The newsletter of the Fire Information Group UK (FIG UK)
Edited by Sheila Pantry, OBE
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
This Newsletter contains:
- News from around the World
- Diary of Events
- Summary of the FIG UK Meeting held on 12 September 2012
- Date of next meetings
FIG UK website www.figuk.org.uk ... please help to promote FIG UK whenever you can ... Make a link from your website
News items from around the world
Fire investigation partnership launch 23 May 2012
(Meeting attended by FIG UK member Penny Morgan)
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 BRE Global launched a partnership with FI UK on Fire Investigations. This was to formalise the flexible links that already exist between BRE and Fire and Rescue Service investigators. David Crowder at BRE and Pete Mansi, recently retired from London FRS now Head of FI UK gave presentations.
The aim is to provide a service that covers the basic questions:
‘Where did the fire start?’
‘How and why did it start?’ and
‘How did it develop?’
They anticipate clients ranging from insurers, FRSs needing additional information on fire development to those needing expert witnesses. In order to illustrate the sort of feedback there was a fire demonstration in the Burn Hall at BRE. Follow the link to the video edit of the fire demonstration at
As an add-on the firm ‘In Good Measure’ produced a forensic laser scan of events and Penny also received the following in mid August:
Further to your attendance at the Fire Investigations Partnership launch on 23 May at BRE, Watford, the laser scanning of the reconstruction in the BRE Burn Hall is now available for you to view at the link below.
If you require any further assistance or have any trouble opening the link please contact Peter Mansi on firstname.lastname@example.org
Update on Annual Conference on Fire-Related Research and Developments (RE12) at the FSC on Thursday 15 November 2012
The Fire Service College and the Institution of Fire Engineers are pleased to announce that the Annual Conference on Fire-Related Research and Developments 2012 (RE12) will take place at the Fire Service College on Thursday, 15 November 2012.
This Conference attracts a wide audience from across the emergency services, the fire industry, research communities and other private or public sectors interested in the latest fire-related issues, developments and concerns.
The broad range of backgrounds and professional approaches including technical, engineering, legal, social, psychological, economic, operational, national and international perspectives, gives the conference its distinctive multi-disciplinary and multi-agency flavour.
Fires in London halved in decade
The number of fires recorded in London has halved over the last decade, and is now at its lowest point since 1966 – when records began – new figures released by the London Fire Brigade have revealed.
Last year, a total of 26,845 fires were recorded, down from 55,063 in 2001. In 1966 there were 30,436 fires.
The total number of incidents, which includes road traffic accidents, false alarms and other non-fire callouts were also down by 39 per cent on 2001’s total to 115,126 incidents last year.
James Cleverly, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: “Despite London’s population growing by almost a million in the last decade, the number of fires in the capital is at an all time low.
“The London Fire Brigade has worked incredibly hard to make London a safer city. Using a sophisticated approach, it has targeted those people who are more likely to have a fire and provided them with potentially life-saving advice and smoke alarms.
“People across the capital are benefitting from the hard work of our firefighters. However, whilst London has become a safer place to live, work and visit, there is no room for complacency. Brigade chiefs are committed to keeping people in the capital even safer, not least by preventing fires from happening in the first place.”
New Fire and Rescue Minister Brandon Lewis
On 5 September 2012 Brandon Lewis MP was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the UK Department for Communities and Local Government. He was elected Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth in May 2010. He has served on Commons Committees for Regulatory Reform and Work and Pensions.
Mr Lewis qualified as a barrister and has a BSc Economics and LLB Hons (Law) from the University of Buckingham and a LLM (Merit) in Commercial Law from King’s College London. He served on Brentwood Borough Council for more than ten years, with five as leader. As a company director, Mr Lewis has a wealth of experience in the business world. He has particular interests in the challenges facing small businesses and coastal towns.
Married with two children, Mr Lewis enjoys taking time out to read and going to the theatre and cinema. He has twice completed the London Marathon and took up triathlon in 2011.
Mark Hoban has succeeded Chris Grayling as the UK Employment Minister in charge of health and safety following the 4 September 2012 cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron
Former treasury minister Hoban has been a Tory MP since 2001. He has a degree in economics and worked for more than 15 years in various roles at accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers. His involvement in politics started in 1980, when he joined the Conservative Party in north east England. Hoban was first elected as MP for Fareham in June 2001 and re-elected in 2005 and 2010.
