The Government have now completed its consultation after its Call for Evidence on the Technical Review of Approved Document B.  The document signals the start of the full technical review of AD B.

For your information, the document can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/technical-review-of-approved-document-b-of-the-building-regulations-a-call-for-evidence?utm_source=7ca85d1e-54ff-42ee-9463-1d996f6d74e6&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily

The extent of the review is large so there are potentially stages to this work. Therefore, it is no surprise that government at the same time announced that it is prioritising the issues affecting high-rise residential buildings.  This saw the launch of the consultation Thursday 5th September 2019 on the inclusion of sprinklers and other safety measures for these building types.

 

Robert Jenrick the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government made the following statement in both Houses yesterday:

 

“I updated the House today in an Oral Statement on the Government’s progress on building safety and set out this administration’s approach.  As set out in the Statement, I am consulting on changes to fire safety regulations for new-build blocks of flats.  We will seek to commit to requiring sprinkler systems as standard in a wider range of new flats.

 

We will also consult on requiring better signs and evacuation alert systems to support effective firefighting.  A link to the consultation document ‘Sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats’ is here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/sprinklers-and-other-fire-safety-measures-in-new-high-rise-blocks-of-flats and I will deposit copies of this consultation in the Library of the House.”

 

Linked to the statement is the Approved Document B consultation, with a summary of the responses made to the call for evidence last December being published. The new ‘sprinkler and wayfinding’ consultation will run from 5 September 2019 to 28 November 2019.

 

In addition it was announced a new Protection Board is being set-up by the Home Office and National Fire Chiefs Council to provide further reassurance to residents of high-risk residential blocks with the Communities Secretary making £10 million a year of funding. The Board will provide expert, tailored building checks and inspections, if necessary, on all high-risk residential buildings in England by 2021.

 

The idea is the Board will operate until a new building safety regulator is established to oversee the new regulatory regime for buildings and legislation on a new building safety regime is introduced.

 

We will be co-ordinating a response to the consultation by the Institute shortly.

Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) – Smoke, Fire and Evacuation Modelling

Following on from an email to all members a few months ago on CFD, a number of you have mentioned your interest in learning more about CFD modelling in the context of fire dynamics and evacuation.

Last week we met with representatives of the Fire Studies Department of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) to discuss how best we could set up a one day ‘taster’ workshop which would not only help members understand this subject area (how they CFD be used and interpreted) but also give an insight into what is available in terms of modelling programmes, availability, costs and training in their use.

The outline for the day would be a morning full of presentations from both experienced users and product suppliers etc to get a feel for what these models can do, what training is available and what programmes can be used and/or purchased. The afternoon would consist of breakout sessions with attendees rolling up for their particular interest.

The follow on from this workshop could be a 5-day Advanced Certificate offered by UCLAN if attendees expressed an interest in advancing their knowledge and skills in CFD modelling.

Provisional dates would be 18th or 19th February 2020 at UCLAN in Preston with a fee of circa £50 per head.

The first step is to get some expressions of real interest from members and colleagues to see if this is a viable proposition. If you are interested, could you email your name and contact details to Bridget at admin@ifsm.org.uk by the end of September 2019 and if there is enough interest I will get back to you with more concrete details.

The Executive Summary of the response to the Dame Judith Hackitt (DJH) Review from the 12 Working Groups that were set up to look into the points raised by DJH has been finalised by the coordinating Competency Steering Group (CSG) of the Industries Response Group.  Please find the Executive Summary here along with the Press Release from CIC who chaired the CSG.

 

The complete report and WG reports is over 600 pages so is downloadable via the links to the Press Release.  The IFSM hope to put the whole report with the rest of our Technical Documents in due course.

 

As you know, the Institute has been involved in a number of the WGs and has continued to promote, along with some other organisations who sit on the Working Groups, the value of third party certification and competence .

 

 

The IFSM are currently in production of a customised qualification aimed at providing basic underlying principles which are required prior to undertaking Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs).

See further details here

Members will recall we are represented in a number of the working groups and heavily involved in competencies for fire risk assessors.  Please see here a copy of the first quarterly report of the IRG Steering Group on Competences for Building a Safer Future, which was submitted to the Secretary of State (copied to Dame Judith Hackitt) on Friday.  As you can see from the report, things are moving very fast but we will try our best to keep you updated and informed as we move along.

There is a fairly ‘stiff’ timetable we are working to and there will be significant outcomes involved, significant for all of us in the fire sector. When the time is right, probably around the first quarter of 2019, we will be holding seminars to update you all on the outcome of these working groups. In the meantime, attending and working on these groups is taking a lot of our chairmans own time and hopefully the report will keep you updated but if you do have a ‘burning question’ on the working groups or anything in the report, please email info@ifsm.org.uk and it will be forward it on to our chairman.

 

Quarterly Report – FINAL PDF

Professionally printed double sided plastic membership cards for IFSM Members are now available to buy online from our website.  Please click here for further details and to order.