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Fire Safety Matters Podcast - Episode 15

02 November 2020

THE FIFTEENTH episode of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast is now available to download or stream for free. On this occasion we hear from Richard Jenkins (CEO) and John Davidson (head of field operations for systems) at the National Security Inspectorate and also Michala Ford (head of business support at Safety Technology International). In addition, our regular guest Warren Spencer looks at enforcement of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Episode 15 features Fire Safety Matters’ Editor Brian Sims conducting the magazine’s first dual interview for the Fire Safety Matters Podcast, with Richard Jenkins and John Davidson from the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) outlining their views on issues including third party certification and the draft Building Safety Bill recently published by the Conservative Government.

Richard is CEO at the NSI which is, of course, the certification body for the security and fire protection sectors here in the UK. Having graduated with a degree in Economics from Durham University back in 1978, Richard worked across several sales and marketing roles before becoming process improvement consultant for Mitcorp in May 2006.

Subsequently, Richard worked at the IKEA Group and Steelcase before becoming CEO at the NSI in March 2014. The organisation has since made great strides forward under Richard’s expert stewardship.

John Davidson is head of field operations for systems at the Inspectorate. After working for 23 years in the fire and security industry, John joined the NSI back in 2005 as a regional inspector for the Midlands area. He then progressed to become operations manager before taking on his current field operations role.

At present, John has the primary responsibility for the fire schemes operated within the NSI and also represents the organisation on various British Standards Institution and BAFE Technical Committees. As reported by Fire Safety Matters, the organisation was recently awarded UKAS accreditation for the all-new SP207 Scheme on Evacuation Alert Systems introduced by BAFE. In point of fact, the NSI has now been providing approval in the fire detection and alarms system sector since 2001.

In the fire sector, the NSI offers approvals and certification for SP101 (Competency of Portable Fire Extinguisher Organisations and Technicians), SP203-1 (Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance of Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems), SP203-3 (Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance of Fixed Gaseous Fire Extinguishing Systems), SP203-4 (Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance of Emergency Lighting Systems), SP205 (Life Safety Fire Risk Assessments), SP206 (Design, Installation, Commissioning, Recharge and Maintenance of Kitchen Fire Protection Systems) and, as previously mentioned, SP207 (Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance of Evacuation Alert Systems).

Licensed by BAFE

To begin the interview, Richard explains the NSI’s key role within the fire safety sector before John outlines precisely what the NSI being licensed by BAFE means for today’s practising fire safety solution providers.

As stated, the NSI offers a host of third party certification for a diverse range of fire safety services. What’s the typical process, though, that fire safety providers will have to undergo in order to attain their coveted certification? John elaborates on the fine detail in conversation with Brian.

As an organisation, the NSI has recently been calling for the wider adoption of third party certification across the fire sector, but what are the specific changes that Richard would like to see taking place? Listen to Episode 15 of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast to find out.

Last, but not least, John also offers an overview of the draft Building Safety Bill from the NSI’s perspective before examining the very latest developments in terms of third party certification when it comes to the fire sector.

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

When it comes to ‘all matters legal’ in relation to the fire safety world, it’s very much the case that there’s no better expert to turn to for advice than our regular FSM Podcast contributor Warren Spencer (managing director at Blackhurst Budd Solicitors).

For those readers of Fire Safety Matters who are perhaps not aware of this fact, Warren has prosecuted more cases under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 than anyone else.

During Episode 14 of the FSM Podcast, Warren once again chats with Western Business Media’s CEO Mark Sennett. On this occasion, talk turns towards the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and enforcement of that legislation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s also a further update about the forthcoming 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 this online event, which takes place between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm on Thursday 3 December and features input from Warren in addition to Joseph Hart (a barrister at the Deans Court Chambers in Manchester) and James Aird (also a member of the fire safety law team at Blackhurst Budd Solicitors).

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

Preventing false alarms, deterring theft

Our final guest on this edition of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast is Michala Ford, the head of business support at Safety Technology International. Importantly, the Bromsgrove-based company manufactures products that prevent false fire alarms, deter theft and minimise acts of vandalism on vital life safety equipment.

Michala is, in fact, the longest-serving employee at Safety Technology International having spent two decades with the business. 17 of those years have been focused on managing the marketing operation.

During her interview with Mark, Michala reviews Safety Technology International’s extensive product range and various applications in projects encompassing everything from tall buildings through to the education sector and on again to the heritage market. Call Points, protective covers for fire alarms, a specific application on the London Underground and what’s next in terms of the company’s product pipeline frame the discussion.

As always, the FSM editorial team delivers and 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