He was appointed financial secretary to the Treasury in May 2010, having carried out this role in opposition since December 2005.
Between November 2003 and December 2005 he was shadow minister for schools. Prior to November 2003, he was an opposition whip.
Chris Grayling replaces Kenneth Clarke as justice secretary, and health secretary Andrew Lansley has been replaced by former culture minister Jeremy Hunt.
Access to fire and rescue incident records in England
Fire and rescue authorities in England are now able to download Incident Recording System records upon signing up to a set of access conditions. This enables fire and rescue authorities to derive wide-ranging information at local and national level, for example for deriving statistics for benchmarking and to support fire safety and prevention.
Fire and rescue authority access to the data sets will be via a secure file transfer download facility.
The data access conditions are available by emailing Gavin.Sayer@communities.gsi.gov.uk or Ian.Rowe@communities.gsi.gov.uk. These require authorisation by a senior member of staff, along with an undertaking from a manager with day-to-day responsibility for ensuring supervision of adherence to the data access conditions. This includes up-to-date training to those staff who need to have access, e.g. in data protection.
Access to fire and rescue incident data for those other than fire and rescue authorities
This has also been under development. A specification was tested over winter 2011-12 for risks of the disclosure of personal information. These tests were carried out by a leading academic appointed by the Administrative Data Liaison Service, an organisation funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to encourage the development of access to data sets.
The results of these tests indicated that the fire and rescue incident record-level data base is not suited for unrestricted public access, and that instead access for others should be via a secure data lab.
The Department is therefore also pursuing this option as part of its delivery to the Government’s Transparency Agenda. Meanwhile a wide range of statistics at national and fire authority levels continue to be available on the Department’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government/about/statistics
Concern that provision of fire safety information is slipping
Scant awareness of the mandatory need for developers to pass on fire safety information to building occupiers on completion of a project is raising concerns.
Despite efforts to improve education on the subject, the Passive Fire Protection Federation (PFPF) believes more awareness is needed of the fact it is mandatory for building owners to pass on this important information and to remove confusion about what is needed to comply with Regulation 38 of the Building Regulations.
Regulation 38 applies to any new building or extension to which the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (FSO) applies and to any such building which has undergone a material change of use. For these buildings, the person carrying out the work is required to give fire safety information to the responsible person in order to help them to operate and maintain the building or extension with reasonable safety.
Appendix G of Approved Document B (ADB) Volume 2 of the Building Regulations gives recommendations on the type of information required for ‘simple’ and ‘complex’ buildings. Chairman of the PFPF, David Sugden, explained, ‘ADB provides excellent guidance right through the construction phase of a building and on into its time of occupation. Regulation 7 of the Building Regulations points people to third party certification to ensure the use of quality products and installers, while Regulation 38 requires information on what has been installed to be given to the responsible person.
‘Regulation 38 is not just a recommendation – it is a requirement, since this information can greatly improve the building occupier’s understanding of the safety precautions installed within a building.’
Fire in pictures
The Mary Evans Picture Library is the exclusive representative of the fantastic and extensive archive of the London Fire Brigade (The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority). The collection contains extensive documentation of the fire service in London from the 19th century to the present day, and is an incredible record of the development of equipment and techniques, and of the history of the LFB itself.
Subjects covered by the LFB archive include photography of fire-fighting during World War Two, as well as horse-drawn fire engines and other early equipment. There are also interesting scenes of the destructive 1936 fire which destroyed the Crystal Palace, while modern photography brings us right up to the 21st century with coverage of the response to emergencies across the capital.
Fire Sector Federation UK
The Fire Sector Federation is a forum of debate and discussion. It is where representatives of organisations who work with or within the built, natural, fire and rescue and national resilience environments in the UK can expertly consider issues of common interest.
The Federation seeks to give voice to and exert influence in shaping future policy and strategy related to the UK Fire Sector.
It aims to develop an informed fire sector, through original research and objective analysis; coordinating academic research and fire and rescue service evaluation and reviews; and disseminate knowledge and best practice through the production of advice and guidance.
The work of the Fire Sector Federation is divided into a number of focused workstreams which examine in detail issues considered to be of particular importance to the fire sector.
These workstreams are at the heart of the FSF, bringing together members with a particular interest or expertise to discuss and develop policy and actions and to produce industry guidance for wider dissemination, as necessary.
