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 2 September 2015
- Dates 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
Worshipful Company of Firefighters Annual Fire Lecture
The Worshipful Company of Firefighters annual Conference 2015: 5th Annual Fire Lecture was held at the Insurance Hall on Wednesday 22nd April 2015.
The topic Fire and Timber Structures was presented by Andrew Carpenter, the Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association and Prof. Barbara Lane, Leader of Arup’s Technology Group, who examined the fire safety of new-build timber structures.
For further information www.firefighterscompany.org/news/Arup-2015.pdf
Did you know?
Looking forward to 2016 – the theme for 6th The Worshipful Company of Firefighters Annual Fire lecture in Spring 2016 will be the 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire of London, 1666.
Lithium Battery: Safe Transport by Air Training Course
13 and 14 October 2015
Labeline are running a 2-day accredited course on “The Safe Transport of Lithium Batteries by Air”. It will be held at the historic location of “The Beehive” Terminal, Gatwick, UK.
The Trainer is Geoff Leach, formerly the Head of the CAA’s Dangerous Goods Office and the pre-eminent expert in this field.
UK Pilots Advise Air Passengers to Carry Lithium Battery Operated Equipment in the Cabin
UK pilots are asking airlines to advise passengers to carry laptops, phones, tablets, e-books and cameras with lithium batteries safely in the aircraft cabin to cut the risk of fires in the luggage hold.
Lithium batteries in everyday items are highly flammable and, when they short circuit, have a tendency to burst into high intensity fires, which are difficult to extinguish.
Passengers usually carry devices with lithium batteries in their hand baggage, although this isn’t required by airlines. Also a phone, laptop or camera may inadvertently end up in the hold when a passenger is asked at the last minute to put their hand baggage in the hold due to lack of space in the aircraft cabin.
BALPA is encouraging airlines and regulators to look at what steps they could take to ensure devices powered by lithium batteries are only carried in the aircraft cabin, where a build up of gases or fire can be tackled more easily. Passengers should also be provided with advice on how to pack spare batteries safely in their hand baggage.
Lithium battery fires have caused at least three cargo aircraft crashes and the UN safety regulator has banned a specific type of lithium battery (lithium metal) from being carried as cargo on passenger aircraft. BALPA is asking the UK safety regulator to consider extending this restriction to cargo and other aircraft so that no lithium battery of any kind is carried as cargo in aircraft until further research has been carried out on how they can be transported safely in bulk.
BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan said:
“Lithium batteries power the technology that enables passengers, pilots and cabin crew to travel light and stay connected but they carry an aircraft fire risk that we must all protect against. UK pilots are always vigilant to emerging risks because we want to stop accidents before they happen and make every single flight a safe one.
“Small changes to current good safety practices will help keep us all safe while enabling passengers and pilots to carry the phones, laptops, tablets and e-books they depend upon for work and pleasure. We want to work with airlines and passengers to keep everyday lithium batteries on the aircraft but out of the luggage hold.”
The UK Association of Fire Investigators Product Recall service
There is a useful Product Recall service listing arranged in alphabetical order of the manufacturer on the UK Association of Fire Investigators website see www.iaai-uk.org/product-recall
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Releases TSCA Assessment Documents for Flame Retardant Chemicals
As part of the Agency’s ongoing efforts to more fully understand the potential risks associated with flame retardant chemicals, EPA has reviewed four structurally similar flame retardant chemical clusters. Americans are often exposed to flame retardant chemicals in their daily lives. The chemicals are widely used in products such as household furniture, textiles, and electronic equipment. Many flame retardant chemicals can persist in the environment, and studies have shown that some may be hazardous to people and animals.
EPA is announcing the availability and opening of a 60-day public comment period for three Problem Formulations and Initial Assessments, and a 120-day comment period for a Data Needs Assessment document for one of the clusters. These assessments were conducted under the Toxic Substances Control Plan (TSCA) Work Plan assessment effort.
Problem Formulations and Initial Assessments: The goal of these assessments is to identify scenarios where further risk analysis may be necessary. The documents address the likely exposure and hazard scenarios to workers and consumers based on current production, use, and exposure information for the following flame retardant chemical clusters.
Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), also known as Brominated Bisphenol A, cluster – used as flame retardants in plastics/printed circuit boards for electronics.
