Fire

CSL recruits head of BT Redcare Andy Fyvie

NEW HIRE CSL has appointed Andy Fyvie as head of European customer development. Andy, who joins the specialist in M2M/IoT devices from competitor BT Redcare, has 16 years experience in the fire and security sector. As head of BT Redcare Fyvie oversaw the rollout of Redcare networks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In his new role he will join CSL s operational team, which develops new service initiatives and product propositions with the help of CSL customers. Joining a future facing, fast-growing and innovative company like CSL is a great opportunity, says Fyvie. Having seen the success they have had in recent years I am looking forward to adding my industry experience to the team and helping the company to continue its expansion. Said CSL CEO Ed Heale: We are delighted to announce Andy s appointment. His knowledge and expertise will greatly assist us in sustaining our first-class customer service and product innovations. Free download: The video surveillance report 2017 Sponsored by IDIS The Video Surveillance Report 2017 covers all things video surveillance based on a poll of hundreds of security professionals. Specifically looking at topics such as open platforms, 4K, low-light cameras, video analytics, warranties and this year due to the growing threat posed, the cybersecurity landscape.

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West London housing provider is first organisation certified to PAS 7 FRMS standard

fire risk management system A West London housing provider has become the first organisation to have its fire risk management system (FRMS) certified to the PAS 7:2013 standard. RHP Group, which owns and manages around 10,000 homes across Richmond, Hounslow and Kingston, received a FRMS Management System Certificate from MMRA, a member of the Mott MacDonald Group, at a presentation ceremony on 8 August. Many in the fire industry may be heartened that a housing provider should be the first to meet the exacting criteria of PAS 7, given the fire safety deficiencies in social housing exposed by the recent blaze at Grenfell Tower.

MMRA Ltd is the first body to be accredited to assess the PAS 7 standard by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) as a third-party certification body. This is a great achievement by RHP in not only having a FRMS which meets the requirements of PAS 7, but also in being the first organisation ever to be awarded this certificate and setting a standard for other organisations to follow, said Paul Bardsley, head of MMRA. Launched in June 2017, the PAS 7 certification scheme which is UKAS-accredited provides guidance that stipulates minimum standards, functions and accessibility of fire safety management information across a corporate entity or multi-site organisation.

A documented FRMS demonstrates that an organisation as taken clear steps to reduce substantially the fire risk to people and assets and to meet its regulatory obligations under the Fire Safety Order. It also provides an auditable trail to back this up. Ben Bradford, managing director at BB7, outlined the merits of PAS 7 in a 2014 article.

Paul Bardsley, head of MMRA (Third from right), presented the certificate to Sara Tutton (third from left), RHP Group Head of Health and safety at a ceremony attended by CEO David Done RHP Group (second from left)

Upcoming FIM Expo to feature BS 5839-1:2017 revisions and future of qualifications in fire detection and alarms

FIA seminars The next FIM Expo will take place on Wednesday 4 October at the Glasgow Science Centre. Organised by the Fire Industry Association (FIA), the annual free event features two fire-safety seminars and the latest life-safety products from leading fire detection and alarm manufacturers. One seminar will explore the implications of revisions to BS 5839-1:2017 ( Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings Code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises ).

The other looks at the future of qualifications in fire detection and alarms. Both seminars are CPD-accredited and free to attend. The event is relevant to installers or maintainers of fire detection and alarm systems, anyone managing such systems in commercial premises or architects or other professionals specifying fire protection systems to be installed in buildings. We are absolutely delighted to present FIM Expo, said Kat Schabowska, the event coordinator. It s a fantastic place for like-minded individuals to meet, exchange ideas, network, and learn more about new products from a wide range of manufacturers. New products are being released onto the market all the time and this is a great way to come and see them first-hand and discuss how these new products might work for you. View the full exhibitor list here or visit the events section on the FIA website to register.

Fire assembly points: 5 things you should know

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that emergency routes and exits must lead as directly as possible to a place of safety and that procedures for serious and imminent danger must enable the persons concerned to immediately proceed to a place of safety in the event of their being exposed to serious, imminent and unavoidable danger . So what do you need to remember about fire assembly points to keep your staff safe in the event of a fire? Here s our top five points to keep in mind: Assembly points outside of the building should be clearly indicated .

