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Fire Safety Matters Podcast - Episode 16

30 November 2020

THE SIXTEENTH edition of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast is now available to download or stream for free. On this episode we interview Wayne Woodland FSI Dip (pre-construction director) and Matthew Flower (regeneration director) from Miller Knight and also Peter Jones (CEO at the Nineteen Group).

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 7-9 September 2021.

Episode 16 features Fire Safety Matters’ Editor Brian Sims conducting the magazine’s second dual interview for the Fire Safety Matters Podcast, with Wayne Woodland and Matthew Flower from Miller Knight focusing on fire protection-related issues in buildings and how to ensure that fire safety systems are installed in the correct manner.

Miller Knight is a client-driven organisation providing a single source solution for those looking to find a principal contractor that also specialises in remedial passive and structural fire protection. Fire stopping, intumescent coatings, fire boarding, protective timber coatings, thermal insulation and protective casings are all part of the solutions mix offered by the business.

The company’s expert surveyors and engineers work in close partnership with clients to help investigate and manage potential fire risks to the latter’s buildings and their occupants. Those experts assist in identifying current risks posed to life and property and suggest actions and safeguards that aid in the prevention, control and mitigation of the effects of fire and smoke.

Adding value and proposing a full life-cycle cost solution is an area in which the business frequently involves itself and, with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, Constructionline Gold, CHAS, SMAS and FIRAS accreditation, the Mansfield-based company is very keenly focused on Health and Safety and environmental compliance.

As stated, Wayne is pre-construction director at Miller Knight. He served diligently in Her Majesty’s Forces from 2003 until 2007, operating as a surveyor in the Corps of Royal Engineers. On leaving the Armed Forces, Wayne worked as a topographical surveyor for the Greenhatch Group, moving to Matthews and Tannert Limited in 2010 to become a building surveyor.

Business development manager roles at both L’Oreal and Nine Telecom followed before Wayne joined Miller Knight in April 2017 as pre-construction manager. Wayne’s current role, which he has held since the summer of 2018, involves developing working relationships with clients while also identifying and reporting business opportunities in specific target markets.

Matthew Flower has worked in the construction sector for over 30 years now. The holder of a First Class Honours degree in Quantity Surveying from Nottingham Trent University, he spent 12 years with large-scale regional contractor the Lindum Group, beginning in the role of quantity surveyor and eventually becoming managing director. In March 2014, Matthew left the business to become commercial director for Tier One national contractor Simons Construction.

Along the way, Matthew has gained great experience of mainstream construction encompassing student accommodation, high-rise residential buildings, medical centres, schools, hospitals, offices, commercial buildings and retail outlets.

Matthew joined Miller Knight in October last year with a specific remit to concentrate on expanding the refurbishment element of the business.

Fire protection post-Grenfell

To begin the interview with Fire Safety Matters’ Editor Brian Sims, Wayne turns his attentions towards the changes that he has seen in the new build sector regarding fire protection post-Grenfell. Is the general feeling that fire safety is now becoming more of a specialism with third party accreditation being called for by clients on a regular basis? Listen to Episode 16 and find out.

Does Wayne face challenges when trying to emphasise the importance of fire safety on site and, if so, what sort of challenges are they? Wayne elaborates on the fine detail in conversation with Brian.

Also, Wayne assesses what additional changes he envisages being required to ensure that the good progress witnessed in terms of fire protection regimes over the past few years is duly continued in times hence.

To begin his segment of the interview, Matthew offers an overview of the types of regeneration project with which he’s involved on a daily basis, duly explaining the general extent of the work transacted and how this has necessarily altered in the wake of the increase in Type 4 fire risk assessments.

Interestingly, Matthew discusses the typical types of barriers he encounters that increase the time from the point at which problems with fire protection become known through to those issues identified then being corrected.

Given the sad fact that more and more buildings are being found to harbour poor quality fire safety installations, how is it possible to ensure that such works are being carried out correctly? Wayne answers this question in some detail, while also looking towards some of the key challenges of the future where fire safety is the focus of attention and how they might be overcome.

Fire Safety Bill online conference

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.

Due to work commitments at present, Warren was unable to serve as a guest on this edition of the FSM Podcast. That being so, Mark offers a timely 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 himself 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.

The Fire Safety Event 2021

Our final guest on this edition of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast is Peter Jones, CEO of exhibitions and events specialist the Nineteen Group (which boasts The Fire Safety Event, The Security Event, The Facilities Event, The Health and Safety Event, International Disaster Response Expo, International Security Week, International Security Expo, The Emergency Services Show and the just-announced International Cyber Expo and the National Cyber Security Show among its portfolio of shows).

Peter began his career with an advertising manager’s role at EMAP in 1992 before moving on to Blenheim and Miller Freeman in 1995. This is when he experienced his first taste of exhibitions and the live events arena by working as an account manager.

1998 saw an appointment as event director at the Tarsus Group and a remit to build the flagship LabelExpo event from 17,000 square metres to 30,000 square metres of floorspace in just four years.

From May 2002, Peter spent ten years as CEO of Niche Events, which was eventually sold to Clarion in 2009. Peter moved to the Nineteen Group in May 2012 and has served as the company’s CEO since November 2018.

In conversation with Mark, Peter concentrates on why the Nineteen Group has taken the decision to move the Fire Safety Event from next April to early September, and also outlines why live events continue to be so vital for the fire sector as a whole.

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