A systemic approach has been adopted to construct a fire-safety management system (FSMS). It has been applied to the case of an oil and gas organisation, although the approach is general. Significant changes have taken place in fire safety management in the oil and gas industry over the last few years. However, fire safety still tends to be analysed in isolation, though fire loss is a result of the interaction of the parts that constitute an oil and gas organisation as a whole. Fire loss may be seen as a 'systemic' failure, not a result of a single cause. This paper proposes a FSMS for an oil and gas organisation. The approach aims to help to maintain fire risk within an acceptable range in an oil and gas organisation's operations in a coherent way. It is hoped that this approach will lead not only to more effective management of fire safety in an oil and gas organisation, but also to more effective management of safety, health and the environment for any organisation. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.