These points will be designated in consultation with your fire risk assessment, and the routes to them should be signposted with correct notices. Ensure all signage is unobstructed and easy to see, and that staff are aware on joining the company where their designated fire assembly point is. For larger sites, a well-formulated procedure should be in place to handle the evacuation of hundreds of people safely, ensuring they are moved through various exit points to a single assembly point. Where assembly points are sited is important . Consideration needs to be given to distance from the main building, and ease of accessibility by disabled people. Providing a sheltered, illuminated assembly point can be a good idea depending on the type of people who would be evacuated. For example, a care home may have vulnerable people who would benefit from shelter in the event of forced evacuation in poor weather. It is important that employees and other persons visiting the building are advised which assembly area they must use in the event of evacuation . For employees, this should form part of their induction to the company.

For visitors, it is good housekeeping to advise where the nearest exit points and assembly point is. Having a well-thought out fire safety evacuation policy is of upmost importance in ensuring the safety of your employees and site visitors. A comprehensive fire-risk assessment will look at your existing evacuation procedures, ensuring you comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. If you have an existing fire risk assessment, this should be reviewed every 12 months, and a new one should be completed every three years. For new sites, you should have a fire risk assessment completed within 3 weeks of opening. Not had a fire-risk assessment completed recently? Simply contact us for a quick quote .

Grenfell: Drip-drip of revelations exposes UK complacency following decades of fire-safety progress

Photo: Brandon Butterworth under CC4.0 Until this year, fire deaths in England and Wales had been falling steadily for three decades. Between 2004 and 2014 fire deaths fell by 40%. Both in its sophistication and implementation, the fire-safety discipline has improved beyond measure since the 1980s.

Rules are now in place that you hardly need a degree in fire engineering to recognise as basic common sense. Their absence 30 years ago betrays a now shocking disregard for fire risk. Just consider that smoking was permitted in train carriages until 1984 and on London underground platforms until 1987, with a trial ban made permanent following the Kings Cross fire that killed 31 people and injured 100. And the circumstances surrounding the fire that killed 56 football supporters at Bradford City s Valley Parade stadium on 11 May 1985 are unbelievable. The stand that caught fire was made of timber and this at a time when supporters were allowed to smoke freely on the terraces. More incomprehensibly still, litter had been allowed to pile up beneath the stand a ready-made bonfire just awaiting ignition. A copy of the Bradford Telegraph and Argus was found, dated 4 November 1968. Such tragedies prompted the authorities to take health and safety and fire safety rather more seriously and fire deaths have been falling ever since. Small wonder that a government committed to slashing the deficit saw the fire service as an obvious target for cuts.

The firefighter s role was also expanded to encompass traffic accidents, terror attacks and major floods. We might have been full of post-Empire, pre-Brexit anxieties about our economic status and cultural identity, but we were good at fire safety and health and safety. While hundreds of workers have died in the construction of facilities for the Qatar World Cup, not a single fatality was recorded in the building of London 2012 venues. When a series of fires broke out in tall buildings dotting the skyline in Dubai in 2015 and 2016, many in the UK might have sneered at the emirate s complacency over fire standards. And yet, despite their frequency, not a single person died in those blazes. By horrific contrast, the death toll from the Grenfell blaze, though still not finalised, will surely represent the worst loss of life in a single fire in living memory. We are as a nation much more humble about our fire safety record since 14 June 2017. If the UK government forgot about the Lakanal disaster all too readily, it will be harder to expunge this one from the collective memory. The harrowing stories of people throwing children out of windows on upper level floors are not easily forgotten.

And the charred remains of Grenfell fire, visible from miles around, stand as a lasting monument to the complacency, incompetence and disregard of so many involved in the protection and management of social housing. But if others had been surprised that such a thing could happen, those in the industry were less so. Many voices in the fire industry had been warning, with increasing exasperation, for years about the multiple deficiencies in the fire-safety situation with high-rise residential blocks. More than a month on from the worst fire disaster in living memory, the shortcomings and instances of neglect continue to mount, dispelling any lingering complacency after decades of falling numbers of fire deaths. Timber frame fears The Grenfell fire has brought into sharp focus the materials favoured by the modern construction industry. As the scale of the cladding problem continues to worsen, fire-engineering experts are now warning that timber frames, which are the most popular building method for social housing, are also problematic. Speaking to the Guardian, Arnold Tarling, a chartered surveyor, said: I worry it will take more losses of life before people take this seriously, because nobody ever learns. With buildings like this, everything has to be perfect with the build to make them safe, and then afterwards, he said. At the moment we ve got a lot of modern materials, and a lot of materials being put together, and the regulations just haven t kept up.

