The newsletter of the Fire Information Group UK (FIG UK)
This Newsletter contains:
- News from around the World
- Diary of Events
- Summary of the FIGUK Meeting held on 9 March 2011
- Dates of next meeting
FIGUK website www.figuk.org.uk ... please help to promote FIGUK whenever you can...
News items from around the world
Key reasons for the spread of fire in roof voids are identified in new research commissioned by the UK Government. Carried out by a team of experts from Exova Warringtonfire and Butler and Young, the study investigated fire compartmentation in roof voids.
The key reasons for spread of fire were: combustible materials spanning beneath the non-combustible roof covering; lack of or poor installation of cavity barriers along the soffit; and heat transfer through penetrations. The difficulty facing fire crews gaining access to the cavities and voids of timber-framed buildings was also highlighted. See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/1732082.pdf
Chemical alert in the Netherlands
Southern parts of the Netherlands were put on alert on 5 January 2011 after a fire at a chemical plant generated a large, potentially toxic cloud of smoke. A fire and series of explosions at the Chemie-Pack plant near Rotterdam prompted authorities to take precautionary action - advising local residents to stay indoors and keep windows and doors shut, and putting parts of South Holland province on alert until the fumes had dispersed.
Hundreds of fire-fighters tackled the blaze at the plant, where some 400,000 litres of carcinogenic material is stored. No-one was hurt.
Two recent prosecutions by London Fire Brigade have resulted in large fines. Bakery Greggs was fined £50,000 with £20,300 costs after pleading guilty to a number of failures at a shop in Brentford, including corridors partially blocked by plastic crates and a locked fire exit locked.
In a separate case, brewery Punch Taverns paid out £27,400 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to seven breaches at the Milestone pub and the first floor of the premises, which was being used as a house with multiple occupancy.
Understanding the Term 'Competent Person'
Since the introduction of Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) in 2005, the law now firmly states that there must be a 'Responsible Person' who is accountable for reducing the risk of fire and its spread, ensuring that fire protection measures in his/her premises are maintained/repaired and that an appropriate fire risk assessment of the building is undertaken.
The Responsible Person may seek to appoint a Competent Person to undertake a suitable fire risk assessment of his/her premises but what exactly constitutes a 'Competent Person', asks the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP).
The ASFP considers a 'Competent Person' to be an individual, or business, that has been judged to be sufficiently competent to be able to self-certify that any construction work undertaken complies with the relevant parts of the Building Regulations of England and Wales. Such 'Competent Persons' must be registered with a scheme that has been approved by The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). And, whilst currently there are no plans to extend any such scheme into areas of Local Authority Building Control (such as fire safety), it is understood that one may be introduced at some future date.
The ASFP's position is clear. It strongly advocates the use of third party certification of contractors for the installation of passive fire protection products, to the extent that it is mandatory for all ASFP contractor members to maintain third party certification via a certification body accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).
This certification requires the third party to verify that installations are satisfactory. The process is undertaken by a mixture of audits of records and randomly selected site visits, by the third party, at which workmanship is checked for compliance.
According to the ASFP, a competent person is one who can demonstrate to a third party that they have the expertise, skills and commitment to the professional installation of passive fire protection products. This means one who (a) works for a third party certificated installer under the conditions of that scheme, (b) has demonstrated to a certification body running a UKAS accredited competent persons scheme to EN ISO 17024 (Personnel Certification) competence in the installation of passive fire protection, or (c) works for a company operating a 'company based' competent person scheme certificated against EN 45011 by a certification body accredited by UKAS.
The ASFP will continue to work with the certification community to ensure that the installation of passive fire protection is undertaken by appropriately trained individuals within a third party framework.
Further information can be found on the ASFP website at: www.asfp.org.uk
US campaign highlights fire risk to young children
Fire Safety agencies in America have teamed up with partners to highlight the risks to families in the light of new statistics showing that children account for 13% of all fire deaths and 11% of injuries in the country.
The US Fire Administration (USFA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, working with the National Commission on Children and Disasters, have launched a campaign to raise awareness of fire safety among children.
