engineers

London Fire Brigade: Every day we see unsuitable fire risk assessments

FIREX 2017 Andy Jack, Head of Regulatory Enforcement at London Fire Brigade spoke to a packed audience at FIREX 2017 about the inadequate fire risk assessments he sees every day of the week . Taking pains to mention that he is not commenting on Grenfell Tower, which is currently under criminal investigation, Andy Jack spelled out the role of responsible persons in fire risk assessment. It is twenty years since fire risk assessment came in and ten years since reg 38 (or 16B) packs were introduced but has it made any difference?

he asked the audience. Responsible for what? The law spells out the needs for responsible persons, but responsible for what ? Article 9 from the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 explains that: The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the measures they need to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on them by the Order. However the law doesn t explain what responsible persons are responsible for and the suitable and sufficient assessment in article 9 means, very broad said Andy. Are these fire risk assessments suitable and sufficient? Andy Jack explained a number of assessments that, as an enforcer, he sees coming across his desk every day There are many cases where the fire risk assessor did not go to all parts of the building e.g. a locked manager s office or false ceilings, leaving areas of the building unchecked.It is common for assessors to ignore basements or top floors. Excuses can range from difficulty accessing the building to safety, but these things are are simply wrong.

In other cases, Andy sees assessors completely misconstruing what building is made of The assessment tells us that the premises are of brick and concrete constructuion, when it s actually made from timber frame with studwork. Too often Fire Information Packs don t get passed to the fire risk assessor who is missing out on a whole wealth of information . What have London Fire Brigade have learned? It is clear there is an inconsistent views on who is responsible and liable for fire risk assessments but you can t get rid of the duty, you can t saw it s nothing to do with you, or to mitigate your responsibility . Co-operation and co-ordination between the responsible person and their fire risk assessor is often is not all it might be and causing problems. Jack s advice to the industry is: Get co-operation working to get a better fire risk assessment, reduce risk to relevant persons, and reduce risk of litigation from the likes of me. I d rather I didn t have to do it at all, to be honest. There are plenty of things I d much rather do with my time than litigating. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry.

It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas.

From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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Grenfell fire presentations added to FIREX 2017 programme

FIREX 2017 Two seminars examining the Grenfell tower tragedy have been added to the FIREX Expertise & Guidance Theatre. Details are as follows: Tuesday 20 June, 12.00-12.50 Grenfell Tower: Why building regulations need to be reviewed Speakers: Steve Seaber British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association Tom Roche Fire Sector Federation Built Environment Issues & Affairs Workstream Chair Martin Harvey Fire Industry Association Niall Rowan Association for Specialist Fire Protection Stephen MacKenzie International Fire Risk, Security Aspects and Emergency Planning Independent Consultant Thursday 22 June, 15.00-15.50 Reflections on the FIREX community s reactions to Grenfell Tower Speakers: Stephen MacKenzie, International Fire Risk, Security Aspects and Emergency Planning Independent Consultant Plus a panel of senior industry stakeholders For the second session, which is the final seminar of FIREX 2017, the audience will be asked to write down their 5-10 key priorities for the fire sector. IFSEC Global will collate the results, write a feature and send it to the public enquiry.

There will also be a drop-in session in the FPA Infozone where people can ask the experts about anything about the Grenfell fire and fire safety in general. This runs on Thursday 22 June between 12.00-14.00. View the full FIREX agenda here. FIREX International takes place between 20-22 June 2017 at London ExCeL. Get your free badge now. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas.

From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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Detector testers to launch innovative new smoke detector tester at FIREX 2017

FIREX preview Detectortesters is unveiling Solo 365, a new smoke detector tester, at FIREX 2017. Solo 365 is lighter, quicker to test, compatible with a wider range of applications and almost impossible to over-apply, says the Hertfordshire-based company. A proximity sensor within the test cup triggers the generation of smoke by the auto-start feature, eliminating the risk of contamination and minimising smoke wastage.