The structural issues that once necessitated a 7-8 storey limit on the height of timber-frame buildings are no longer an issue thanks to innovations in construction methods. One timber-frame building planned for construction in east London will have nine floors, while a proposal for a 300-metre-high wood-framed skyscraper. The US, where timber frames are widespread, specifies height and area restrictions and mandates the installation of sprinklers systems neither of which apply in the UK. Timber frames can be perfectly safe. The problem arises when corners are cut, resulting in gaps in the timber frame, which is encased into a sealed void between external bricks and internal plasterboard walls. Jim Glockling, technical director of the Fire Protection Association, told the Guardian: We shouldn t be scaremongering. A properly put-together timber-frame building should perform well but it s about having the methods and quality assurance in place. There s a difference between what you are allowed to do through building regulations and what you should do. Residents themselves can undermine the effectiveness of compartmentalisation by drilling holes in a wall to mount shelves or a TV.

The problems of timber frames extends beyond the theoretical. One blaze caused by a discarded cigarette at flats in Hounslow, west London, destroyed 16 homes and caused the collapse of the building roof. And a Manchester block of flats was demolished six days after a fire broke out so fire crews could be certain it was fully extinguished. Electricity surges It has also emerged that 25 Grenfell Tower residents had experienced electricity power that caused appliances to malfunction, overheat and even emit smoke. Based on documents it had obtained, the BBC reported that some of the problems, reported several years before, had still not been resolved in the months leading up to the fire. The Grenfell fire is believed to have started when a fridge freezer caught fire on the fourth floor. More cladding revelations Given the rapid spread of the fire up the building s exterior, it was immediately apparent that the cladding on Grenfell Tower was woefully inadequate from a fire protection perspective. Worse still, in the days and weeks that followed, government tests revealed that cladding from a huge proportion of high rise residential buildings was similarly deficient. The latest damaging revelation comes from University of Leeds.

A team of researchers has found that burning cladding on Grenfell Tower would have released 14 times more heat than government tests allow. Although contractors who fitted the cladding insist that it passed all regulations, the researchers concluded that the cladding s plastic core would have burned as quickly as petrol . According to data released by French authorities, e cladding would have released 43.2 MJ/kg of heat. The European A2 standard for limited combustibility is 3 MJ/kg. The foam insulation underneath the cladding was, separately, thought to emit around 26 MJ/kg of heat.

BAFE issues revised fire extinguisher servicing competency scheme document

BAFE has revised its fire extinguisher maintenance/service scheme and BAFE SP101:2017 this is now available via the BAFE website. Coming into effect from 1 October 2017 the updated scheme seeks to better define what constitutes competence in the provision of fire extinguisher services and updates the role of the fire extinguisher technician. BAFE launched a review of the scheme in April 2016 after a lengthy consultation period.

Further elements of technical competence have been added to revised sections of BS 5306 (fire extinguishing installations and equipment on premises), while BAFE-registered fire extinguisher technicians are now required to undertake training in asbestos awareness and health and safety procedures. The technician competency portfolio used by BAFE assessors has also been reviewed. Passing the BS 5306 exam is now only the first step in demonstrating a grasp of relevant standards. A dual route to competency has been created. From 1 October 2017, organisations can gain third-party certification through either an ISO9001 or a management system route.

The same audit criteria is applied in both instances.

How to develop a fire-risk management strategy

Where fire is concerned, honesty is the best policy, strategy and procedure. That was the message in an article I authored last year which focused on the importance of fire policy. What amounts to fire policy, fire risk management strategy and procedure is not thoroughly understood and many people responsible for fire safety within organisations or individual buildings struggle to get it right.