Drawing on annual figures which show that more than 500 children died and 1,900 were injured in fires in the USA, the initiative is promoting home safety tips to protect kids against the risks from cooking and heat sources - particularly wood burning stoves and portable heaters. It encourages a range of measures, such as controlling the use of matches and lighters, and home evacuation strategies.
To support the campaign, USFA has issued a new statistical report on fire risks to children in the year 2007. Based mainly on data collected through the National Fire Incident Reporting System, the report examines fire risks to children under the age of 15. Highlighting that children were the victims in 13% of all fire deaths and 11% of injuries, the analysis says that children aged 4 and under - and dependent on others for their safety - are at a higher risk than older kids. Some 52% of all children who die in fires and 46% of those injured are at pre-school age.
Other findings include:
- fire deaths to children decline as they get older
- fire injuries are highest in the 4 and under age group, decline in the middle years, but rise again in the 10 to 14 age group
- boys are at higher risk of death from fire than girls
- African-American children under 4 are at an increased risk of fire death - the risk is 2.6 times higher than all children in that age group
More information is available at www.usfa.fema.gov
CSB Releases New Safety Video: Fire in the Valley; Depicts Catastrophic Explosion and Fire at Bayer CropScience Facility in 2008
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) have released a new safety video www.csb.gov/videos/fire-in-the-valley depicting events leading to the 28 August 2008, catastrophic explosion and fire at the Bayer CropScience facility in Institute, WV, USA that fatally injured two workers.
The video is entitled Fire in the Valley a reference to the Kanawha River valley where numerous chemical facilities are located, including the Bayer plant that manufactures insecticides, near Charleston, West Virginia, USA.
The video features a detailed computer animation showing how a series of errors and deficiencies during a lengthy startup process resulted in a runaway chemical reaction inside a residue treater pressure vessel. The CSB's investigation found that operators were not adequately trained, new computer process equipment had not been fully checked out, and a critical safety interlock was bypassed to begin a chemical reaction.
Investigations Supervisor John Vorderbrueggen, P.E. discusses the CSB's investigations. "We found serious deficiencies in the company's process safety management programme. This resulted in a series of critical omissions during the startup that led to a runaway reaction and violent explosion".
These events contributed to the over pressurization of the residue treater which ultimately exploded and careened into the methomyl pesticide manufacturing unit, leaving a huge fireball in its wake. Pieces of the vessel struck a steel-mesh covering surrounding a large tank of methyl isocyanate, a highly toxic chemical of concern to residents of the valley since 1984 when an accidental release of MIC in Bhopal, India, killed thousands.
In the video, CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso says, "The communities surrounding Bayer CropScience have been concerned for decades about the MIC stored there. Its presence added even more gravity to the series of safety lapses the CSB investigation found to have preceded the tragedy. And when the accident occurred, the company refused to give out critical information to responders and the public".
Ultimately, 40,000 area residents were requested to shelter-in-place the night of the accident. The video features comments by county and state officials on the initial refusal of Bayer to provide information to Metro 911 emergency response operators as well as residents concerns about chemical plant safety in the area. Fire in the Valley also details the key CSB safety recommendation that Kanawha Valley county authorities emulate the regulatory regime of Contra Costa County, California, USA. There, chemical process safety experts regularly inspect the multitude of facilities throughout the county in a program that is paid for by a proportional levy on the plants. The programme's director, Randy Sawyer, comments in the CSB video on the success of the programme.
The CSB's safety videos are provided free of charge. DVD compilations may be requested at www.csb.gov.
Diary of Events
5 April 2011 - Law lecture
A lecture on legal responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order in England and Wales is being held in London on 5 April 2011.
Hosted by the Worshipful Company of Fire-fighters, in partnership with the FPA, the Fire and the City lecture will hear from Prof. Rosemarie Everton from the University of Central Lancashire and barrister David Stotesbury.
