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IFSEC Global’s most read in fire safety: 2022 edition

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Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
December 16, 2022

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Another extremely busy year for the fire safety industry saw the completion of the Building Safety Act 2022 in April – a piece of legislation designed to bring about “lasting generational change and a clear pathway for the future” for the building and wider construction industry. The Act introduces sweeping changes to create regulatory reform in its 252 pages, though many of its measures are expected to take anywhere between a year to 18 months to introduce.

FIREX also returned for the first time since 2019, with fire safety professionals attending in their thousands to reconnect, collaborate and explore the latest innovations at London’s ExCeL in May.

Much more has happened besides, so here we reveal the top stories that IFSEC Global readers engaged with throughout the year! For the full articles, simply click on the linked title for each.

1)  Latest on the Building Safety Act

Perhaps unsurprisingly, IFSEC Global’s regular updates on the legislative process for the Building Safety Bill to be made law was the most read article this year. It received Royal Assent on 28 April to become the Building Safety Act.

2) Government scraps Building Safety Manager role by amending Building Safety Bill

Just a month before the Building Safety Act was passed into law, the Government decided to scrap the role of the Building Safety Manager to be mandated in response to complaints about the potential costs. The measure had previously been seen as an integral part of the legislation, with the fire industry offering its reaction in our follow up article.

3) Major fire at blocks of flats and offices in Whitechapel

On the afternoon of 7 March, London Fire Brigade confirmed reports of a major fire at a block of flats and offices in London. 25 fire engines and over 125 firefighters were called to the scene to tackle a fire in a flat on the 17th floor of the building. IFSEC Global also heard exclusively from a resident, highlighting that concerns had been raised about fire safety risks prior to the incident.

4) Lithium-ion battery fires – Your questions answered

Following an extremely popular webinar on IFSEC Global, Matt Humby from Sentura Group provided readers with some of the most frequently asked questions on lithium-ion battery fires – an issue that is seeing increased coverage in the fire sector and wider media outlets.

5) Court ruling finds contractor liable for £8million cost of removing unsafe cladding

In a landmark judgement in August, the High Court in London found a contractor liable to pay damages to removing cladding it had fitted to four residential tower blocks deemed to be unsafe. The decision established legal liability for remedial safety work in buildings going forwards.

6) New Fire Safety Regulations in England to implement ‘most’ of Grenfell Tower inquiry recommendations

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, published in September, introduce new duties for building owners and managers under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. They are due to come into force on 23 January 2023.

7) Evacuation of disabled people – What are the existing legal liabilities responsible persons and fire safety professionals must consider?

In July, Expert PEEPS Advisor Elspeth Grant outlined the wider legal liabilities associated with the evacuation planning of disabled people that building owners, safety managers, responsible persons and all those involved in fire safety need to consider.

8) Revealed: The IFSEC Global Influencers in Fire Safety 2022

IFSEC Global released its 2022 list of top influencers in the fire safety sector in June, alongside two ‘ones to watch’ for the future. Congratulations to all who made the list!

9) Three quarters of fire doors fail inspections according to FDIS

May saw the Fire Door Inspection Scheme warning of “a tragedy waiting to happen” after it revealed three quarters of fire doors in the UK did not meet the required standard.

10) Fire Safety Act 2021: How can businesses prepare for the incoming legislation?

Late last year, Simon Molloy provided IFSEC Global readers with useful advice on how businesses and responsible persons should be doing to ensure they were prepared for the Fire Safety 2021 legislation becoming law.

EVACSTAC-TallBuildings-22

EVACSTAC was on show at FIREX in May

11) An alternative solution for the challenges of single stairways in high-rise buildings – EVACSTAC

Showcased exclusively at FIREX International in May, EVACSTAC says its prefabricated steel structure provides a vital alternative evacuation route for residents in the event of a fire, as well as in supporting firefighters in shortening response times to high-rise incidents.

12) Awareness of fire risks from lithium-ion batteries grows amid calls for bans on charging infrastructure and e-bikes and scooters

Across the year, news stories of lithium-ion battery fires in e-bikes and e-scooters appeared regularly. It’s a new issue the fire industry will have to face up to in the coming years, and is certainly one that is garnering attention from IFSEC Global readers.

13) Care home fined £46,000 after woman dies in fire

Care home, Elder Healthcare, which runs on the Isle of Man, was fined £46,000 for health and safety breaches in March, following the death of a 95-year-old in a fire in 2019.

14)  The single stair debate: One staircase or two in tall buildings?

The pros and cons of having just one staircase in high rise residential buildings was the subject of an impassioned debate on Tuesday 17 May at FIREX. Ron Alalouff reported on the key points.

15) Cheshire hotelier fined £5,000 and sentenced to 12 months in prison after fire safety breaches

Earlier this year, the owner of the Main Top hotel in Widnes was sentenced to 12 months in prison and fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to nine breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Breaches included missing fire doors, no working fire alarm and several more inadequacies.


Top resources – Available to download or watch on-demand!

  1. Fire Safety in 2021 eBook – Is the industry ready to embrace systemic change in building safety and fire risk management?
  2. Webinar: Lithium-Ion Battery Fires – A burning issue in today’s world
  3. FIREX International 2022 eBook – Evolving opportunities, same challenges for the fire industry
  4. Webinar: Weaving the Golden Thread into fire safety
  5. Webinar: Women in safety, fire and security: reasons for and examples of initiatives to support gender equality in our professions

 

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