Fire Sector Federation welcomes Government’s decision on Fire Safety Implementation Plan

The Fire Sector Federation has welcomed the publication of the Government’s Implementation Plan in response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The Federation is heartened that the Government “agrees with the Review’s diagnosis and the principles behind its recommendations”. It also welcomes the announcement of a full review of Approved Document B to the Building Regulations and the release of further allied guidance impacting fire safety.

The FSF welcomes the Government’s recognition of the need for a step change in systems and behaviour “to radically improve culture and capability”. However, it believes this will take some time to achieve and require broad input from a range of stakeholders.

To be effectively delivered, the Federation believes this task must be tackled head on and speedily concluded as the official lessons from Grenfell Tower are learned. The FSF highlights the need for continued resource investment by Government to ensure appropriate outcomes and willingly offers the expertise of FSF members in support of this national priority.

Moves endorsed by the Implementation Plan

The Federation is pleased to note the Plan’s endorsement of:

*Placing people’s safety above all other interests in buildings

*Calling upon everyone engaged in the building safety process to accept their responsibilities and improve their competency, culture and behaviour

*Consulting on extending the scope beyond ten-storey residential buildings and the role of the duty holder

*Consulting on a tougher regulatory regime and creating the safety case mindset needed with a more explicit use of building inspectors

*Creation of a Joint Regulators Group and the review of ‘golden thread’ information

*A technical review of A, D, B and other guidance and consultation on the role of BRAC

*Developing a third party accreditation framework for building products where the FSF believes evidence already exists of better products and more effective product marking

*Helping all residents to gain information and engage in order to better protect themselves

*Assisting industry to address standards and new approaches to safety

Michael Harper

Michael Harper

While significant challenges exist in some areas, the FSF welcomes the opportunity to address them through the announced consultations. Examples of such challenges include:

*Considering how best to progress remediation in the private sector now that there’s clarity on the scale and costs in social housing to resolve the ACM problem

*Addressing how important roles like those undertaken by the temporary Expert Advisory Panel can be incorporated into the planned future building safety system

*Working inter-departmentally to ensure sufficient numbers of regulatory enforcers exist in groups such as Fire and Rescue Service fire safety inspectors, where limitations have been reported by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services

Strongest Government response

Welcoming the key elements of the Government’s Implementation Plan, FSF chairman Michael Harper stated: “The tragedy of Grenfell Tower demanded the strongest Government response and the Federation readily acknowledges the commitment and resources already made available to create and progress a Building Safety Programme and commission the Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.”

Harper added: “In urging the Government to continue its commitment to improve fire safety, the Federation confirms that it will positively contribute through the consultation process and any other route by offering whatever technical and moral support it can to advance public fire safety.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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