There will also be an open forum when the speakers will be joined by chief fire and rescue adviser, Ken Knight. Tickets cost £30 - see www.firefighterscompany.org
13 April 2011 - Free Event to Help Shape Future Services
Customer Insight / Information Management Event - Shaping future services for the Communities we serve in challenging times.
Organised in conjunction with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, this event will be of particular interest to other Fire Authorities, partner organisations and those interested in joint service delivery.
This Local Government Improvement and Development (LGID) event aims to provide case studies of how the esd-toolkit (Effective Service Delivery) can be used to support service delivery within a climate of Public Sector Reform and extend already established standards to support partnership working.
The event will:
- explore the esd-toolkit online facility to show how the functionality supports Public Sector Reform and Service Delivery
- demonstrate through the use of case studies how esd-toolkit is being used by other organisations to serve their neighbourhoods more efficiently
- focus upon the use of esd-toolkit to show how lifestyle data sets (primarily Mosaic but also CACI, OAC and ONS) can be used to support targeted service delivery by responding to the needs of the community
- review the Local Government Service List (LGSL) and how this supports officers in service provision, including shared services and statutory provision
- encourage partnership working across organisations to share services in a more coordinated fashion
- take a fresh approach to managing risk and equalities
- support the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) - statutory requirement for all FRS to produce.
Two workshops will take place within the event.
Organisations need to be proactively managing the immediate and long-term impact of proposed service cuts by forecasting future demand for services. These workshops will give a framework on which to develop structured local plans that reflect local area provision and improve community safety.
To book a place www.esd.org.uk/esdtoolkit/Events/BookEvent.aspx?E=469
Risk conference on 5-6 May 2011 in Glasgow, UK
The University of Glasgow, Loughborough University and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is staging the 2nd Conference on Integrated Risk Management Planning on 5-6 May 2011. Being held at the University of Glasgow, the event aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for researchers and practitioners in academia, industry and government to present and discuss their latest findings in the area of risk management planning, emergency planning and fire safety management - see www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/irmp
International Firex - Tuesday 17 May and Wednesday 18 May 2011, The Toute Suite National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK
The FPA will be running two special seminars at International Firex aimed directly at fire and security specialists within the insurance industry and FPA members. Each session aims to attract up to 100 delegates. In addition Fire Risk Management (FRM) is teaming up as a media partner with UBM to publish the official seminar guide for International Firex 2011 - The guide will outline the broad range of show seminars being staged by UBM's Learning Zone, FIA, ASFP, LPCB and the FPA. A rate card is attached for your information
The Housing Sector National Forum, Thursday 16 June 2011, Worcester Rugby Sixways Conference Centre
This special one day event will attract up to 300 representatives from the Housing Sector and aims to assist and support them with their implementation of the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (fire Safety) Order 2005. Many industry experts including Fire Minister Bob Neill will be on hand to provide help and guidance both within the exhibition and in our knowledge based workshop sessions.
Further information can be found at https://www.thefpa.co.uk/news
FPA will also be offering a special Fire Summit taking place in the Autumn.
Sponsorship packages, exhibition stands and advertising opportunities are available at all of the above events or if budgets are tight you may like to consider placing your information in our delegate packs.
For further information please do not hesitate to contact Lee Searle email@example.com
16-19 May 2011 - International Firex
NEC Birmingham, UK
17-19 May 2011 - Safety and Health Expo 2011
NEC, Birmingham, UK
25-27 May 2011 - EuroFire 2011
L'École Militaire, Paris, France
Contact: Carole Franks, Conference Director, Interscience Communications Ltd West Yard House, Guildford Grove, Greenwich, London SE10 8JT, UK | Tel: +44 (0)208 692 5050 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6-10 June 2011 - Principles and Practice of Fire Modelling
Greenwich Maritime Campus, London, UK
Contact: Mrs F Barkshire, Fire Safety Engineering Group, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Maritime Campus, Old Royal Naval College, Queen Mary Building, Greenwich SE10 9LS, UK | Tel: +44 (020) 8331 8706 | Fax: +44(020) 8331 8925 | Email: email@example.com | http://fseg.gre.ac.uk/fire/course1.html
6-10 June 2011 - Radiation Safety Officer Training for Laboratory Professionals
18-21 October 2011 - A+A 2011
Contact: i. A. Martin-Ulf Koch, G2-PR/ Presseabteilung - Press Department | Tel: +49 (0) 211 4560 444 | Fax: +49 (0) 211 4560 8548 | Email: KochM@messe-duesseldorf.de | www.aplusa.de
21-27 November 2011 - UK Road Safety Week
Road Safety Week is an annual campaign run by Brake, the road safety charity. This year's theme is "Too Young to Die". The message behind the theme is that road deaths are sudden, violent events that rip apart families by taking lives too soon. The Week calls on everyone, but drivers in particular, to recognise how road deaths snatch lives too early and devastate families; and to remember this and put safety first behind the wheel at all times.
