Industry ‘running out of time to influence change’

Industry ‘running out of time to influence change’

THE FIRE Protection Association (FPA) is holding the Fire Sector Summit in London on 5 November, with focuses on timber framed buildings, cladding and toxicity.

In a press release, the FPA stated that the last three months alone ‘have seen five UK fires in commercial and residential timber framed buildings’, which have ‘put multiple lives and propert[ies] at risk’. It noted that despite the progress made by Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety – Final Report, and the ‘widely reported’ tragedy of Grenfell Tower in 2017, fires are ‘not decreasing in frequency, size or impact’.

The event, to be held at One Great George Street in London on Tuesday 5 November, ‘aims to provide the very latest sector thinking and developments’ that will help protect people and buildings, and will cover ‘newly emerging’ issues including fire toxicity, ‘something research has shown can cause ongoing health issues’. The event aims to continue its ‘frequent theme’ of ‘challenging the current state of affairs’, the FPA also noted.

Speakers at this year’s event include Stewart Kidd, managing director of the Loss Prevention Consultancy, who will question whether life safety codes ‘go far enough’ to protect assets, heritage and schools, alongside FPA technical director Dr Jim Glockling in a workshop session. The event itself will be chaired by FPA managing director Jonathan O’Neill OBE, with plenary discussions followed by workshops that will ‘allow delegates to tailor the event to their own taste’.

Other speakers include Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire office Mark Cashin, discussing fighting fires in timber frame buildings; and Dr Jonathan Evans, chair of the technical committee for the Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association, on the cladding industry post Hackitt, competency and toxicity in building regulations.

In turn, the Health and Safety Executive’s science division’s Graham Atkinson, principal scientist for the major hazards group, will assess the toxic risks from warehouse fires; while also on toxicity, Vitalina Kirgizova, immunogeneticist at the University of Cambridge, will explore the health effects of toxins.

To find out more about the event, click here.