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All eyes on Birmingham

28 February 2022

Sector professionals visiting Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre in early April to attend the Nineteen Group’s Safety and Security Series will be treated to a group of events dedicated to protecting people, property and assets. Brian Sims previews what’s on offer for practitioners at The Fire Safety Event 2022

THE FIRE Safety Event stands as one element of what show organiser the Nineteen Group references as its Safety and Security Series. The latter – which runs at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) from 5-7 April – encompasses four events on this occasion, namely The Fire Safety Event itself plus The Security Event, The Health and Safety Event and The Workplace Event. 

One registration and pass affords access to each of the shows in the April edition of the Safety and Security Series and three solid days packed with content of great relevance and genuine worth for practising professionals.

Key industry bodies and associations supporting The Fire Safety Event 2022 include the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), BAFE, the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association, the Building Engineering Services Association, the Fire and Security Association (FSA), the Fire Protection Association (FPA), the Independent Fire Engineering and Distributors Association, the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE), the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM), the National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers (NAHFO) and the Smoke Control Association. In short, this cast list really is a ‘Who’s Who’ of the professional fire sector.

Premier Partners for The Fire Safety Event are Aico, Apollo Fire Detectors, the ASFP, C-TEC, Checkmate Fire, EMS, Global Fire Equipment and Safety Technology International. Other key exhibitors attending the NEC include asecos, Chubb Fire and Security, Coopers Fire, Detectortesters, Eurotech Fire Systems, FireAngel, Fireco, FSi, Hyfire, Kentec, Patol, Plumis, QDOS, ROCKWOOL, simPRO, Tyco, Uptick and Wagner.

Seminar programme

There are three seminar theatres running at The Fire Safety Event. In The Fire Safety Theatre (sponsored by Honeywell), leading experts will discuss numerous key topics, among them third party certification, regulation (including, of course, the Building Safety Bill currently progressing through Parliament), fire risk assessments, evacuation procedures and training. The content for this theatre has been curated by Fire Safety Matters, with the magazine also serving as Lead Media Partner for the exhibition.

Day One on Tuesday 5 April kicks off at 10.15 am with a presentation from Chris Auger, Schemes manager at BAFE, who’ll focus on precisely why it’s so important to specify competent, third party certificated individuals to transact fire safety-related work on site. There will be substantial detail around how to identify contractor competence.

At 11.00 am, Colin Moore (UK sales manager at Evac+Chair) evaluates how to ensure the safe evacuation of residents and workers from tall buildings in conjunction with Russ Timpson (director of the Tall Building Fire Safety Network). At its core, the session is set to examine how to create a suitable evacuation policy and evacuate different kinds of premises. This session will encompass dialogue around the modern evacuation technology now available.

Protecting healthcare premises from fire is the subject matter for Peter Aldridge (chair of the NAHFO) and Mike Sutton BEM MIET MIFSM GIFireE, business development manager for the healthcare sector at Apollo Fire Detectors. This session, which runs for an hour from 1.15 pm, will explore how to protect patients and staff in hospitals in the event of fire. Topics include the selection of suitable fire detection systems and fire doors in addition to considerations for safe evacuations.

Running from 2.45 pm until 4.00 pm is a mock trial involving Laura White (associate at legal practice Pinsent Masons LLP). This will recreate a real-life trial under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, with the audience serving as the Jury during the trial, which itself is going to be enacted by experienced fire safety lawyers. Insight into the dangers of non-compliance with the Fire Safety Order is a central theme.

Building Safety Bill

Day 2 of conference on Wednesday 6 April begins at 10.15 am with a 30-minute session delivered by Jonathan O’Neill OBE (managing director of the FPA) and Tom Brookes (representing the FSA) that’s set to examine the proposed Building Safety Bill and explain the legal impact on fire safety in buildings across the UK.

Andy Green (marketing manager at C-TEC) takes to the stage at 11.00 am and centres his attentions on whether or not a ‘Stay Put’ policy is still fit-for-purpose in the wake of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017.

The 12.45 pm-1.15 pm slot is all about protecting large premises from fire. Robert Read (technical manager for Hyfire), David Keeble (head of UK sales at Coopers Fire) and Tim Barker (commercial manager at FSi) are the presenters. The majority of businesses never recover from large-loss fires. This session looks to cover a variety of active fire detection solutions that can be implemented to safeguard large premises.

Joining conference at 1.45 pm is Dr Bob Docherty QFSM CEng MEI FIFSM (Life) FIFireE, president of the IFSM. Docherty’s delivery will afford key tips on ensuring that suitable fire risk assessments are conducted, with an appreciation of common failings. He’ll be joined at the lectern by Chloe Vickery MIFSM, fire safety advisor at The Kier Group.

