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 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

Please click here to view the press release

Grenfell Update: Written Statement made 19 July 2018 by James Brokenshire, Secretary of State, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (HCWS890) in the House of Commons

 

Please find here the latest statement made yesterday by the Government regarding Grenfell.  As always we try and get any information we receive and we think is relevant to you as soon as possible. The content gives us the latest update on what the Government is doing and thinking in response to Grenfell.

 

Furthermore, please find below two links for consultation, one focused on ADB and one on Welsh Government banning the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings.

 

In line with our primary objectives and philosophy, The IFSM will be providing input to represent our members via our Technical subgroup. However if you wish to add any comments feel free to use the links below to provide your own comments and thoughts;

 

ADB consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fire-safety-clarification-of-statutory-guidance-approved-document-b

 

Welsh Government Consultation: https://beta.gov.wales/banning-use-combustible-materials-external-walls-high-rise-residential-buildings

 

WrittenStatementSoS19uly2018

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

Mr Darren Cook, the Head of Group Compliance at Principal Hotel Company, recently became the 1000th Member to join to The Institute of Fire Safety Managers. The Institute is delighted to welcome Mr Cook and mark this momentous occasion by presenting him with an expense-paid invite to our 2018 AGM and a year’s free membership. Our AGM, which will be held at Eventcity, Manchester on the 9th October 2018 will include a Technical Meeting and a Presentation to celebrate this significant milestone.
Current membership Secretary, Dave White said “this is a fantastic achievement and really reflects the great work and progression that we are making as an Institute”.

The Institute was initially formed 25 years ago in 1993 to provide a professional ‘haven’ for those people who were involved directly with fire safety management in industry and commerce. Initial membership was about 15-20 persons however as more individuals qualified with the CFPA Diploma, so the numbers grew. Gary Whitworth, Stewart Kidd, May Husseyin, Peter Cowland and Ken Day played a major part in the early days.

 

Around 2002 the membership had reached a critical point. Retirements, people moving on to new horizons, changes in employment and the constant pressure on individuals to try and run the Institute meant a slump in activities followed quickly by a slump in membership. However, there were a few people who did still have a ‘vision’ and on 7th February 2005 a meeting was held in Hatfield, chaired by Bob Docherty to re-establish the Institute and discuss its future development. it was decided that a new and larger team should be formed at which time Dr Bob Docherty, John Williamson, Stuart Cocking, Andy Frankowski and Ken Day came on board and formed a new Council with Stewart Kidd as President.

 

On January 9th, 2006, Companies House accepted the Institute’s application to be called an Institute as a registered, certified, fully incorporated and limited company with the title of The Institute of Fire Safety Managers. Over the past 13 years we have grown rapidly with a dedicated team on Council whose members represent the Institute on national and international committees and forums. Our input and participation on these is highly valued and respected. It is all part of our goal to raise the standard of fire safety both at a national and local level, to consult with all stakeholders and respond to changes in legislation and to actively encourage a professional approach to fire safety management through education and awareness.

 

From the initial 15-20 Members who came together in 1993, to the few who shared the vision to re-invigorate the Institute back in 2005, to the 1000 plus Members we welcome in our community today, it has been an incredible ride for the IFSM and no doubt a ride that will continue onwards and upwards to more great things. Here’s to the next 25 years and the next 1000 members!

As we are now getting to work on the details of competencies across the whole construction and fire sector, please see here a press release from the IRG working Group

As you can see from this document, we are actively working at representing our Member’s interests at the highest levels in this fast changing environment and working on the IFSM’s primary objective of moving Fire Safety forward. We will endeavour to keep all members posted with any developments with regards to this topic.

 

IRG press statement

Many organisations spanning the construction and fire sectors have come together to form a steering group to take forward key recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, to improve competences for those working on the design, construction and operation of higher risk residential buildings.

Read the competence group press statement here.