And a new, flexible head and slimline design means Solo 365 can more easily access tight spaces and test more detectors. Responding to feedback from customers Detectortesters has added an auto LED torch for testing in dark areas. The torch automatically switches on when light levels drop. In common with other Detectortesters products, Solo 365 has been approved by leading detector manufacturers and is fully compliant with the latest standards and regulations. Detectortesters (AKA No Climb Products Ltd) has more than three decades experience in the design and manufacture of detector test equipment. It is also launching new aerosol cans which comply with forthcoming regulations affecting the use of some pressurised smoke aerosols for use in the Solo 330 dispenser. And the company is introducing a new Urban range of kit pitched at mobile engineers working on large sites and built-up areas. Solo 365 will be available later this month and will be the main focus of the Detectortesters stand atFIREX International. FIREX International takes place between 20-22 June 2017 at London ExCeL.

Detectortesters is exhibiting on stand E130. Get your free badge now. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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Fire doorsets: How do we know that the fire safety measures we put in place are compliant?

Gerda As a responsible person under the RR(FS)O, we want to know that the fire safety measures we put in place are compliant, perform and are durable. Furthermore we want to show that we have done our homework accordingly. This paper highlights how this can be achieved with the focus on fire doorsets.

Fire doorsets are an integral part of compartmentation in buildings. Legislation and guidance point towards designed and fully tested doorsets: Replacement with suitable, purpose-designed and tested doorset constructions is always preferable A fire doorset s function may differ dependent on the type of doorset. A flat entrance doorset will require different test standards to that of a cross corridor doorset. For the housing provider/specifier it is important to check the test report data be it fire resistance (EN1634-1/BS476 pt 22), smoke control (EN1634-3 / BS476 pt 31) security (PAS24 or similar with BS6375) , acoustics (EN ISO 10140-2) thermal insulation (EN ISO 10077) and so on. Performance tests Do ensure that the different performance tests correlate to the same design, composition and construction for the doorset. The installation of a fire doorset impacts on whether the doorset will actually perform as designed in the event of a fire. By choosing a certified installer, through a recognised body such as BM Trada, Firas, or LPCB and working with the manufacturer s instructions, this should ensure that the work is carried out properly. Assuming we have properly checked the fire doorset test report data and certification this can be logged. However, how do we verify and document that the installation is compliant?

Often at sign-off the work is complete and the finished item is visible only. Technology is now available with image based evidence for installation stages specific to a given doorset. This not only demonstrates compliance, it also provides an audit trail. Lower costs Under the RR(FS)O there is a requirement to maintain fire doorsets and ensure they are in good repair (section 38.1) The same technology can document on-going maintenance for the doorset as well as any unscheduled repairs needing to be carried out. This translates through to lower service provision costs for the building provider, whilst future-proofing the investment. Available to use with a smart enabled phone or tablet device it is entirely mobile with a downloadable app. Tailored to the specific doorset, it provides the DNA and full history of any changes or maintenance. Particularly beneficial in refurbishment, where doorset sizes and functionality may differ, all dimensions, components and important reference information is stored with that doorset s unique code and location. This assists the building provider in the fast identification and replacement of parts where needed all of which is a necessity for fire doorsets.

The Gerda G Smart system brings auditable compliance to all Gerda fire doorset ranges. It documents effective real-time installation and maintenance of fire doorsets and provides the DNA and life history of the doorset. We see that the fire safety measures fire doorsets can offer built-in compliance for asset management. FIREX International takes place between 20-22 June 2017 at London ExCeL. Gerda is exhibiting on stand E120. Get your free badge now. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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London fire: Councils and social landlords have ignored our warnings for years

GRENFELL TOWER FIRE We have a right to be very angry at the news about Grenfell Tower. I regularly sit in meetings with fire safety professionals, and their fury and frustration at the inaction of local councils and social landlords is palpable. We have been warning about the risks of a fire like this for years.

What we need to get people to take notice is a huge fire in a tower block they say. Well, here it is. There is an endemic fire safety problem in this type of housing stock. I have walked around tower blocks documenting and filming the fire safety breaches. I ve seen flats without fire doors, no emergency lighting or signage on fire doors and escape routes, broken fire rated glass, wedged-open fire doors, poor fire stopping around service hatches that breach compartmentation, no smoke seals in fire doors, rubbish and combustible material left in the common areas, and no information displayed on the specific fire plan of the building. #Grenfell Tower floor plan. “Improved” high density layout means one set of stairs for 24 stories of 120 apartments. #LondonFire pic.twitter.com/MHV3adB5Q7 Mark Ashley (@themarkashley) June 14, 2017 Deaf ears But that information appears to fall on deaf ears. Action must be taken now to address these issues. Our hearts go out to the residents of Grenfell Tower, their neighbours, friends and families, and the extraordinarily brave fire fighters and medics who are continuing to deal with the emergency. And to every local council and housing association I say, you know what to do, take action today. The next one could be tomorrow.