During the session on modern fire safety solutions, which runs from 2.45 pm until 3.30 pm, delegates are going to hear from Ray Puttock (marketing manager for the EMEA region at EMS), Paul Pope (Group business development director at Global Fire Equipment) and Paul Gattens (technical sales support specialist for Detectortesters) who’ll concentrate on Case Studies evidencing how the latest technology is ably protecting premises and people from fire. Business continuity planning is very much part of the mix.

Promoting safety

Thursday 7 April begins with a 10.15 am panel discussion chaired by Vishal Bedi (one of simPRO’s UK business development managers) on digital platforms that will enable fire businesses to grow and win more clients. At 11.30 am, Mark Whiteley (UK sales manager at asecos) will be discussing and promoting the best available solutions for the storage of hazardous materials in the workplace in order to prevent potential explosions and fire episodes.

With technological advancements progressing the connected home, Alex Parker (national account manager for Aico) is using the 12.15 pm-12.45 pm slot to examine how this translates to resident safety, the benefits technology can bring to the proactive management of housing stock and how this facilitates a solution-focused approach. Parker is also going to focus on another dimension to resident safety through monitoring home health data and assess how smarter and healthier homes lead to safer communities.

From 2.00 pm until 3.00 pm, a training and competency workshop run by Tom Brookes (managing director of Zzeuss Training) and Alan Emms (fire safety advisor and advanced trainer at the FPA) provides practical guidance on – and a detailed overview of – all aspects of fire safety-related training with a keen attention to the role of the ‘Responsible Person’.

Passive fire protection

New for 2022 is The Passive Fire Conference. The Nineteen Group has partnered on this development with the ASFP, which is curating the content as part of an expanded presence at the show. That presence includes the debut of The Passive Fire Protection Arena as well as an ASFP Members Pavilion. 

Passive fire protection really is in the spotlight just now due to the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety and, of course, the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Building Safety Bill. With that scenario as the backdrop, The Passive Fire Protection Arena will serve as a leading platform for promoting the importance of passive fire protection and give visitors hands-on access to products and key guidance on the latest regulations and standards.

Steve Davies, CEO at the ASFP, is delighted about extending the organisation’s partnership with The Fire Safety Event. Davies told Fire Safety Matters: “All of us at the ASFP are thrilled to be partnering with The Fire Safety Event on this new development and supporting the passive fire safety sector. It’s a great chance for members and industry practitioners to meet the team and bring themselves up-to-speed with the latest developments in passive fire safety.”

Installer focus

The Fire and Security Installer Theatre is once again being run in partnership with the National Security Inspectorate (NSI). Dedicated to the needs of fire and security system installers and integrators, The Fire and Security Installer Theatre will provide important industry updates and guidance for practitioners and business owners alike. With all eyes on standards, regulation and industry Best Practice, the seminar sessions will be vital to ensure companies remain compliant and best equipped to meet the ongoing needs of their clients.

Speakers in this theatre include Will Perkins (Group marketing director at SE Controls), Phil Joslin (managing director of InstallerPro), Neil Gibbins (CROSS lead for fire safety) and Steve Hamm (CEO at the IFE). Subjects under discussion range from smoke vents/smoke control systems and fire alarm software through to competence in the fire sector and systems installation.

All of the content on offer across The Fire Safety Theatre, The Passive Fire Conference and The Fire and Security Installer Theatre is completely free of charge and accredited for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) thanks to the IFSM. Subsequent to the show, conference attendees can claim CPD points through their recognised provider. 

It’s worth noting that attendance at any given session will be on a first come, first served basis. Theatres at The Fire Safety Event are very popular indeed so do make sure to arrive for your selected sessions in good time.

One pass, four events

As stated, The Fire Safety Event – itself the fastest-growing event in the fire sector – is co-located at the NEC with The Security Event, The Health and Safety Event and The Workplace Event. Visitors only have to register once to enjoy access to all of these first-class shows.

When it comes to The Fire Safety Event’s location, the NEC in Birmingham is one of the most accessible exhibition venues in the UK. With an international airport, a mainline train station, easy access to the UK’s motorway network and over 16,000 free car parking spaces set aside for the Security and Safety Series, the NEC is the Number One option for both exhibitors and visitors alike.

The September 2021 edition of The Fire Safety Event was the biggest exhibition of its type ever to be held here in the UK and, impressively, the Nineteen Group has maintained that position for the show in 2022, which is its sixth edition as a national proposition. It’s a hugely impressive track record.

For more information and to register for your free pass for The Fire Safety Event 2022 visit www.firesafetyevent.com