Chlorinated Phosphate Esters – used as flame retardants in furniture foams and textiles.
Cyclic Aliphatic Bromides/Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) cluster – used as a flame retardant in extruded and expanded polystyrene foams (EPS/XPS), polystyrene (PS) products.
Data Needs Assessment: This document addresses the Brominated Phthalates (TBB and TBPH) cluster of flame retardants that are used in polyurethane foam products. EPA reviewed previous assessments and identified critical gaps in toxicity, exposure, and commercial mixtures data. The data needs assessment is intended to guide the collection of additional data and information.
Visit www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/riskassess.html for a pre-publication copy of the Federal Register Notice, a list of the flame retardant chemical clusters, a fact sheet with key questions and answers, and additional information on the TSCA Work Plan effort. The due date for submitting comments will be included in the published version of the Federal Register Notice, expected in the next week or so.
FIG UK Members may be interested in the various presentations, statistics and other sources of statistics which are available in website www.frsug.org
London’s most dangerous hour for fires revealed
The time and place Londoners are most likely to have a fire has been revealed following the publication of the most comprehensive fire data in our 150 year history.
The new fire census, released today, shows that July is the busiest month, 7 pm is the busiest hour, that half of all household fires start in the kitchen and Tower Hamlets has more blazes than any other borough.
Last year, fires were below 20,000 for the first time since records for Greater London began in 1966. This decline is despite the population of London increasing by 1.3 million since the turn of the millennium.
The Fire Facts 1966 – 2014 report also shows that fires last year were half the level of the 1980s and 1990s.
Diary of Events
13-14 September 2015 – IOSH: National Safety Symposium – Celebrating 40 years
Contact: Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3197 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org | www.iosh.co.uk/Key-IOSH-events/National-Safety-Symposium.aspx
16 September 2015 – “New Developments in Fire & Explosion Control and Mitigation” UK Technical Meeting
17 September 2015 – FIG UK Seminar: Fake chargers and other fake goods that are fire hazards
Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB
Contact: Sheila Pantry | Tel: 01909 771024 | Email: email@example.com | www.figuk.org.uk/conferences/2015
17 September 2015 – “New Developments in Fire & Explosion Control and Mitigation” UK Technical Meeting
6-7 October 2015 – Human factors application in major hazard industries Conference
15 October 2015 – ASSE Safety India 2015
Hotel The Lalit, Mumbai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Contact: Devkant, Underwriters Laboratories | Tel: +91-124-4974160 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.safetyindia2015.org
19-21 October 2015 – ProSafe Europe 2015
Contact: A. Cook Conferences in association with EPSC | http://uk.tacook.com/domain-prosafe-europe-com
22-24 October 2015 – 2nd International Process Safety Symposium
22-24 October 2015 – National Fire Protection Association 2015 Backyards and Beyond Wildfire Education Conference
Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
26-28 October 2015 – 3 Day Course – Impact and Blast Effect: Theory, Analysis and Design
Contact: University of Manchester | www.mace.manchester.ac.uk/business/cpd/short-courses/impact_blast
29 October 2015 – Building Safe and Healthy Communities: The Role of Fire and Rescue Authorities
Central London, UK
Contact: +44 (0)20 3137 8630 | Email: info@publicpolicyexchange
3-4 November 2015 – Fire Sector Summit
Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, UK
Contact: Fire Protection Association | https://www.thefpa.co.uk/events
17 November 2015 – Safer By Design Conference
Church House, Westminster, London, UK
25 Nov 2015 – Rail Industry Conference 2015
The Congress Centre, Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London, United Kingdom WC1B 3LS
Spring 2016 - the theme for 6th The Worshipful Company of Firefighters Annual Fire lecture will be the 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire of London, 1666.
Summary of the FIG UK Meeting minutes held on 2 September 2015
at the Department of Communities and Local Government, 2 Marsham Street, London EC1A 7HF
Sheila Pantry OBE
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
Burgoyne Management Ltd
Fire Investigations (UK) LLP
International Fire Consultants (IFC)
Bureau Veritas UK Ltd
Kings College London
Dr Roger Berrett
Lane, Jefferies & Associates Ltd
Fire Investigations (UK) LLP
Building Research Establishment (BRE)
West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Protection Association (FPA)
Hawkins and Associates
Sheila welcomed everyone and thanked Alyson Warner and DCLG for hosting the meeting.
