Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
June 6, 2017

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Most Influential

Top 50 influencers in security & fire 2017: Fire safety

After extensive consultation with a panel of judges from across the industry, we are delighted to reveal our roll call of the Top 50 influencers in security & fire 2017: fire safety.

You can meet and greet with some of the influencers over drinks at IFSEC International 2017, held in association with the BSIA. This networking event takes place between 14:30-15:30 in the Security Management Theatre on day three, 22 June. IFSEC takes place at London ExCeL between 20-22 June 2017. Get your free badge now.

The BSIA is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It’s a trio of 50s because we’ve also designed a graphic featuring all influencers based on the cover of the Beatles’ seminal Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, which also celebrated its 50th anniversary last month.

Scroll down for the top 10 influencers in the fire safety category and find out results of the other categories below.

Top 50 influencers: Beatles tribute visual

Lifetime of influence tribute: Mike Tennent, Tavcom Training

Security manufacturers/service providers

Security management, education and thought leadership (UK and international)

Cybersecurity (UK and international)

Installer/integrator excellence

Fire safety

#10 brian robinson fsf

10. Brian Robinson, chair, Fire Sector Federation

As chair of the organisation Robinson has been an influential voice in fire-safety debate. Established as a forum to foster the discussion of fire-related issues of interest to its membership the FSF brings together representatives from across the UK fire sector.

Originally formed in 2011 as the Fire Sector Partnership, the Fire Sector Federation was established in June 2012 following a merger with the Federation of British Fire Organisations (FOBFO) in response to the Fire Futures review. Launched in 2010 by then Fire and Rescue Minister Bob Neill MP this strategic review of fire and rescue provision was designed to enable sector partners to shape the future direction of fire and rescue services in England.

The FSF’s mission can be encapsulated as promoting horizontal integration, and challenging a prevailing ‘silo’ mentality in working practices by addressing both the built and natural environment, as well as fire and rescue service issues.

Notable nominations:

“Good thinker and motivator who chairs a disparate group of fire sector people with skill and knowledge.”

Ian Gurling FIA

9. Ian Gurling, awarding organisation manager, FIA

In his previous role as training manager Ian Gurling was a key figure in the recent launch by the FIA of four new engineering qualifications for the fire detection and alarm sector. Seeking to resolve the acute and worsening skills crisis in fire engineering, the association consulted extensively with employers, recruiters and member organisations in designing the four new courses. Open for applications from early July the qualifications will equip students to become system designers, installers, maintainers or commissioners.

Ian joined the FIA in 2008 as training manager. Prioritising quality assurance he strove to raise the standard of technicians working across the industry. He was instrumental in getting the FIA set up as an Awarding Organisation, offering national, regulated qualifications listed with OFQUAL, QIW and CCEA. Before joining the FIA Ian introduced NVQs to NFT Distribution, project-managed an NVQ programme for the care sector on behalf of Surrey County Council and provided training for the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Ian is also Fellow of the Institute of CPD and has been awarded Graduate of the City and Guilds Institute and has a BA(Hons) through the Open University.

#9 dave coss

8. Dave Coss, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service

Dave joined Derbyshire Fire and Rescue service in 1992, serving as a frontline firefighter and crew manager for a decade before being promoted to watch manager in 2001, taking up a role within the Fire Safety Inspection and Enforcement Office. In 2004 Dave became the first regionally funded fire investigation dog handler and is currently working with his third search dog, Dexter.

Following the deaths of six members of the same family in a 2012 house fire, Dave carried out a landmark study into the effectiveness of domestic smoke detectors. The study, which concluded that many children can sleep through conventional smoke alarms, prompted a collaboration with the University of Dundee to test whether children would sleep through an innovative new smoke alarm sound.

Notable nomination:

“For innovation that influences change. The voice alarm works and could potentially save lives and cut down injury from smoke inhalation”

niall rowan

7. Niall Rowan, COO, ASFP

Niall has worked in fire since 1979 managing Warringtonfire and coordinating their European activities. In 2007 he became President of EGOLF, the European organisation of fire laboratories.
Niall became ASFP’s Technical Officer  in 2010, managing the association’s technical output including the Yellow Book and many other publications. He runs several technical committees which provide the technical focus for the association.

He has been chief operations officer at the ASFP since January 2017.
One of his champions on the independent panel of judges said Rowan “deserves more credit than he gets” and praised his work revamping several of the ASFP guides – “industry bibles” – in 2014.

