire safety signage, evacuation routes, muster points and the actions to be taken in the event of a fire.

We delivered a building specific Fire Safety brief which was delivered pre event to ensure key parties were fully aware of the Fire Strategy and the Significant Risks within the building.

The documents were produced and circulated to London Fire Brigade, the Production Company and the Brand Group Head of Fire Safety, well in advance of the event and were greeted with positive praise and comments.

The combination of effective communication between Crowd Safety, the client and the production team, combined with our crowd management and fire safety expertise, proved extremely effective in the delivery of a robust fire safety strategy and fire safety management plan, that spanned the full duration of the building hire.

This approach underpinned a safe and successful event for the client, curators, production team, audience, media, staff and contractors associated with the event, but equally, served to deliver the client with peace of mind that the fire safety precautions for their event were robust and the fire risk to occupants had been significantly reduced as had the likelihood of brand damage enormously.