Everyone then introduced themselves to new comer Tim Granville, DCLG Information Services.
See above list.
4. Minutes of the last meeting
Minutes of the last meeting held on Wednesday 25 March 2015 at Burgoyne Management Ltd London and also the Abbreviated Minutes with the Newsletter were accepted.
5. Matters arising not covered in the Agenda
Steve Skarrat, Fire Service College has requested that he receives FIG UK communications. Fire Service College is a FIG UK member, so Steve will be added to the mailing lists.
It was suggested that FIG UK may be interested in receiving the IFE Monthly Newsletter.
ACTION: Sheila to make a request to IFE.
6. Accounts and Membership Fee for 2015
Sally has sent invoices for 2015 membership renewals to the membership at 1 January 2015. At the time of this September 2015 meeting majority had renewed.
FIG UK Accounts at September 2015 were circulated by Sally Walsh – FIG UK Treasurer and Membership officer at the meeting.
7. Membership – new recruits
ACTIONS: Agreed that all Members would continue to endeavour to encourage others to join FIG UK. Details of aims and objectives are list on www.figuk.org.uk
Sally had set up a FIG UK Facebook and also a FIG UK LinkedIn and reported back to the meeting.
All FIG UK members were notified by Sally on 31 March 2015 as follows:
I have created a page on Facebook (Called Fire Information Group – FIG UK) (Note a dash not brackets around FIG UK)
Anyone on Facebook can “Like” the group, and the news feed will then come through to them (provided users have not opted to exclude all groups or FIG UK from their newsfeed).
Posts, however, have to be “approved” by me. I thought this was a necessary precautions since there are a few crazies out there and you never know.
Please “Like” and publicise the Facebook group.
I have created a LinkedIn Group “Fire Information Group – FIG UK”. This is a closed group, so I have to approve members (and can presumably “disapprove” them too if there is any untoward behaviour). However, anyone can ask to join. I doubt that I will have cause to not approve anyone. Again I thought that this was a necessary precaution, since discussions can be had between members of this group, and I didn’t want all our discussions visible to the whole world.
I’ve invited those of you I’m already linked to, to join. Please join the LinkedIn Group and publicise it to others.
Sally reported some activity on Facebook but nothing of note on LinkedIn.
Statistics are still kept on the agenda. Sheila reminds all Members to send in news to Sheila regarding notification by any Fire and Rescue Services charging for unwanted false alarm call out.
9. FIG UK sponsored Seminar
All arrangement for the FIG UK Seminar that will be held at 3.30 pm on Thursday, 17 September 2015 at the Imperial Hotel, Senate Seminar Room, Russell Square, London have been made.
A charge of £25.00 per delegate will be made and must be paid for before the event. Fee for FIG UK and IFE Members is £20.00 per delegate. These prices include wine/juice drinks and nibbles.
It is hoped through publicity and contacting delegates who attended the previous seminars held in 2013 and 2014 that a reasonable number of delegates would be forthcoming.
We have CPD certificates available for those attending.
The speaker is Andrew Vaughan-Davies. London Fire Brigade Fire Investigation Team “Fake chargers and goods, fire hazards and protection”.
Several delegates from last year’s seminar have already asked about some event for this year and a number are coming again.
10. All members
All members are asked to check that their entry in the FIG UK Directory is up to date and send any alterations to Sheila please. See www.figuk.org.uk/directory.html
11. Round Table Discussion (Includes emailed comments/news)
Ian Jerome, King College Senior Fire Safety Officer, King’s College London mentioned that the Fire Safety (Employees’ Capabilities) (England) Regulations 2010, SI 2010 No. 471 was perhaps another example where the European Commission made comment when the original Regulatory Reform Order Article 24 did not tick all the EU health and safety boxes.
The University Health and Safety Association (USHA) www.usha.org.uk fire statistics are now collected by the Higher Education Statistical Agency. You have to be a subscriber to get access and the data is fairly raw so you have to manipulate it yourself.
Nick Fry, IFC reported that he is working part time. IFC is expanding in size and also the specialisms, e.g. recently IFC had taken on a structural engineer. IFC offers Fire Risk Assessor training.
