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Federation Newsletter 6 - Winter 2018

Accredited Third Party Certification

A successful symposium was held in the House of Lords on 7th March 2019 with 40 attendees from parliament, the Federation and the wider sector. General support for Accredited Third Party Certification (ATPC) was evident from those present.

The symposium witnessed presentations with a range of views and information by US and UK speakers who operate within the accreditation, construction and safety environments.

Policy Director Jonathan O’Neill summarised the symposium by noting the long periods between publication of guidance, emergence of new products and the fact building systems did not perform as individual components.

These factors highlighted that we had to act quickly and Jonathan highlighted one possibility, that of extending a statutory defence to those using ATPC. If quickly enacted this would encourage a shift in behaviour. It also offered a route for action that the Federation could advise Ministers and officials to take without the need not wait for the outcomes of many current inquiries. Contact firstfirecall@aol.com

Approved Document B – Call for Evidence

Tom Roche has submitted the Federation response on the latest call for evidence and thanked those who supported the effort in making the submission. The call deadline has had to be extended to 15 March after a technical problem emerged with MHCLG the web portal.

In the submission emphasis was placed upon: the need to include property protection; retention of the purpose groups; recognition of contemporary demographics; more research into smoke and toxicity; facing up to the challenges of modern construction; requiring third party accreditation of products, systems and installations; reinforcing layered protection and defended space for escape. These items were supported by evidence from years of Federation work in this subject.

For access to the detailed submission please contact Tom at: thomas.roche@fmglobal.com

Westminster Hall Debate – Sprinklers

This debate was held on the 12th March was moved by Jim Fitzpatrick MP. You can watch the debate here or read the Hansard entry. The response came from the Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP. There was a huge the level of agreement from across several MPs for action on sprinklers in a range of buildings. Central to this was the provision of sprinklers into flats with a storey above 18m. Briefings were provided to several MPs by Federation members.

Competency

Work continues as part of the Competency Steering Group established post the Hackitt Report.

A new work group zero has been started under the chairmanship of Scott Steedman. WG0 is addressing what is known as the Overarching Competency Body and recently held one meeting with more planned. The approach is to tackle assuring competency from both ends, i.e. top down and bottom up, from a perspective that the first is relatively new and the second quite established. External accreditation is seen as a minimum requirement.

Fire risk assessors (WG4) and installers (WG2) work continues. The next WG2 meeting is on the 1st March, with WG4 scheduled to meet next on 2nd April when it will be close to finalising its work. A key part of the Hackitt Report was the need to improve the cultural and behavioural aspects surrounding construction and fire safety. To assist this effort a fire safety educational animation aimed at industry starters and other interested parties is being developed. Contact Dennis for more at: firstfirecall@aol.com

Fire Information Exchange Platform

This EU initiative held on 27 February a second plenary in Brussels that reviewed the work of its 5 task groups. The agenda was full and also introduced other ongoing issues like the drive towards greater decarbonisation of buildings through the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive façade fire assessments, fire data and an FE code. Contact Dennis for more at: firstfirecall@aol.com

Meeting MHCLG

Recently Jonathan O’Neill, Tom Roche and Dennis Davis had a meeting with Offer Stern-Weiner, Ian Whitehouse and Elliott Ball of MHCLG. In a positive exploratory discussion insight of the Building Safety Portfolio was provided and a clearer picture given of the Federation.

Fire Export

The joint International Fire Board recently highlighted an opportunity to participate at very short notice in a Humanitarian Aid symposium held in Guatemala City with DIT support. It indicates what may be on offer for those interested in exporting. Contact DSmith@fia.uk.com

Federation Newsletter 6 - Winter 2018