More than half of all tenants (58%) and over 70% of lower income tenants have no idea who the Responsible Person is for the building where they live Research for Fire Door Safety Week last year underlines some of the problems, in particular showing that the poorest in society continue to be at greatest risk from fire, with lower income tenants more concerned about fire safety where they live, less informed about how to protect themselves, and less able to move away from perceived danger. Just a third (35%) of the lowest income households renting flats say they have been given information on the emergency fire plan for the building where they live, compared to 88% of tenants on incomes over 100,000 a year. Those on incomes of 25,000 or less are much less likely to feel completely safe from fire (27%) than those on incomes above 80,000 (44%). But two out of every nine (22%) households with incomes under 25,000 living in rented flats who have concerns over fire safety are unable to move because they can t afford to. More than half of all tenants (58%) and over 70% of lower income tenants have no idea who the Responsible Person is for the building where they live the person to whom they should usually report their fire safety concerns. And worryingly, 15% of all tenants living in blocks of flats who have got fire safety concerns have never reported those concerns to anyone at all. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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Watch: The Lakanal House fire safety prosecution revisted by Dr David Crowder

FIREX 2017 preview Watch our interview with BRE Global s Dr David Crowder about the ramifications of the Lakanal House fire safety prosecution. Senior content manager for The Protection & Management Series Charlotte Wright asks Crowder if lessons have been learned, the fire-safety challenges of residential buildings generally and his forthcoming talk on the Lakanal case. Dr Crowder, who is head of fire investigation and expert witness services at BRE, will be speaking at FIREX from 14:00 on 20 June, conducting a speaker Q&A and meet and greet between 14:30-14:50.

Topics being covered are: A recap of the issues in Lakanal as presented during the inquest The charges brought and the decisionmaking process that led to those charges being brought Implications of the incident and a future look at the industry embedded content Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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Honeywell announces launch of next generation aspirating smoke detectors

Xtralis VESDA Multinational producer of advanced smoke and fire detection technologies Honeywell is launching its next generation of Xtralis VESDA aspirating smoke detectors for early warning detection. The company s new version of Xtralis VESDA-E VEP has one and a half times more sensitivity than VESDA VLP, and up to six times better dust rejection in order to reduce instances of nuisance alarms, to save building owners on potential costs from fire department calls. The technology also provides higher detection stability over a wider range of environments and improved consistency through its Flair Detection Technology, a new unique particle characterisation capability.

It provides analytics for targeted detection and efficient and effective response. embedded content VESDA-E VEP is simple to configure and commission and includes a 3.5 inch LCD touch screen display and wireless remote review with the iVESDA app for maintenance. New standard features include built-in Ethernet and Wi-Fi to ensure easy connectivity with handheld devices as well as the PC-based Xtralis video software management monitoring package. The new system enables longer pipe runs and detector coverage is extended by up to 20% in high-ceiling rooms and spaces. Honeywell and Xtralis are exhibiting at FIREX International, 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. Visit stands D250 and D300 to see their latest life safety systems. Get your free badge now. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas.

From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June

Kings Security appoints former Mitie MD Bob Forsyth as CEO

News Bob Forsyth has been appointed CEO of security and fire services provider Kings Security. Anthony King, the current incumbent, is stepping down after three decades at the company. Forsyth was managing director for Mitie Total Security & Document Management between April 2015 and February 2017.