Nick also noted the requirements of the Building Regulations 38
It is essential to spot things early enough in the process. Also interest in and running training courses on new risk assessments on buildings currently being built and before occupancy.
Alyson Warner, DCLG noted that Research and Development is very much ongoing in the Department.
Tim Granville, DCLG mentioned that he had recently joined DCLG Information Services which was a very different environment from his work in the Library and Information Services of the University Queen Mary London.
John Galvin, UKAFI reported:
That United Kingdom Association of Arson Investigators (UKAFI) 2015 SUMMER TRAINING CONFERENCE on Monday, 29 June 2015 University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in Preston was well attended and very successful.
The UKAFI will be holding a two-day annual training conference to be held on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 January 2016 at the University of London Union, Malet St, London WC1E 7HY.
Save the date in your diaries. Many of the speakers will be from the USA presenting case studies and research projects. This event will have the International Board of Directors attending.
John reminded FIG UK Members that the UK-AFI website is at www.uk-afi.org
Recalls – UKAFI are still very interested to hear about notifications of any recalls.
These will be added to the UKAFI Recalls database www.uk-afi.org/product-recall
Sally Walsh, Burgoynes reported that Margaret Brian at the Burgoyne Management Ltd Ilkley office would be retiring in the Autumn 2015 and that recruitment has taken place and a new librarian has been appointed.
Sheila Pantry reported the following items:
The website History of Occupational Safety and Health www.historyofosh.org.uk which she and her company has developed with RoSPA’s National Occupational Safety and Health Committee (NOSHC) was launched last year. The website does included fire and fire related information sources and covers reviews/legislation/links to full texts/standard specifications/memorial sites and the developments from the 1802 Factory Act. It lists many full text books, reports, legislation – the earliest full text book listed is De Re Metallica – hazards of working with metals which was published in 1556! You can digitally turn over the pages! Making workplaces safer and healthier is NOT NEW!
OSH UPDATE + FIRE electronic service
This long established electronic service is a special collection of OSH and fire legislation, guidance and advice and much more!
Do you need information on new developments, innovations, ways of working, latest research and training?
Alongside the developments is the need to keep up-to-date with new health, safety and fire information. You will need to quickly gain access to legislation, guidance and advice that is constantly being up-to-date and relevant. Your first port of call is to an aggregation of 26 databases collected together in an electronic service entitled OSH UPDATE + FIRE that currently contains over 1,124,901 records including over 95,000 full text documents from worldwide sources!
It is constantly update and arguably – especially at the subscription price the best collective source of information in the world. There are over half a million fire and fire related records in OSH UPDATE + FIRE.
The databases and contents are from worldwide class organisations such as the US NIOSH, the UK Health and Safety Executive, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and many more similar organisations.
Used worldwide by:
- Management in a wide range of industries
- Lecturers, trainers and students
- Information services and libraries
- OSH and FIRE EXPERTS including Fire and Research Services
OSH UPDATE + FIRE is easily searchable by keywords, titles, journal names, standard number, authors, organisations, and will keep you and your colleagues alerted to hot topics such as the health risks of nanotechnology, preparedness and business continuity, risk assessment, corporate killing and corporate social responsibility, bio-terrorism, management of road risks, all aspects of fire and related fire topics, workplace health and safety and much more.
Arguably the largest electronic collection in the world in these very wide subject areas from worldwide sources. This time of the year is a good time for all organisations worldwide to review their health and safety goals and decide on the training or re-training that is needed for all levels of staff and update their information resources.
Check out these successful efforts and introduce them into your workplace!
So help is at hand for those working in health, safety and fire and fire related industries who need quality information. These are brought together in an easy to use web service entitled OSH UPDATE + FIRE www.oshupdate.com that is constantly updated.
Sheila is a member of the Fire Research and Statistics User Group (FRSUG) and runs and hosts their website which contains many links to fire statistics and related sources plus minutes and other news items see website www.frsug.org
Also runs and hosts the FIG UK website www.figuk.org.uk
Meeting closed at 4.15 pm
Dates of next meetings
Wednesday, 2 December 2015 – info update and Christmas meal – details to be sorted.
Next full FIG UK meeting Wednesday 16 March 2016 – venue to be announced.