Notable nominations:

“Has influence with DGLC […]representing the UK industry at CEN & CENELEC, driving and steering EU standards […] Tremendous amount of energy and passion into education and improvement of passive fire systems […] Relentless determination to fix our industry! […] In-depth knowledge of the passive fire protection industry across Europe is second to none, he can stand in front of an audience of experts or pure beginners, getting the message across clearly and to the point. No heirs or graces, happy to muck in, work long hours and travel vast distances to ensure we live in a safer world. From testing standards to product types, from local building codes to installation requirements, Niall is very much the man in demand […] Here in Brazil, where we are based, we use all Yellow Book and other guidelines for passive fire protection. One very important topic being more noticed around the globe thanks to ASFP and Niall.”

#6 paul pope apollo

6. Paul Pope (Eng.Tech. GIFireE), Head of System Integration and Technical Support, Apollo Fire Detectors

Paul Pope has been at Apollo Fire Detectors since 2000, starting off as technical sales manager, before becoming head of UK sales and then Business Innovation Manager ( International).

James Ludwig, Managing Director at Texecom Ltd, has described Paul as “simply one of the most knowledgeable and experienced commercial fire alarm experts in Europe. He has incredible passion, is loyally committed to his work, and has unwavering integrity.

Ian Moore JP, Chief Executive Officer at Fire Industry Association, said Paul “has always impressed me with his passion, energy and knowledge of the fire alarm industry. For many years he has been my “go to” person when I have a question on product standards etc. and he has always delivered. His contribution to the FIA’s committees and working groups is extensive and well respected for which we are all grateful. Paul also has solid practical, commercial and business skills (having delivered in a number of positions in Fire and Security) gained through installation, commissioning, product management, sales, technical development, British and International compliance etc.”

Ray Hope – two places above in this countdown – called him “a focused and very determined man, when it comes to supporting his clients. Paul is, without any doubt, one of the hardest-working people I know. He is organised and clear-thinking. He is also trustworthy and responsible with a proven capability and willingness to consistently perform well.”

“Paul has a vast amount of knowledge and experience within the fire sector and contributes a significant amount to the industry by sitting on councils and influencing standards and codes of practice. His efforts and contribution are always overlooked but his influence and dedication to the Fire detection industry should not be underestimated.”

Ben Bradford 3

5. Ben Bradford, founder and MD, BB7

Holding dual professional status as both a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Surveyor Ben Bradford brought a wealth of multidisciplinary experience when he founded BB7, a specialist firm of consulting engineers operating in fire safety, security and business continuity.

Now managing director Bradford specialises in auditing fire risk management systems and the development of policy, strategy and procedure for organisations with complex fire-risk management challenges as well as intepreting building legislation and fire safety codes and standards.

Before establishing BB7 he served as director for a large independent fire engineering consultancy operating in emerging economies like Vietnam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Libya, Qatar and Nigeria. As a Chartered Building Control Surveyor in London and the South East he also acquired experience and knowledge in building pathology, Construction, Building Legislation, Codes and Standards.

Ben – who is also one of IFSEC Global’s prolific contributors – has chaired the FIA Fire Risk Assessment Council’s Professional Standards Working Group for several years and was a founding member of the Fire Engineering Council. As the Principle author of PAS 7: Fire Risk Management Systems Specification from the British Standards Institution Ben has had a profound impact on best practice for organisational fire risk management strategies and operational challenges.

“Ben is always proactive in his thinking and is constantly striving for ways to improve not only his company and the knowledge base within but the industry as a whole. He is very passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated which is reflected in his work and the way he inspires others around him.”

#4 ray hope, advanced

4. Ray Hope, MD, Advanced Electronics

Ray Hope has been managing director of Advanced Electronics since 1999, before which he spent a decade at Morley Electronic Fire Systems.

Based in Newcastle Advanced Electronics sells products that protect people and property in 60 countries. Its systems are found in applications from small, single-panel sites to huge multi-node networks, in many of the most prestigious and challenging locations. Dedicating 25% of its business to R&D the company sees itself as an innovator and Hope has been instrumental in forging that approach.

“Brilliant company: innovative, and they are really changing the fire industry. They have one of the best technical departments I have dealt with.”

