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.
June 8, 2020


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Digital Week round-up

IFSEC & FIREX Digital Week: What did you miss?

Designed to bring the security and fire communities together during the coronavirus pandemic, IFSEC and FIREX recently held a digital gathering (18-22 May), alongside co-located shows, Safety & Health Expo, Workplace Wellbeing Show, Intelligent Buildings Europe and Facilities Show. The response from across the industries was fantastic, with over 5,000 attendees tuning in to watch 15 hours’ worth of live webinars that took place across the week.   

Digital_Week_2020In addition to the live webinars, the IFSEC and FIREX Digital Week ‘hub’ pages received over 8,000 visitors throughout the week, where attendees could discover a range of recent product launches, download exclusive industry whitepapers and watch pre-recorded webinars. These are all still available now, with links to the Digital Week pages accessible below.

Thought leadership and industry focused webinars

For the majority of professionals, live webinars are key to any digital event, with 84% of respondents to a Digital Week survey (sent out after the event) highlighting that seminar/webinar content should form a major part of any digital offering. It was therefore encouraging to hear that 80% of those who attended Digital Week cited that the live webinar content was very useful to them.

The content provided an exclusive opportunity to engage with industry-leading speakers, with plenty of live questions coming in during the Q&A section of each session – highlighted by some of the responses to the survey, below:

“I would recommend anyone involved in fire safety works to get involved with Webinars and Digital Week.”

“Thoroughly informative and the use of Q&A provides a great interactive touch.”

Security, the ‘state of the nation’, protecting infrastructure and IoT challenges

First up for IFSEC on Tuesday 19 June, there were presentations from Dr Dave Sloggett, Scientific Advisor and Analyst at the University of Oxford, and Tony Porter, the England and Wales Surveillance Camera Commissioner from the UK Home Office. Both speakers have graced the stage at IFSEC International in recent years, with Tony having launched Surveillance Camera Day last year, in an effort to raise awareness about surveillance cameras and the role they play in society. During the Digital Week presentations, both gave their views on the current state of security in the UK, while Tony covered some of the achievements his office has made over the past six years in his post.

Following this, a panel debate session was held by Dave, where Alex Carmichael (Chief Executive, SSAIB), Rick Mounfield (Chief Executive, Security Institute) and Mike Reddington (Chief Executive, BSIA) all discussed how the industry is set to be affected by COVID-19, alongside issues regarding the skills gap, future standards and surveillance privacy concerns.


During the afternoon, Richard Flint from BRE Global and the LPCB discussed the importance of ensuring high standards for security products, particularly when it comes to protecting critical national infrastructure. Following this, we heard from three members of HS Security – ATG Access, Technocover and Barkers Fencing – on the importance of independent certification and how physical security solutions can integrate within a smart city to protect from potential attacks.

Wednesday 20 June was all about smart buildings, with a focus on the challenges of securing IoT devices discussed during the morning. Sarb Sembhi, James Willison and Nick Morgan, all of who are leading members of the IoT Security Foundation, offered their expert opinions. A number of topics were discussed, including how consumer IoT security regulations are set to impact the sector, as well as the tactical risks to IoT in a business.

Fire safety, COVID-19 and life after Grenfell

Fire safety took centre stage on the Thursday, with the major industry associations represented over the course of two well-attended webinars – over 1,000 professionals watched, listened and engaged with the live sessions throughout the day.

DigitalWeek-Image-20With so many in the fire safety sector appealing for professionals to be classed as key workers during the COVID-19 lockdown, it was imperative to discuss how the pandemic had affected the sector. Niall Rowan (CEO, ASFP), Ian Moore (CEO, FIA), Jonathan O-Neill (Managing Director, FPA) and Dennis Davies (Executive Officer, Fire Sector Federation) all explained how their various associations had been supporting members throughout this challenging period. A Q&A session followed the presentations, with attendees asking all manner of questions – from how fire safety contractors can assess buildings whilst social distancing, to how Brexit (yes, that is still happening!) may affect regulations moving forwards in the UK.

The afternoon session covered a topic which remains at the very heart of the sector. While the Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster is ongoing, Colin Todd (representing the FIA), and Andrew Taylor (Technical Officer, ASFP), discussed the recent changes to regulations, and how the disaster may shape the future path of fire safety in the UK. Colin expertly guided attendees through a practitioner’s view of recent regulations and reports, such as Document B and the Hackitt Review, while Andrew explored the recent launch of the Building Safety Bill.

For those who may have missed the Digital Week webinars, you can still register and listen to them on demand, via the links below!

Either side of the IFSEC and FIREX webinar days, our sister title, SHP Online, hosted webinars discussing the future of health and safety in the UK, the challenges of sourcing PPE, workplace wellbeing discussions, and the impact COVID-19 has had on the facilities management sector.

You can find out more about these sessions, here.

Not resting on the success of Digital Week, IFSEC & FIREX have also launched Training Week! Taking place between 22-25 June, we’ve teamed up with Skills for Security and the BSIA to run a series of installer focused, CPD-accredited training webinars, to support security and fire professionals improve and maintain their standards during this challenging period.

Register for Training Week!

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[…] Todd, a Fire Engineer and Expert Witness – who spoke last year during FIREX Digital Week – commented that Mr Stokes use of such letters after his name would “significantly […]