Following the release of BS 9999: 2017, which contains a revised section 4 entitled Designing for the management of fire risk , I thought it might be worthwhile sharing some thoughts on how to craft fire risk management strategy. In this article I ll answer the following questions: What is a fire risk management strategy? Why it is useful to have one? Who might be tasked with developing one? When might one be required? How should it be structured? What is a fire risk management strategy? As the title would suggest a fire risk management strategy is focused towards the management of fire risk. There are some subtle differences between a fire strategy and a fire risk management strategy.

A fire strategy report describes the fire safety issues and how they are addressed. It acts as a guide for the design team, by identifying standards or setting performance criteria eg for the capacity of a smoke extract system and/or the fire resistance of elements of structure. It is the basis of the submission to the approving authorities ie building control body and fire authority. A concept fire strategy report will evolve through the design process being refined and expanded as the project progresses with a view to becoming an as-built fire strategy for use throughout the building s life cycle. The term fire-risk management strategy was defined in PAS 7: 2013 as a document which defines an organisations fire risk management system and method of implementing the overarching policy . A fire risk management strategy can be developed for an organisation responsible for a single building or an organisation with responsibility for a multi-site portfolio. Why it is useful to have one? When designing fire risk management into buildings there is great benefit in providing building occupiers and/or their person designated with fire safety responsibilities ie fire, health and safety managers with the opportunity to become involved with the design and construction process thus ensuring improved operational performance and better working environments. There are also ongoing business benefits.

The maintenance and operational costs of a building during its lifecycle far outweigh the original capital cost of construction, and these could potentially be explored and relayed by the fire engineer. Benefits of incorporating fire risk management into the building s fire strategy The key benefits can be identified as: Involvement at an early stage of building, managers and end users or their fire safety/health and safety managers allowing for early challenges of the practical implications of design concepts in terms of how they may impact upon on-going day to day practicalities, maintenance and operational costs pertaining to the fire strategy. Ensuring that full training, commissioning and handover is provided at an early stage, which reduces the cost of a protracted handover and means the building will reach optimal performance sooner. Allowing for post occupancy evaluation, which monitors the project outcomes post completion against performance and cost criteria, and ensures lessons are learned for future projects. When might one be required? A fire risk management strategy may be developed by someone designing new buildings or it may be developed as part of organisations fire risk management system documentation. At the design stage, a fire strategy report will usually contain some commentary on management, for example; where it has been necessary to make assumptions regarding the management of the building in the development of the fire strategy these should be stated in the fire strategy report. The fire strategy report may incorporate more comprehensive commentary on fire risk management, for example; if variations from the national guidance are proposed and justified with the use of fire engineering analysis or simply as the fire strategy report evolves through the design process into an as built fire strategy and more information on the use and management of the building comes to light. A fire risk management strategy for a single building may remain incorporated within the fire strategy report or become a separate document.

If a fire risk management strategy is drafted for an organisation operating a portfolio of buildings it is preferable for it to be a separate document. A fire-risk management strategy can also be developed post occupation. The standard Scope of Works for the Fire Engineer produced by the Fire Industry Association and Fire Engineering Council sets out the following services at RIBA Stage 7 Use and aftercare (previously RIBA stage L). These services are to produce, or assist in the production, of organisational fire risk management policy, strategy and procedure. Moreover, organisations seeking to achieve a high level of assurance and management system level 1, as defined in BS 9999: 2017 can demonstrate this by conformity to PAS 7. In order to demonstrate attainment of a level 1 management system some organisations may decide to have their management system certificated. Who might have cause to develop or review one? There may be a number of professionals with interest in the development of a fire risk management strategy. The interested parties could range from fire safety professionals i.e.

