Fire Protection Consultant and Engineer of the Month – Trenton Fire Ltd.

Trenton Fire Ltd are an independent fire safety consultancy with offices in London and Bicester, Oxfordshire. They have over 20 years’ industry experience developing fire strategies on award winning projects, delivering independently accredited fire risk assessments and providing general fire safety support writing policies, guidance and on site advice for some of the most challenging projects both in the UK and overseas.

Working with their team it becomes clear they have a passion and drive for all things fire safety related, and the amount of engineers and consultants who are active members of industry committees is testament to how serious they are about being the best at what they do.

The services Trenton Fire offer are extensive, including fire engineering, structural fire engineering, product testing & assessment, fire risk assessments, fire safety training and research & development.


Adaptable Fire Safety Partners

Changes in legislation, the economy, fashion and the way we live, means adapting quickly to ensure safety standards and client requirements are met every time. This ability to listen and adapt allows Trenton Fire to remain at the forefront of their industry, and ensures they have many repeat clients who appreciate this enthusiasm to understand and help improve the product they offer. A good example of this is the development of a methodology for assessing the potential external fire spread during construction of timber frame buildings which the Health and Safety Executive have been highly complementary of.

A further example of their willingness to listen and engage is an impressive list of guidance documents Trenton Fire have authored, as well as being involved in reviewing most of the new guidance documents being published. Trenton Fire are authors of: The FCO Fire Safety Code, Crown Fire Standards, Custodial Fire Safety Guide and the Fire Precautions for Construction Works on the Government Estate, as well as a number of guidance documents produced from both internally and externally funded research.


Innovative, Client Focussed Experts

Trenton Fires input, be that through the design process or in terms on-going management and training, is directed by their client’s goals. Their team appreciates that most clients do not want fire safety provisions to unnecessarily influence either the design of a building or the way it is operated. Therefore, Trenton Fires approach seeks approaches that are considered, creative and cognisant of their client’s needs. Allying creativity and safety requires an in-depth understanding of all the complex facets influencing the fire performance of buildings and how people behave in the event of fire. For this reason, Trenton Fire are strong advocates for the demonstration of competency in their field. In excess of one third of their fire engineering team are Chartered Engineers, with all remaining members working towards achieving registration, and all fire risk assessors are independently UKAS accredited under the BAFE SP205 scheme for which they were the first to achieve a gold award.

Despite their demonstrable capabilities, Trenton Fire are not complacent. They invest heavily in their employees, ensuring they are exposed to the state of the art. When the team are not delivering consultancy input, they can be found in attendance at development seminars, training events and conferences, seeking the next ‘point of difference’ to differentiate themselves from their competitors.


Industry Thought Leaders

Investing heavily in research and development, Trenton Fire have been able to develop a critical understanding of their industry. Key figures in specialised fields, such as computational fluid dynamics and structural response in fire, have received doctorates in such specialisms. This familiarity at a fundamental level means tools and methods are selected at the right times, for the right reasons.

By consistently engaging with the fire engineering industry, whether they are contributing to drafting the next iteration of industry standards, leading special interest groups or speaking at key events, Trenton Fire have become thought leaders in the fire safety field. Their approach to solving particular fire safety challenges is novel and has been recognised by the wider industry. Trenton Fire’s thoughts, processes and solutions have been extensively presented and published in recent times.

The fire engineering team are dedicated to advancing the maturity of the fire safety profession, giving time to working groups convened by the Institution of Fire Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers & the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. They are also committed to promoting the profession to young engineers through a combination of strategic alliances and visiting lecturer positions with a number of leading universities.


Track Record of Success

Trenton Fire have an impressive portfolio when it comes to fire safety consultancy. One of their most successful fire engineering projects is the eye-catching Four Pancras Square in London. The project was conceived by Eric Parry Associates, with the building expressing its structural form in acknowledgement of the industrial history of the site. The Grade A building is one of the limited number in the UK which adopts weathering steel (named Cor-Ten) for the purpose of forming the structural frame. With such an exposed structure came particular challenges regarding how structural resilience in the event of fire might be achieved. Trenton Fire employed a number of creative and ground-breaking techniques to realise the architect’s vision for the project, whilst ensuring that the structure performed adequately, in the event of fire. The outcome is an emerging London landmark which has remained true to the architect’s original vision for the scheme.

A good example of the support the whole of Trenton Fire can provide is the London Olympic Park where we had fire engineers right at the very start and we drafted the Masterplan Fire Strategy, we then provided a fire strategy for the innovative Olympic Broadcasting Tower and continued on to provide fire risk assessments across the Park prior to the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games.


The Future

With many exciting projects in the pipeline, the future continues to look bright for Trenton Fire. Although it is difficult to predict how the industry will change, Trenton Fire will continue to be instrumental in driving it forward.

They say: ‘We want to continue to drive the industry through knowledge and innovation in order to make the world a better and safer place. We are in a strong position and have a great team, so there is every reason for us to be very optimistic about the continued growth and future of Trenton.’