For more information and ideas for how you can get involved in Road Safety Week go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.
Minutes of the FIGUK Meeting held on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 held at the Dr Burgoyne & Partners LLP, Half Moon Court, London
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
Burgoyne Management Ltd
Lane, Jeffries and Associates
London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA)
London Metropolitan University
Hawkins and Associates
West Midland FRS
Dr Roger Berrett Associates
International Fire Consultants (IFC)
Fire Protection Association
Valiant Fire Protection
Fire Service College (FSC)
Sheila welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.
Welcome and introductions were made.
See above for those absent.
Jack Sullivan, Valiant Fire Protection sent his best wishes for the group.
2. Minutes Meeting held in September 2010
Minutes of last meeting held on Wednesday, 15 September 2010 held at the Imperial
Hotel, Russell Square, London were accepted.
(Abbreviated Minutes of the March 2011 meeting are also on FIGUK website www.figuk.org.uk with March 2011 Newsletter)
It was AGREED at the September 2010 meeting to only provide brief minutes in future, and that Members should email to Sheila Pantry with any points they talked about under the Round Table part of the meeting to ensure all the details were fully noted.
3. Matters arising
Discussion on the use of the British Library services since the talk given by Louise Doolan at the last meeting. Some members had use the services and were very impressed, especially the photocopying service and also the Catalogue databases.
These were circulated by Sally who informed Members that the new increased Membership fee to £20.00 per annum has now begun with the 2011 invoices that are being sent out.
If Members know of any potential new members - please make contact with them.
6. Round Table discussion
Lauren Paines has now left Barbour and has been replaced by Stephanie Wingate.
Dr Roger Berrett
Roger sent in the message to remind Members that the Forensic Science Service (FSS) was closing down in March 2012.
Members deeply regretted the closure of yet another fire related information service and discussed the future of the Forensic Science Service FORS database service. As yet FORS future has not yet been decided.
Elizabeth Delaney sent in a message to say that she has now left BSRIA and was going to live in Wales. FIGUK sends all good wishes to Elizabeth in her future career.
Burgoynes Management Ltd
Sally Walsh reported that the Database Project was proceeding, and that the end was finally in sight! One of the biggest hurdles had been learning to speak the same language and to use the same terminology as the programmers, and vice versa.
Alysoun Warner reported that:
CLG is undergoing restructuring.
Fire Protection Association (FPA)
Jane Thurgood, Associate Director, Publications sent in the following information:
After much hard work, blood, sweat and tears... New websites launched for:
- FPA: www.thefpa.co.uk
- Fire Risk Management: www.frmjournal.com
- RiscAuthority: www.riscauthority.co.uk
Fire Safety in Healthcare Premises DVD launched in summer 2010: www.thefpa.co.uk/shop
Fire Safety on Construction Sites DVD is due for release this month. Training Information Pack for Healthcare Premises should be available late Spring. We are working on new Health & Safety, and also Assisted Evacuation titles this year.
- 'Fire and the City' event in April.
- International Firex 2011: FPA will have a significant presence at the International Firex 2011 (NEC in May 2011), where FPA will be running a number of seminars and members' events. Fire Risk Management will also be publishing the official Firex seminar guide as part of the May 2011 edition.
