The Fire Sector Federation (FSF) brings together fire professionals from across the sector to shape future policies and strategies for UK Fire. As a non-profit organisation, it works collaboratively to bring together the skills and experience within the sector to improve the safety of the nation.
Membership of the Federation is open to any organisation with a legitimate interest in the built or natural environments, the fire and rescue service or national resilience. Members have the opportunity to influence future fire policy, with access to Government, regulators and enforcement authorities. All benefit from a significant shared knowledge database and regular updates on changing standards, legislation and policy within the UK fire sector.
The membership encompasses a broad spectrum of specialist expertise across fires safety, built environment, equipment manufacturers and other service providers. Members enjoy the opportunity to network with senior professionals and civil servants at regular Forum events, more recently held virtually.
Despite the altered COVID-19 environment this year, the Federation has continued to make progress on behalf of members. Detailed submissions which collated members’ views have been submitted in consultations calling for evidence and responding to the Government’s proposals in the Fire Safety and Building Safety Bills.
The Federation has also made a significant contribution to the recently published Setting the Bar report, which sets out a blueprint to improve competence and drive cultural change post the Grenfell Tower fire. Many members contributed to the report across several of its working groups. As this work moves towards implementation Dennis Davis – the Federation’s Executive Officer who led the Fire Risk Assessors’ contribution to the report and is now with others developing a code of practice on fire risk assessment to consolidate detailed criteria and updated guidance for choosing fire risk assessors – joined a group at BSI working to create a national benchmark framework standard and has produced safety educational material for wider construction industry use.
After an invitation from the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) the Federation has become a formal stakeholder on the NFCC Community Risk Programme and is currently working on a joint initiative to develop an innovative service-industry approach to rethink future solutions to meet protection challenges.
A Product Assurance Group has recently been established under the leadership of Chris Miles of UL (Underwriters Laboratories) to consider issues relating to standards of assurance of fire-safety products, use and trade implications with an initial focus on the impact of UKCA marking and the longer-term implications in the post-Brexit transition.
Members will also be involved in the programme to develop a national framework for PPE after an invitation to the Federation to be join the NFCC PPE and Clothing Committee and will be represented by Suzanne Prince of W.L. Gore & Associates.
Michael Harper, Chair, Fire Sector Federation, said: ‘The Federation is committed to driving best practice across the sector by maximising the huge pool of expertise and knowledge in our membership to improve fire safety. We are becoming a trusted advocate at Government level with ongoing dialogue at a senior level within the Home Office and across many of the relevant government portfolios. That knowledge base is also an important resource for members, keeping them up to date on changes and initiatives within the sector that will inform their own development strategies.
‘Our regular forums create a unique platform for members to network with other industry professionals and share views or concerns on a range of issues. While we’ve temporarily moved them to a virtual environment during the pandemic, they continue to be well attended and feature senior guest speakers from across the industry and government.
‘The work within the Federation is led by extremely knowledgeable members and is invaluable to the development of best practice across a wide range of areas including national policy, procurement, technical guidance, PPE, and technology.
‘Our commitment to work for the benefit of our membership is unwavering as we continue to evolve as the central source of information and knowledge on aspects related to fire.’
For information, go to www.firesectorfederation.co.uk