Editor, IFSEC Global

March 2, 2020

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High Rise Firefighting Conference

Firefighters welcomed by NFCC Chair to High Rise Firefighting Conference

The first day of this year’s Tall Buildings Fire Safety Conference is set to focus on high rise firefighting – a topical subject considering the number of incidents in the UK over recent years.

Roy WilsherThe conference, set to be held at FIREX 2020, co-located with Safety & Health Expo at London’s ExCeL Centre, will run from 8-10 September. The first day of the conference is set to provide valuable insight into current best practice and firefighting innovation, and will be chaired by Roy Wilsher, from the UK National Fire Chiefs Council.

Commenting on the day, Roy said: I am delighted to open this conference and welcome colleagues from both the UK and internationally. The UK fire sector continues to face significant challenges as we work through the impacts of the Grenfell Tower fire, the Building Safety Programme, the HMICFRS State of Fire report and a spending review. All of this requires us to work together to share and learn from the experiences and expertise available to us from a local to international level.

“Globally we all face issues from an increasing number of tall buildings along with an apparent shortage of expertise in the built environment changing our expectations of how buildings will react in fires. In the UK we have seen that compartmentation, cavity barriers, fire stopping, protected escape routes and other cladding systems, including certain types of HPL are giving cause for concern.

“Through the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) the UK Fire and Rescue Service is working together to drive improvement and development, reduce duplication and support local delivery as well as ensuring that Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs) have a professional voice on the national stage. Our discussions in Council have confirmed that we need to adjust our Integrated Risk Management Plans (IRMP) to take account of the failures in the building safety system.

“NFCC is producing a set of standardised tools for FRSs to enable consistent identification, assessment and mitigation strategies for community risk. We have ensured that National Operational Guidance (NOG) has been updated to include issues such as external breaches of compartmentation and we commissioned a further piece of work more specifically about operational response to a Grenfell type incident.

“As an organisation we are keen to ensure that the experiences and learning from the UK fire sector is discussed as widely as possible and so I am pleased to be chairing a conference like this with a variety of speakers including two of the NFCC Committees Chairs and audience comprising of a third of international delegates”.

Find out more about the full Tall Buildings Fire Safety conference programme, or book your place here.

This article was originally published on IFSEC Global.

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