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IFSEC Global is the online community for the Security and Fire industry. Our market-leading live events span the globe, connecting buyers and sellers.
June 21, 2018

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Tall building fire safety management more essential than ever in wake of Grenfell, FIREX 2018 hears

Chartered fire engineer Russ Timson has affirmed that management in tall building fire safety was imperative in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Speaking at FIREX International, which ran alongside Safety & Health Expo, Timson said: “Grenfell will shape us for some time to come and it will make a difference and confirm the importance of management of these type of buildings.”

Previously a firefighter of nearly 20 years, Timson underlined the importance of strong building management in preventing similar disasters.

“Any building can be kept safe if it’s managed correctly,” he said. “It’s the biggest measure for existing buildings to see if they are safe or not. It’s critical.”

“There’s going to be 400 new tall buildings in London in the next four years.” Russ Timson

He explained that an increase in high-rise buildings will ultimately influence the way we live. “There’s going to be 400 new tall buildings in London in the next four years, additional to what we have now. The way we work and the way our society works is going to change fundamentally.”

He also expressed concern that issues such as emergency lights malfunctions and arson risks were being given to security managers, engineering managers or health and safety managers; people who, he said, “are not competent to do it”.

Pushing his point, he asked the audience if illicit smoking in the workplace counted as arson. Delegate hands stayed down but eyebrows were raised when Timson revealed the sentencing of a man whose cigarette caused a fire at his non-smoking workplace. “Arson is not just about intent, it’s about the degree of recklessness,” he explained.

Summarising, Timson asked for a re-definition of what constitutes a tall/high-rise building; the integration of fire detection and alarm systems that have the resilience and flexibility to change evacuation strategies as circumstances dictate; and a competent fire safety manager to oversee high-rise buildings.

Life Safety & Fire Protection: Download the eBook

Multiple high-profile fire tragedies have hit the headlines over the past two years, serving to highlight just how vital fire safety continues to be. This eBook outlines some of the critical conversations from FIREX, Europe's only dedicated fire safety event, and what these developments mean for your fire safety strategy, including:

  • Tall building fire safety management
  • How tragedy has shaped UK fire safety laws
  • How to choose the best fire detector equipment
  • The science behind optical beam detection
  • The biggest influencers in fire safety

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FIDELIS OGBOGOH Recent comment authors
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Hi Russ
Am a chartered fire engineer, a fellow of Institution of fire engineers and the CEO of Integrated Risk and Disaster Management Consultants Ltd. We operate in Nigeria and seek to partner with a reputable company in the United kingdom. I am presently in the United kingdom and would like to meet with you to discuss areas of business partnership
Kind regards
Fidelis Ogbogoh

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