Assistant Editor, IFSEC Global

December 15, 2021

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IFSEC Global’s 2021 most read in fire safety

2021 has been a year of growth and recovery as we all learn to adapt to a ‘new-normal’, both in our personal and professional lives. Throughout the year, industry professionals have continued to perform key work to ensure buildings and occupants are as safe from fire risks as possible. While the Grenfell Tower Inquiry continues to expose the troubling consequences of a damaged industry culture, several new legislative documents were launched with the aim to ensure that an incident like that which occurred in June 2017 never happens again. 

Much more has happened besides, but here we reveal the stories that caught the eye of IFSEC Global’s readers throughout the year! For the full articles, simply click on the linked title for each. 

1.Fire Safety Bill becomes Fire Safety Act 2021

On the 19th March 2020, The Home Office introduced the new Fire Safety Bill, to improve fire safety in buildings in England and Wales. The Bill has passed through the parliamentary process to become law – The Fire Safety Act 2021.

2. Fire safety in 2020 eBook – A year of challenges and change

In 2021, IFSEC Global and FIREX International launched the Fire Safety Annual Report for 2020 with the aim to update readers on 2020’s new legislation, Grenfell Tower Inquiry revelations, and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected professionals in the sector.

3. Fire at New Providence Wharf flats in East London

On 7th May, 100 firefighters tackled a blaze for nearly three hours at a block of flats covered in ACM cladding at East London’s New Providence Wharf in Poplar. The London Fire Brigade’s preliminary report into the incident highlighted serious failures in the smoke ventilation system, while the external spread of the fire was likely facilitated by timber decking on balconies.

4. Your guide to fire-resistant glass and glazing

In conjunction with the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF), IFSEC Global examined the key aspects of fire-resistant glazing.

5. Latest on the Building Safety Bill – Set to introduce the “biggest changes to building safety regulation in a generation”

The Building Safety Bill, first announced in draft form in July 2020, was published on 5th July this year. Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick described the Bill as a “key step in an extensive overhaul to building safety legislation”. IFSEC Global continues to provide regular updates on the Bill’s progress through the parliamentary process.

GrenfellTower-21

Fire safety in the UK continues to be dominated from learnings from the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017.

6. The road to Grenfell: “A disaster they knew would happen”

In April, Specialist Roofing & Cladding Consultant, and Director of MAF Associations, Mike Fox, explained his belief that the tragic event was an inevitable consequence of a damaged industry culture.

7. Three-quarters of £30m Waking Watch Fund for fire alarm installations approved as second round for applications opens

In December 2020 then Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced a £30 million Waking Watch Relief Fund. On 31st January this year, the fund’s first round of funding opened, while a second round opened on the 16th September. The fund is designed to ‘remove’ or ‘reduce’ the need for interim safety measures at high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding.

8. The importance of third-party certification in fire door safety

In support of 2021’s Fire Door Safety Week, IFSEC Global explored why industry professionals so often stress the importance of third-party certification for fire doors.

9. Milan tower block blaze: “A disaster waiting to happen” and similarities to Grenfell highlight global problems in building safety

In August, a fire broke out in an 18-story tower block in Torre del Moro, Milan. A preliminary report, conducted by a chartered building and fire engineer, claimed that the blaze which ripped through the exterior cladding of the building was a “disaster waiting to happen” and shared many of the features of the Grenfell Tower fire.

10. Disagreements exposed over personal emergency evacuation plans for disabled people and stay put policies in high-rises

After disagreements broke out over the role of personal emergency evacuation plans for people with disabilities or limited mobility in high rise residential blocks, IFSEC Global explored the recommendations of phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. The article investigates the use of PEEPs, the backing of the ‘stay put’ strategy, and the BSI’s suspension of its fire risk assessment code of practice for housing.

 

To keep up to date with all the latest in the fire safety sector across 2022 and beyond, sign up to our free weekly newsletter below! 

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