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BAFSA kick-starts 50th Anniversary celebrations at House of Lords Luncheon

19 February 2024

THE BRITISH Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) began its 50th Anniversary celebrations at the House of Lords this month with a special luncheon held in The Attlee Room.

The organisation’s current leadership invited 50 key stakeholders from across the fire safety sector and honoured guests including Lord David Goddard, Sir Ken Knight, Bob Blackman MP and Ann Jones OBE.

The luncheon witnessed the inaugural showing of a short 50th Anniversary video, narrated by celebrated news broadcaster and fire safety campaigner Nick Ross CBE, that pays tribute to BAFSA’s myriad achievements across the years and the substantial gains made in relation to sprinkler legislation over the last half century.

In his welcome speech, BAFSA CEO Ali Perry commented: “Nothing BAFSA has achieved in the past 50 years has been done in isolation. It has been delivered through real partnership because of the passion, drive and determination of the people in this room.”

Leading advocate

The occasion also saw the presentation of the inaugural John McCann Award for Contribution to the Sprinkler Industry, which was bestowed upon Dr Simon Bird. The John McCann Award is sponsored by Vipond Fire Protection in memory of its former managing director, who sadly passed away in 2022.

“At the time of his passing,” continued Perry, “John was the chair of BAFSA, a leading advocate for ‘all things sprinklers’ and instrumental in driving the wider adoption of fire sprinklers and change within our industry. In memory of John, it’s particularly fitting that we can make the first presentation of this award here at the House of Lords to mark BAFSA’s 50th Anniversary.”

Dr Simon Bird added: “I’m very grateful to BAFSA for this award, which is an unexpected honour. Having had the privilege of knowing John and working with him over the years, this makes it all the more special for me. I wish the industry continued success.”

The John McCann Award will be presented annually at BAFSA’s AGM, which is held each November.

BAFSA 50th Anniversary video

*View the BAFSA 50th Anniversary video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqOGmsYD1G4

**Ali Perry served as a special guest on Episode 35 of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast. Listen to Episode 35 on the Podbean platform

***In addition, Ali Perry contributed an exclusive feature for the November 2023 edition of Fire Safety Matters. Access pp36-38 of the digital edition to learn all about the debate focused on sprinkler systems in schools

****Further information on the work transacted by BAFSA is available online at www.bafsa.org.uk