Some of the leading personalities in fire safety law and standards, fire risk assessments and building safety will provide a mix of informative individual presentations and expert panel discussions at FIREX International in May.
Gill Kernick has partnered organisations in high hazard industries to develop the leadership and culture needed to prevent major accidents. A former resident of Grenfell Tower herself until 2014, she is author of the book Catastrophe and Systemic Change: Learning from the Grenfell Tower Fire and Other Disasters. She will be kicking off the programme by sharing her thoughts on systemic change and the role of trust and disruption in the fire industry on 17 May.
If you’re unsure about the wide-ranging implications of the Building Safety Bill, the Deputy Director of the Building Safety Regulator – Tim Galloway – will be on hand on Tuesday, 17 May to discuss the HSE’s new role in the building safety regime and its approach to compliance and enforcement.
The golden thread of building safety information has been a feature of much work since Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of building regulations and fire safety in 2018. On 17 May, an expert panel on the role of digitised building information will discuss the ways ahead, including the provisions of the standard BS 8644 Digital management of fire safety information.
So much good practice in fire safety is underpinned by independent third-party certification of products and services. Also on Tuesday, a panel of senior representatives from third-party certification organisations – such as BRE Global, BAFE and UL – will come together to discuss the steps specifiers should make to ensure they are procuring independently certificated products and services – from passive and active fire safety products and their installation to service providers such as fire risk assessors.
The headline act for Wednesday, 18 May will include a presentation from BSI on the increasingly prominent role IoT is playing in fire safety, followed by a panel discussion with key members of the Fire Industry Association’s IoT Forum debating the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the spotlight on the role of ‘stay put’ in purpose-built blocks of flats has come under scrutiny. Andy Scott, Chair of BSI’s FSH/12/5 committee on fire alarm devices, voice alarm evacuation sub-systems and emergency voice communications, examines BS 8629, the code of practice for evacuation alert systems to be used by fire and rescue services when ‘stay put’ is no longer tenable.
The specific challenges of improving fire safety in the social housing sector will be examined by Andy Frankum, Chair of the National Social Housing Fire Strategy Group, while a new standard for fire alarms for those with sensory sensitivities will be exclusively launched at FIREX by Sonny White and James Jones.
And, on Thursday, 19 May, Erin Shoesmith, the Health and Safety Partner at solicitors Addleshaw Goddard, will be outlining how the legal landscape is changing under the Building Safety Bill – and not just for high-rise residential buildings.
In other sessions we hear about how response to fire alarms can be improved using technology developed in the intruder alarm monitoring industry, and a panel session of leading lights in the industry discussing the effect of legislative changes and new and emerging standards on fire safety professionals. There will also be sessions on upskilling fire systems installers with changes to the FESS (fire, emergency and security systems) scheme, how IoT technology is being implemented to improve fire safety, and a presentation of fire tests on doors, glazing and fire stopping.
The Expertise and Guidance Theatre runs alongside FIREX International, which takes place on 17–19 May 2022 at the ExCel centre in London. Alongside this, the Fire Protection Association will also be hosting its own, content-driven seminar programme, set to be unveiled in the coming weeks.