#3 charlie pugsley LFB

3. Charlie Pugsley, London Fire Brigade

As the number of domestic fires has fallen in recent decades the fire service’s role has mutated to encompass a greater emphasis on fire prevention and community safety. As Head of Fire Investigation, Charlie Pugsley has been instrumental in steering the LFB through this change.

Charlie joined London Fire Brigade in 1996 as a firefighter before moving into the Fire Investigation Team in 2004 and later, in 2010, moved into management. The LFB has been involved in campaigning for new regulations for safer fuse boards and fridge freezer manufacturers to improve the safety standards of their designs. “Tenacity is vital for working in fire investigation. It isn’t a nine-to-five job. Our staff will regularly be off duty and notice something that may be a little suspect on sale in a shop and decided to investigate it a little further,” Charlie has said. Although some fridge freezer manufacturers have indirectly changed their designs as a result of the team’s work, it is social media where their conclusions have drawn some of the more visible impacts on people’s lives. The teams work on identifying a Nutella jar, a crystal door knob and fake mobile phone chargers as causes of fire led to thousands of people tweeting and posting on Facebook about how they had changed their behaviour.

Notable nominations:

“Drove the recall campaign on white goods and successfully changed Whirlpools advice regarding the safety of their recalled tumble dryers. A well regarded and passionate officer in the London Fire Brigade who is always looking to make a difference.”

#2 bob docherty

2. Dr Robert Docherty, managing director, Flame Risk Solutions

Dr Bob Docherty was a career firefighter for 33 years, retiring from Strathclyde Fire Brigade in 2001.

He is now managing director for Flame Risk Solutions, which provides Fire safety and fire safety engineering, Fire safety risk assessments, Regulation and litigation issues relating to fire and fire safety, Interpretation of fire law and regulations, Negotiation with local authorities and fire services, Fire investigation, Fire and fire safety training (practical and management based), Fire safety, emergency and recovery planning, Post fire surveys and audits, Building surveying including passive fire protection measures, Personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for disabled people including management emergency plans and evacuation strategies for disabled people, Training for PEEPs for professionals.

Notable nominations:

“For driving the IFSM forward and onto a very professional footing; some 800 plus fire safety professionals (members) owe him for his influence, drive and commitment to professional standards in the fire sector. Amazing work rate for the IFSM which include collating and commenting on national standards and guidance.”

#1 colin todd CS Todd Associates

1. Colin Todd, MD, CS Todd and Associates

Colin Todd formed C.S. Todd & Associates Ltd in 1982 after years of experience in risk management and fire protection engineering. His team includes both chartered engineers and fire safety professionals with local authority fire and rescue service experience. Consultants undertaking fire risk assessments are all listed on the IFE’s register of fire risk assessors.

The practice offers consultancy services in all aspects of fire safety, including fire risk assessments, surveys and audits, fire safety design and management, fire engineering/fire safety strategies, specifications for fire protections systems such as sprinklers, fire detection and alarms and gaseous extinguishing systems, and fire training. The practice also conducts investigations into the suitability of existing fire protection systems and fire safety designs and acts as expert witnesses for contract disputes and litigation cases.

Under Todd’s stewardship C.S. Todd & Associates Ltd has also been instrumental in educating responsible persons on their new-found legal role since the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which placed the burden of responsibility for fire safety squarely on the shoulders of building owners or managers, was introduced. The practice is certificated by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) under the recent UKAS accreditated scheme for companies that carry out fire risk assessments, BAFE SP 205.

It was also the first consultancy practice to be registered with BAFE for the design and verification of fire detection and alarm systems under the SP203 scheme.

Notable nominations:

“Worked on recent standards and commercially on a new sheltered housing guide. His expert witness work does help with setting of industry-accepted norms […] Found him to be the most knowledgeable, approachable and – most importantly – jargon-free specialist who I have ever worked with  […] Knowledge spans every corner of fire safety regulation and has undoubtedly improved the safety of the British workplace  […] massively influential with the BSI and codes of practice over a number of years.”

Free Download: A Technical Guide to Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

Fire legislation, which is written for the purpose of life safety, requires duty holders in non-domestic premises to assess fire risks and put in place arrangements for the prevention of fire and to protect people from fire when it occurs. This guide provides an overview of the need to know information for fire detection and alarm systems and your legal requirements, key actions, key terms and more.

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1 Comment on "Top 50 influencers in security & fire 2017: Fire safety"

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Mike Wood
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Are these guys really influencers? Or Commentators?

What has actually changed, significantly, in practice, as a result of sector influence?

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