designers, fire engineers and fire safety managers, or owners, tenants, occupants, facility managers, health and safety managers and security staff. There may be a number of professionals with an interest in reviewing a fire risk management strategy and these could include: regulators and enforcers, including building control bodies, fire authorities, health and safety inspectors, environmental health officers, and environmental agencies. There may also be third party certification bodies with an interest in certificating a fire risk management system may wish to assess any claim of conformity against PAS 7. A claim of conformity can be made on the basis of: a) a first ‘party conformity assessment performed by the organization itself (self ‘assessment); b) a second ‘party conformity assessment performed by, for example; a trade association; or c) a third ‘party conformity assessment performed by an organization, such as a certification body, that is independent of both the organization responsible for the fire risk management system and, for example; a trade association. Guidelines for auditing management systems are given in BS EN ISO 19011. Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems are given in BS EN ISO/IEC 17021-1. How should it be structured? PAS 7 imposes a requirement that the organisation shall define and document its fire risk management strategy in order to implement and maintain procedures that identify the aspects of its activities, products and services relevant to the scope. By considering the context of the organisation it is possible to evaluate the risks to the organizsation by determining and recording those aspects that can have a significant impact on life safety, property protection, business continuity and the environment, as dictated by the organisation s policy.

The fire risk management strategy shall address the following seven factors of strategic fire risk management: Fire risk assessment Resources and authority Fire safety training Control of work on site Maintenance and testing Communication Emergency planning Michael Porter once said: Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it s about deliberately choosing to be different . In many ways this is true of a fire risk management strategy. A strategic fire risk management approach can be defined as an integrated or holistic approach to understanding and managing risks posed by the threat of fire that enables an organisation to optimise its underlying processes and achieve more efficient results. In our experience, no two organisations have the same strategy even if they are in the same sector. The benefits of establishing effective fire risk management strategy are clearly demonstrable, being able to align the nuances of fire risk management into the broader auspices of safety/quality management. This is particularly useful for organisations standardising approaches within other disciplines such as: health and safety, environmental protection, business continuity, security and quality systems. BB7 is offering a free gap analysis against the requirements of PAS 7: 2013 Fire Risk Management System Specification.

They are particularly interested in hearing from organisations with complex fire risk management challenges.

Why has a life-changing industry been ignored?

Private Eye s FIREX cartoon

Britain s leading satirical magazine reveals conversations overheard at FIREX International following the fire at Grenfell Tower. Asking Why has a life-chaning industry been ignored , the cartoon provides is a cross-section of industry opinion about Grenfell and its causes. Some of the anonymous quotations from visitors and exhibitors include: We push for adequate regulations and are basically told as long as we re only killing 300 people a year in ones and twos they won t happen Austerity hasn t decided not to review approved document B, it s been the de-regulatory environment at the DCLG of the last 30 years You do an inspection and say what s not right but you re dealing with so many levels of command, each squeezed of funds, that eventually they don t do anything.

The cartoon is part of a feature chronicling how residents of Grenfell have been let down by Kensington & Chelsea Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and building regulations. Read more in the latest issue of Private Eye. 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

Watch: The Fire & Security Association on IFSEC TV

Watch Steve Martin, head of the Fire & Security Assocation, speak to IFSEC TV during IFSEC 2017, which took place at London ExCeL. Watch more videos from IFSEC 2017 here . embedded content Free download: The video surveillance report 2017 Sponsored by IDIS The Video Surveillance Report 2017 covers all things video surveillance based on a poll of hundreds of security professionals.

Specifically looking at topics such as open platforms, 4K, low-light cameras, video analytics, warranties and this year due to the growing threat posed, the cybersecurity landscape.

Further topics covered include: The network cameras hijack during the 2017 presidential inauguration, updates on the forthcoming EU data protection law (the GDPR), ultra-low light cameras versus thermal cameras and much more.

Click here to Download now

All 75 high-rises tested in wake of Grenfell tragedy fail fire safety standards

Grenfell fire Photo: Brandon Butterworth under CC4.0 The government has said cladding on 75 buildings in 26 council areas had now failed fire safety tests every single panel tested so far. And the US firm that supplied cladding used on London s Grenfell Tower says it has ended global sales of the product for use in high-rise blocks. Arconic said it was discontinuing sales of Reynobond PE for tower blocks due to issues identified by the fire, which is feared to have killed at least 79.

Fire safety tests are taking place on the fire resistance of cladding on up to 600 buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire in north Kensington on 14 June. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said all buildings examined so far had failed the test. Councils were told to prioritise buildings they had most concern over. Communities secretary, Sajid Javid, has said all hospitals and schools had also been asked to carry out immediate checks . The original article was published on our sister site, SHP Online. 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