Further ad-hoc and administrative workstreams will be set up as necessary. Ad hoc workstreams will deal with transitory issues, such as the recent consultation on the FRS National Framework Document for England.
FSF members are free to join any workstream in which they have an interest. The workstreams are as follows:
All Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group; Fire Investigation; International Issues; Marketing; Procurement of Goods and Services and Research and statistics that includes Specific activities focus on three areas:
- Statistics: support and encouragement in the collation and analysis of data related to fire and the wider requirements of integrated risk management planning. The FSF has a continuing relationship with the UK Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group and is reviewing a project investigating the economic cost of fire.
- Applied research: the use of empirical knowledge and the application of innovative solutions is viewed as essential to improve preventative, mitigation and response options. The intention is to capture information relating to technologies, studies and policies that may assist FSF members and others achieve these improvements.
- Knowledge exchange: identification of source materials with routes of access to that information, emphasising open access, is central to this plan. The current initiative is to develop a Fire Foundation to provide a think tank capability and to identify a suitable host web platform.
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Diary of Events
4 October 2012 – Fire Protection in Buildings Explained – The Role of Passive Fire Protection Products
CIF, High Wycombe, UK
Contact: Chiltern International Fire (CIF)
8-19 October 2012 – The employment injury schemes and the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases
International Training Centre, Turin, Italy
Contact: International Training Centre, Turin, Italy
9 October 2012 – Managing Road Risk: Back to Basics
Contact: Brake | Email: email@example.com
18-20 October 2012 – China Fire 2012
China National Convention Centre, Beijing, China
12-15 November 2012 – Hazards XXIII
North West UK Location
14-16 November 2012 – Fire Australia 2012: Conference and Exhibition is themed “The true cost of fire”
15 November 2012 – Annual Conference on Fire-Related Research and Developments (RE12)
Fire Service College, UK
20 November 2012 – The SHE Show North East 2012
Newcastle Marriott Gosforth Park, UK
Abbreviated Minutes of the FIG UK Meeting held on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 held at London Fire Brigade HQ
Sheila Pantry OBE
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
Dr Burgoyne & Partners LLP
London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA)
Bureau Veritas Solutions
Building Research Establishment (BRE)
Lane, Jeffries & Associates (LJA)
International Fire Consultants (IFC)
Hawkins and Associates
West Midlands FRS
Dr Roger Berrett Associates
London Metropolitan University
Fire Service College (FSC)
Queen’s University, Belfast
Valiant Fire Protection
Fire Protection Association
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Sheila welcomed everyone and thanked Michele for hosting the meeting.
See above – unfortunately there were a number of last minute apologies due to various circumstances.
Sheila introduced the meeting with the following...
“are we celebrating FIG UK’s 25th anniversary” or
“is it RIP FIG UK”?
“what information do you need to do your job?”
These introductory remarks produced many thought provoking comments, conclusions and at times some fierce debate.
The Members concluded that FIG UK...
- Should continue as an entity and celebrate the “unique selling points” and helpfulness of the network and the variety of members it attracts.
ALL MEMBERS TO BE ASKED WHAT THEY GET OUT OF THE FIG UK MEMBERSHIP.
- Needs to attract more Members through some extensive publicity (needs more discussion) and especially through the proposed 2013 25th Anniversary seminar.
- Needs to explain the variety of fire, fire related, and other extensive information sources that are available and essential to do ones own job. So much information is available to each member through the skills of FIG UK members.
- It is essential that those Members who are professional information specialists should articulate the various tried and tested methodologies that should be part of everyone’s general approach when seeking validated, authoritative and up-to-date information from worldwide sources. Perhaps provide and promote “Case Studies” or “Question and Answers” examples which could be useful to new and existing members.
ALL MEMBERS TO BE ASKED FOR EXAMPLES OF ANY RECENT QUERIES AND ANSWERS AND WHERE THE INFORMATION WAS FOUND SO THAT THESE CAN BE PROMOTED AND ADDED TO THE FIG UK WEBSITE.
4. Minutes of the last meeting held on 21 March 2012 at Burgoynes
These were accepted.
