03 - Impact of Fire/Smoke Spread

This considers the potential for fire and level of contaminating smoke from the insured's site and the vulnerability of third parties to fire and smoke. The fire risk depends on ignition sources and fire load/distribution; plus protective measures such as fire divisions, sprinklers or detection. Vulnerability depends on separation distance and occupancy – hospitals, schools, apartment blocks, shopping centers have high/susceptible personnel levels. Sensitive industrial activities include clean rooms, food processing and warehousing. Consequential losses, eg pollution and transport disruption are also considered.

What do we look for?


  • High fire load.
  • No automatic fire protection systems or systems inadequately designed and/or maintained.
  • Close proximity to neighbors/neighboring buildings.
  • High concentration of flammable liquids in bulk or in small containers


  • No to low fire load.
  • Adequately designed and maintained fire protection system.
  • Good separation to neighbors/neighboring buildings.
  • No to low concentration of flammable liquids.

  • Management of fire risks by controlling ignition sources, reducing quantities and distribution of combustibles. Good housekeeping will reduce the potential for ignition and fire spread.

  • Installing automatic sprinklers or fire barriers will significantly reduce the impact of fire and the spread of smoke.

Useful Resources

OSHA's Process Safety Management Standard

Type: pdf (1.4Mb)

Critical equipment areas checklist


  • NFPA 80A – Recommended Practice for Protection of Buildings from Exterior Fire Exposures.