Element C3 is about general fire risk and precautions. It has seen very little, if any change from the original syllabus that was “put out” (I hope you appreciate the fire reference…) several years ago.
But there are a couple of new things that might interest you. For UK people, the Approved document B to the building regulations 2010 get a mention. You’re meant to understand the purpose of this document. So, make sure you do. Previously, the syllabus had a vague reference to the building regulations. Whilst this does not appear in the international diploma syllabus, nearly every country I’ve ever worked in has some form of building control (some are not very good obviously). This is where the planning departments of local councils/authorities have a safety impact in building design. Fire engineering is an obvious consideration in building control (from new builds to modifications) so the connection is not a surprise. The UK building Regulations have many Approved Documents associated with them. Document B is on fire safety of buildings and can be downloaded free here.
It comes in 2 volumes (not high and low like noise, but 1 and 2). Volume 2 is on buildings which aren’t dwellings (a posh word for houses, flats etc where people live and sleep and all that). So volume 2 applies mainly to businesses rather than homes. As it states at the beginning of the volume, the document is intended as a guide to meeting the requirements of the regulations. It does point out that the guidance is not mandatory – and you’re free to use other methods that meet the requirements. That said, they’ve clearly given this document some thought (it’s 170 pages…) so you’d be wise to at least consider it’s delightful insights on means of warning and escape, internal fire spread (linings and structure), external fire spread, access for the fire service.
Another new things is an entry on maintaining fire safety in communal areas – this appears in both national and international syllabuses. This issue clearly applies to communal areas, like passageways and stairs in businesses (multiple occupancy) as well as dwellings (such as flats, retirement homes). As I know from my student days, communal areas can rapidly degrade to an uncared for “somebody else’s’ problem” . People leave stuff out blocking your route (like motor scooters, tables, bicycles), dump stuff (rubbish bags), don’t tidy stuff away and so on. The list is endless.. but I’m not bitter…