If anybody needs any further information, I'm happy to help where I can!
Paula McCrudden reported that Hawkins is still running in-house training on white goods fires.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
David Wales and Owain Thompson reported that:
- 50 FIGUK leaflets were distributed at a seminar on Human Behaviour in Fire that was held in February 2011 and run by Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) Fire Investigation and Research Team (FIRT) in conjunction with Canterbury Christ Church University. This was the first of what will now become an annual event seeking to improve our knowledge of human behaviour in relation to domestic property fires where the majority of fire related injuries occur. Further information: www.kent.fire-uk.org/default.aspx?page=1551
- KFRS FIRT are developing our links with various academic and trade/professional groups to act as a hub between these groups and the operational crews/officers
- CFOA have set up a national working group for Fire Investigation which David attends in his role as Chair of the South East Fire Investigation Group (SEFIG)
- SEFIG continues to be an active group and is a good point of contact for enquiries in relation to fire investigation and research. The membership includes 9 Fire and Rescue Services in the South East region, with London Fire Brigade and Defence Fire Risk Management Organisation (DFRMO) attending.
- Owain Thompson (Community Safety Researcher, Kent Fire and Rescue Service) gave an overview of his work to improve knowledge in relation to human behaviour in relation to domestic fires (where the majority of injuries are sustained). A pilot study of interviews with victims has already produced valuable information for improving understanding of people's attitudes and actions.
- Owain has made contact with the British Library and was very pleased with the service and assistance given.
Lane, Jeffries and Associates
David Lane reported the following:
CSARN is an award-winning not-for-profit UK-based business membership group, dedicated to promoting business security, resilience and staff safety. By bringing some 12,500 UK private and public sector decision-makers together - and through building commercial networking and mutual aid platforms across emergency response and security disciplines - CSARN delivers business community security and safety via:
- Twice-monthly CSARN Security Risk Monitor www.csarn.org/srm.html
- Monthly business security and resilience briefings
- Targeted 'live' networking environments
- Crisis leadership and business security workshops and training
- High-level business risk, resilience and recovery conferences
- Information dissemination on business risks - 'CSARN world reports': https://www.csarn.org/blogs/world-reports
- Bespoke specialist project management with qualified international security, risk management, emergency planning and trauma recovery professionals
CSARN 2011 future member events
For more details on speakers and audiences please go to: www.csarn.org/bps.html
e.g. CSARN UK Cyber Security Conference (May 19, 2011, central London)
With senior level speakers and attendees from across corporate, government and police backgrounds 29th floor of Guy's Tower, Guys and St Thomas's Hospital.
Crisis Leadership and business recovery (June 21, 2011, central London)
CSARN The Strategic Defence and Security Review: implications for the business and security sector (July 4th, kindly hosted by Clifford Chance, Canary Wharf, London) Speakers will include senior representatives from the military, police and UK domestic security spheres, defence and security businesses, non-governmental organisations, politicians, media and academic analysts
Business Continuity and crisis recovery (September 2011, Manchester, UK)
CSARN is interactive with our members and very welcome applications from its members to speak and/or exhibit good practice at upcoming events, and also to establish CSARN events in their own disciplines and regions.
Unscheduled CSARN events by demand
In addition, CSARN runs 'Breakfast Briefings' giving accurate and timely assessments of unfolding news events and business risks (members only). In the past calendar year topics have included: CBRN, mobile phone security; aviation and transport security; Parliamentary briefings and business security briefings in India, the USA and EU.
CSARN's networks actively connect together more than 12,500 highly engaged, senior UK business security leaders, and encompass more than 150 'member partners' across UK core cities, including many global financial, professional, logistical, transport and hospitality organisations. Some, including AEG The 02, AON, BT, Barclays, Clifford Chance, Deutsche Bank, Eversheds, First Group, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Nomura Bank, Marsh and McLennan, UK National Counter-Terrorism Security Office, Remploy, Sodexo, SNR Denton, Takeda pharmaceuticals, Virgin Atlantic, choose to be profiled on the CSARN website.