Covered the future of the Fire Service College with possible new owners; move of IFE to Stratford on Avon – and their new journal – International Fire Professional – see https://www.ife.org.uk; New Fire and Rescue Minister Brandon Lewis appointed (see details in FIG UK News September 2012); Mark Hoban has succeeded Chris Grayling as employment minister in charge of health and safety following 4 September 2012 Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Ian Jerome had sent in an update regarding The London Metropolitan University’s custodianship of The Women’s Library (TWL). The University is now seeking a new home for it – it is still on the University’s list of cuts. The curatorship of TWL has been put out to tender and there have been several bids. The Vice-Chancellor says that the specification is stringent and includes preserving the collection. Not sure if this includes the building which was purpose built with Lottery money.
Discussion on the 25th Anniversary of FIG UK in 2013 – agreed that a special seminar of invitees to mark the occasion at a date to be announced with possibly the appearance of the new Fire Minister.
AGREED that Alyson Warner will explore any options at DCLG. Members will be kept updated. It was also suggested that that we write an Article or at least an “Abstract” to be published in Fire Magazines to entice people to attend. Sally has sent Sheila some notes from discussions at the meeting regarding possible article content, and Sheila said she would pull some existing material that FIG UK has together. We will meet prior to the Christmas Lunch to discuss this further.
Accounts to end of year dated 12 August 2012 and also to 12 September 2012 were presented by Sally Walsh. The 12 August 2012 accounts have not yet been audited. Alex Chambers of Hawkins will be able to do this again. Full Accounts sent to Members. Thanks to Sally for keeping FIG UK financially straight!
6. New recruits
Publicity efforts to be made re the 25th Anniversary celebration of FIG UK may encourage new members.
ACTION: All Members to encourage others to join FIG UK.
7. Round Table discussion (Includes emailed comments/news)
Penny Morgan had sent in the news re her attendance at the Fire Investigation Partnership launched on Wednesday 23 May 2012 BRE Global launched a partnership with FI UK on Fire Investigations. The information is the first news item in this Newsletter.
Nigel Herring, Bureau Veritas Solutions informed the meeting of his organisation’s new address for the BVS Fire Department, Friars Court, 18/19 Rushworth Street, London SE1 ORB | Tel: 020 7593 0171 | Mobile: 07971 852421 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bureauveritas.co.uk
FIG UK Members’ Directory contains these latest contact details see www.figuk.org.uk/directory.html
Michele McHugh, London Fire Brigade informed that the London Fire Brigade Museum will be open on Saturday, 22 September 2012 as part of this year’s Open House London 2012 Event. There will be a rare opportunity to look around previously unseen areas of the museum, once used by the first Chief Officer of the Brigade, Captain Eyre Massey Shaw. Shaw resided in Winchester House during the nineteenth century and the building is now home to the LFB Museum.
The open day will celebrate the rich history of the site, from its use as pleasure gardens known as ‘Finch’s Grotto’ in the 1770s , a workhouse, a hat factory and finally from 1878 the official residence of the chief officers of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.
The open day is on Saturday 22nd September from 10 am until 5 pm. It is not necessary to book and admission is free! See: www.london-fire.gov.uk/london-fire-brigade-museum.asp
Ian Jerome, London Metropolitan University sent in information re The Women’s Library – see Matters Arising above.
Sheila Pantry, Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd reports that...
- She is revising her Health and Safety: A guide to sources of information. This will be the 5th revised edition and will be published late Spring 2013 as an e-book only.
- Her organisation’s electronic collections of information OSH UPDATE www.oshupdate.com and FIREINF www.fireinf.com continue to rapidly expand.
OSH UPDATE now has 827,331 document records and over 74,000 full text documents and FIREINF has 544, 000 document records and over 41,000 full text documents. These items are from authoritative and validated worldwide sources – reports, standards, research reports, journal articles, conference proceedings, legislation, advice and guidance and much more.
Free of charge trials available see www.sheilapantry.com/interest
- The Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group (FRSUG) of which Sheila is a member continues to promote the use of statistics and related subjects. The website contains links to sources of fires statistics, links to other organisations, diary of events, publications and presentations see www.frsug.org/
Wednesday 28 November 2012
In view of the proposal re the 25 Anniversary of FIG UK in 2013 it was decided to have a short meeting to discuss progress. This will be held at the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London at 11.30 am on Wednesday 28 November 2012 and this meeting will be followed by the usual FIG UK Christmas lunch, Wednesday 12.30 pm, 28 November 2012 at a venue to be confirmed.
The 2013 meeting is to be held on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 starting at 12.45 pm – venue most likely to be at Bureau Veritas Solutions, London. Location will be confirmed.
Meeting closed at 4.30 pm.