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Fire Safety Matters Podcast - Episode 13

05 October 2020

THE THIRTEENTH edition of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast is now available to download or stream for free. On this episode we interview Bob Bantock (fire safety specialist at the National Trust) and James Jones (managing director at Vimpex), while Warren Spencer outlines an upcoming digital conference focused on the Fire Safety Bill.

The Fire Safety Matters (FSM) Podcast is hosted by the magazine’s Editor Brian Sims and Western Business Media’s CEO Mark Sennett, with new editions available fortnightly on Wednesdays. The FSM Podcast is kindly sponsored by The Fire Safety Event, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 27-29 April 2021.

On Episode 13, Brian interviews Bob Bantock, heritage fire safety specialist at the National Trust, the celebrated charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (with Scotland having its own separate and independent National Trust for Scotland).

The Trust was founded back in 1895 by Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley specifically to “promote the permanent preservation, for the benefit of the nation, of lands and tenements (including buildings) of beauty or historic interest” and was duly afforded statutory powers, beginning with the National Trust Act 1907.

One of the largest landowners in the UK, the Trust currently presides over no less than 2,480 km2 of land and circa 780 miles of coastline, with its properties including hundreds of historic houses in addition to castles, archaeological and industrial monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves. 

Risk assessments

Bob Bantock is a fire safety specialist with 30-plus years of experience in the sector having served in the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

In his present role, Bob advises on matters concerning emergency planning and crisis management as well as taking care of fire safety-related matters at all National Trust properties, including 350-plus Historic Houses.

On Episode 13 of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast, Bantock duly outlines the key challenges that National Trust properties face in relation to fire safety issues, at the same time outlining the ways in which the Trust has necessarily adapted its fire safety procedures to meet the demands of COVID-19.

Given that each heritage property is unique in terms of both form and function, what’s the Best Practice approach when it comes to detailed fire risk assessments? Bob offers his thoughts on the matter in tandem with a personal appraisal of the much-discussed Building Safety Bill and the Fire Safety Bill recently put forward by the Government.

Importantly, Bob concludes his fascinating discussion with Fire Safety Matters’ Editor Brian Sims by stating why he firmly believes that ongoing learning and Continuing Professional Development is so vitally important for today’s fire safety-focused professionals.

Fire Safety Bill

When it comes to ‘all matters legal’ in relation to fire safety, it very much remans the case that there’s no better expert to turn to than our regular Fire Safety Matters Podcast contributor Warren Spencer (managing director at Blackhurst Budd Solicitors). In point of fact, Warren has prosecuted more cases under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 than anyone else.

This time around, Warren tells Mark Sennett (CEO at Western Business Media) all about an upcoming digital conference focused on the Fire Safety Bill that’s being run as a joint venture between Blackhurst Budd Solicitors and Fire Safety Matters. Mark will be chairing the event, which takes place between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm on Thursday 3 December.

Read more about the digital conference and book your delegate place here.

CE marking post-Brexit

Our final guest on Episode 13 of the Fire Safety Matters podcast is James Jones, managing director at fire evacuation alarm systems developer Vimpex and also a Board member of the Fire Industry Association.

James has served in his current role at the Essex-based business since 2013. Prior to that he was a sales representative for the business before becoming sales and marketing manager.

James gained an MBA from the University of Leeds in 2008 and also studied for a BSc degree in Technology Management at Oxford Brookes University.

In conversation with Mark, James focuses on the Government’s plans for CE marking post-Brexit, the need to raise more awareness on the importance of training in the sector and also how Vimpex as a company has necessarily adapted to meet the myriad challenges posed by COVID-19.

As always, the FSM editorial team analyses the latest major news impacting the fire sector here in the UK.

Listen to the FSM Podcast

You can listen to the FSM Podcast for free on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play. To download the FSM Podcast on iTunes or Spotify, all you need to do is enter the term ‘Fire Safety Matters’ into the search box of your chosen platform.

Alternatively, you can listen to the FSM Podcast online at fsmpodcast.podbean.com or via our YouTube channel by clicking here.

*If there are any specific subjects you would like to see featured in an upcoming Fire Safety Matters Podcast please do contact us. You can do so on Twitter by using the hashtag #FSMPodcast. Alternatively, send an e-mail direct to bsims@westernbusiness.media