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Did you know we have a team of engineers that help to keep London safe?
The primary role of our Fire Engineering Group is to review fire engineering solutions or complex fire safety strategies. But their work covers a lot more than this.
London Fire Brigade fire engineers participate on numerous technical committees to improve fire safety design standards. They take part in a variety of research projects, providing a fire service viewpoint and independent technical comment.
Lynsey Seal is our joint Head of London Fire Brigade Fire Engineering Group. Lynsey oversees six full time fire engineers in her role and the team is looking to expand in size to cover the variety of work it is responsible for. The Fire Engineering Group is part of our Fire Safety Department and they act as internal consultants to fire safety colleagues and other departments within the Brigade as well as providing advice and input on various external technical groups and projects also.
“As well as being qualified engineers we are all trained fire safety officers. Our role is pretty unique seeing a building through the design process and when the building is occupied. In terms of occupied buildings we support our inspecting officers with technical advice relating to fire safety contraventions in occupied buildings under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and can provide fire safety expert witness support where LFB may undertake a prosecution.
As part of the life cycle of any building we also see how a building and anyone in it behaves during a fire. We work with LFB Fire investigation and use the knowledge gained from fires to feed back into the design process thereby continually trying to influence designs positively in terms of the safety of occupants and firefighters alike.”
The fire engineering group have been involved in various high profile and iconic buildings across London.
“The fire engineering group have and are involved in a real variety of fabulous projects. In 2018 the Group has also merged with another team so that they are now responsible for all fire engineering related projects including transport and infrastructure. This includes projects such as Northern Line extension, Crossrail, HS2 and ongoing involvement with both Heathrow and City airports”.
“The role gives us access to very high profile projects including site visits such as to the very top of the Shard, brand new tunnel systems, or to see parts of London that most people don’t know exist.
“In terms of projects I’ve been involved in I was extremely lucky to work on various projects for the 2012 London Olympics including the Athletes Village. I’ve also been the lead LFB engineer on various projects including Westfield Stratford City, St Pancras Chambers, firefighting access at Elizabeth Tower and the Tate Modern.“
Lynsey started her career in engineering after her GCSEs.
“After completing my GCSEs I was offered an apprenticeship by a mechanical manufacturing company.
As part of the apprenticeship I was sponsored to complete academic qualifications including ONC/HNC and BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering. While I attended lectures one day a week the rest of the time was spent gaining work experience which complimented the studies.
After a spell working as a mechanical project engineer at another company I decided that I wanted a change of direction while staying in the engineering field. I joined LFB in 2004 as a fire engineer and am now a senior fire engineer supporting others development.
After joining the Fire Engineering Group and as part of her development tThe Brigade sponsored Lynsey to undertake the BEng (Hons) Fire Engineering degree at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN). She graduated with First Class Honours and received the annual award for the best fire dissertation with her study into the effects of fires relating to timber frame buildings under construction. Lynsey is also now a Chartered Engineer with the UK Engineering Council.
“Becoming registered with the UK Engineering Council was always something I aspired to and LFB support this process by specifically referencing it within our group’s job descriptions. The ethos of professional development is well established within our group and is something we all strive to achieve. In this regard I believe LFB Fire Engineering Group have set a clear competency standard which is expected for all of our engineers. Competency levels of the wider fire, design and construction industry is an area which has come under much scrutiny of late.”