Since then he has been MD of 4sight Investments. Geoff Zeidler, Chairman of Kings, said: The board would like to pay tribute to Anthony for all he has achieved in building the business and wish him well for the future. Bob has a broad market knowledge and fantastic track record of delivering profitable growth. The board look forward to working with him and the Executive team to take Kings forward to becoming the most respected, innovative and successful company in the industry. Passionate people Bob Forsyth said Kings has a tremendous market position and a reputation for passionate people who deliver great service to loyal customers. This, together with the financial support of PrimeKings, creates a tremendous opportunity and I am really excited to join the team to ensure that Kings achieves its full potential. In 2014 Forsyth was named the most influential person in security in 2014 a decade after joining Mitie. He was promoted to MD of MITIE in April 2010 after a string of achievements, not least the prestigious MITIE new business award and his pivotal role in the company s 2006 merger with Initial Security. One of those who endorsed his candidature praised his efforts in creating an all-round better security industry in terms of what the industry can achieve, what it looks like from the outside and overall contributing towards making the industry a more professional sector to work within.

Kings Security, which is majority owned by Kirsh Group-backed PrimeKings, provides security and fire services to homes and businesses across the UK. Kings Security is well known for its commitment to training apprentice installers in an industry beset by a skills crisis. It has a state-of-the-art training academy and regularly sends candidates many of whom have emerged as victors to the Engineers of Tomorrow apprentice installer competition at IFSEC International. Visit Europe s leading security event in June 2017 Visit IFSEC International for exclusive access to every security product on the market, live product demonstrations and networking with thousands of security professionals. From access control and video surveillance to smart buildings, cyber, border control and so much more. It is the perfect way to keep up to date, protect your business and enhance your career in the security industry. Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June 2017.

Code of practice launched for investigators of fire and explosions in criminal justice system

Guidance A new code of practice for the investigation of fires and explosions within the criminal justice system has been published. Developed by a multi-agency team led by the University of Dundee the new code is backed by the Chief Fire Officers Association, the Institution of Fire Engineers and the UK Association of Fire Investigators. The code, which was presented at the Scottish Fire Symposium at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters and Training Centre in Glasgow on 16 May, provides professional guidance for practitioners tasked with examining incidents where a crime is suspected.

The guidance is aimed at all such practitioners regardless of which agency they represent. The new code sets out to establish clear standards to aid in the gathering and examination of evidence in any investigation. Expert witnesses in criminal cases are now required to declare adherence to the code of practice. Consistency and quality This Code of Practice provides significant clarity as to what can reasonably be expected of those who investigate fires and is another significant step towards providing consistency and improved quality in this area, said Lee Howell, independent chairman of the Arson Prevention Forum. Arson remains one of the most difficult crimes to prosecute and improved investigation will undoubtedly assist to reduce the significant cost and consequence that Arson presents. Professor Niamh Nic Daeid of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee chaired the multi-agency team that formulated the code of practice. The importance of this document cannot be underestimated, he said. It has taken six years to prepare as we consulted with the community of practitioners from across the UK and beyond to make sure that we represented their views of where they wanted their profession to aspire to in terms of competence, expertise and practice. The code will bring a standardised approach across the fire investigation sector in terms of good practice and understanding the obligations of being expert witnesses to the courts.

Dr Nick Carey, the President of the UK Association of Fire Investigators (UK-AFI), said: The UK-AFI is delighted to support the Code of Practice. Several of our members were involved with the preparation of the document and a large number of members provided valuable feedback during the consultation process. The document will provide valuable generic and UK specific guidance to fire investigators.

Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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C-TEC to showcase new CAST protocol fire alarm system and EN54-23-certified VADs

FIREX 2017 CAST, C-TEC s flagship fire alarm and detection system, will be the biggest draw on the Wigan-based life-safety innovator s stand at FIREX 2017. CAST panels, which use C-TEC s own protocol, are designed to integrate seamlessly with an extensive range of C-TEC-manufactured fire detectors, sounders, call points and interfaces. C-TEC will also showcase its high-performance range of EN54-23-certified visual alarm devices (VADs) and an advanced range of hybrid digital power supplies.

FIREX is a superb platform for new innovations and we are looking forward to exhibiting some very exciting products particularly our CAST addressable system, now in operation at multiple BETA sites and very close to full release, said Andy Green, C-TEC s marketing manager. C-TEC is currently hosting a series of free educational CPD events across the UK. C-TEC s sister company SigNET, meanwhile, was recently named exclusive UK distributor for RCF s new emergency evacuation voice alarms. C-TEC is exhibiting at FIREX International, 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. Visit stand G140 to see C-TEC s latest fire alarms and life safety electronic systems. Get your free badge now. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June