Federation Newsletter 9
23 July 2019
Grenfell Inquiry must yield “bedrock change” and soon: Chairman at FIREX 2019
Introducing a panel debate at FIREX International 2019 in London recently, Chairman Michael Harper expressed hope that the Grenfell Inquiry would chase “down the whole culture and competency” that had developed during a period in which fire-related deaths had actually been falling. His comments attracted press reporting as did his recalling of Churchill’s famous remark that “this may be the end of the beginning”. FIREX
There has been considerable activity with ongoing advice from MHCLG. This has included further advice for maintaining a building with High Pressure Laminate (HPL) cladding systems over 18 metres tall to be read in conjunction with advice note 14: external wall systems that do not incorporate ACM.HPL
A report on 25 different timber fire doors that passed the 30-minute standard on both sides when manufactured to specification and installed correctly and had the required documentation and certification was released. Door tests
Neil O’Connor (Director, Building Safety Programme) is asking local authorities to collect data on the buildings in their area about external wall systems used on high rise residential buildings. Data
The Fire Protection Association (FPA) has at the request of MHCLG tested a HPL panel system with stone wool insulation, in accordance with British Standard 8414, in a 9-metre high wall rig and a full report is available. FPA Panel test
The government has announced that around £200 million would be made available to remove and replace unsafe cladding from high-rise private residential buildings issuing the prospectus to help those owners access the fund. Private Cladding Fund
Standards and polices
Contributions have been made to a range of standards under policy review including BS 8414 – Fire performance of external cladding systems, BS 8629 – Code for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation systems, a MHCLG sponsored review of the cladding ban and is opening discussion on the use of CPVC – chlorinated PVC – pipework.
With the 8 week consultation period closure date of the 31 July fast approaching its imperative that any comments are made in the next few days.
Ideas were circulated a fortnight ago and drafts have been prepared for both the FSO and BSP responses.
Please ensure either Tom Roche Active or Dennis Davis Executive are alert to your views.
Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG)
The Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG) set up in September 2018 to monitor progress on delivering culture change and to challenge and hold industry to account has reported.
Overall the ISSG were pleased with the work so far whilst also making clear that progress has been slow across parts, of what they regard as a fragmented industry, saying still much more work needs to be done. ISSG sense the ‘Building a Safety Future’ outcomes will enable them to be much firmer in holding industry to account. ISSG
In the very near future the Competence Steering Group (CSG), which was set up to tackle competency failings identified in the Hackitt Review, will report. Federation members have been active for over a year in several of the work groups set up to look at the broad range of issues related to competency.
The interim report Raising the bar being published urges all life-safety-critical disciplines working on HRRBs, including designers, building standards officers, site supervisors, fire safety enforcement officers and fire risk officials, to adopt the outlined recommendations.
CTIF International Association of Fire and Rescue Services
In Martigny Switzerland over 18-19 July 2019 CTIF held its annual meeting together with the CTIF Youth Games, where teams from Manchester and West Midlands competed alongside 850 other youngsters.
A new Executive was elected and delegates were pleased to learn a new part of ISO 17840 that has safety of first responders as its goal has been endorsed by UITP the international organisation for public transport authorities and operators.