Many large UK public sector organisations including national assemblies, city councils and emergency services also sit within CSARN membership.
Member benefits see https://www.csarn.org/pages/join-csarn
SME membership fee (£550 + VAT). Corporate membership is charged annually at £1050 + VAT. (To suit budget circumstances, invoices can be split biannually upon request.)
Corporate and SME membership can be confirmed in an email to CSARN's head office, via
the executive assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, membership can be made via a one-click on-line booking system at: https://www.csarn.org/pages/join-csarn
CSARN is overseen by an international Advisory Council, open to application from within our membership, and presently chaired by Sir David Veness, former UN Under-Secretary for Security. We have established partner forums in the USA and India. CSARN recently won the prestigious CIR Business Continuity Initiative of the Year. For further information please go to: https://www.csarn.org
London Fire Brigade
Michele McHugh reported that:
- The London Fire Brigade now has a presence on Facebook and Twitter. These can be accessed via the London Fire web page at www.london-fire.gov.uk
- The LFB Library and Information Resource Centre (LIRC) is in the process of moving its LMS over from InMagic GENIE to Soutron SOLO. This is a fairly new product and much of it is still a "work in progress".
- Requests under Freedom of Information legislation to LFB have increased to such an extent over the past year that the FOI/PDP team have taken on an extra member of staff.
- LFB have launched a "Think Sprinkler" campaign aimed at people who make decisions about sprinklers such as architects, building managers, care home owners and social landlords. A leaflet to support this campaign will be sent out to all of these groups over the next few months.
London Metropolitan University
Ian Jerome, Fire Safety Adviser reported:
Use of British Library
I have approached BL to obtain an original article from /The Builder /in July 1898 that refers to the design of one of our listed buildings. They were very helpful but I was unable to make a personal call to Kings Cross site due to building works. Fee for postal copy about £20 was not bad.
USHA (Universities Safety & Health Association) Fire Group
I have just been elected to the steering committee of this group. I will mention FIGUK at the next meeting. There may be scope for promoting links with FIGUK either directly or through the libraries of represented Universities.
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
Sheila Pantry reported that:
The British Library services are excellent - especially when checking for both the latest and also for older documents through the catalogues. Results give very good bibliographic details - often not found elsewhere.
Electronic information services FIREINF www.fireinf.com and OSH UPDATE www.oshupdate.com that her company has produced for many years are continuing to rapidly expand in worldwide content - especially in the number of full text documents.
FIREINF now has 17 databases - and contains over 535,896 records with links to 34,893 full text documents, whilst OSH UPDATE now has 20 databases and contains over 815,456 records with links to 65,370 full text documents. A new database MHAID - containing Major Hazards Accidents and Incidents reports from around the world has been added to OSH UPDATE. Both constantly updated.
Both FIREINF and OSH UPDATE have subscribers worldwide. Arguably, both services are more customer "purse" friendly than any other such services in the marketplace. Both services available for 15 day free of charge trial any time - contact www.sheilapantry.com/interest.html
FIREINF www.fireinf.com contains many documents and records on wildland fires which are starting to be a major topic area in the UK as well as worldwide.
In FIREINF there are full text documents e.g. UK and European legislation, the Fire Protection Association publications including INFIRES / Risk Authority reports, Health and Safety Executive publications, Communities and Local Government fire guidance and advice and also Fire Research Notes to name but a few!
OSHWORLD www.oshworld.com is a portal to health, safety, chemical, environment and fire information. Updated constantly, contains Editorial, Focus, Diary of Events, News, Country and Subject indexes with hundreds of links.
West Midland FRS
Julia Ferrugia reported that:
WM FRS is undergoing restructuring, and that she is undertaking a large amount of Freedom of Information work.
Date for next meeting is Wednesday, 14 September 2011 starting with lunch at 12.45 pm at the London Fire Brigade HQ, London. Note later starting time to enable Members to travel cost-effectively.
Meeting closed at 4.20 pm.