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Fire Safety Matters Podcast – Episode 18

30 March 2021

THE EIGHTEENTH edition of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast is now available to download or stream for free. This episode includes exclusive interviews with Niall Rowan (CEO at the Association for Specialist Fire Protection) and Andy Speake (national technical manager at Aico). We also hear from our regular Fire Safety Matters Podcast guest Warren Spencer of Blackhurst Budd Solicitors with his views on key legal issues pertaining to the UK’s fire sector.

The Fire Safety Matters Podcast is hosted by the magazine’s Editor Brian Sims and Western Business Media’s CEO Mark Sennett and kindly sponsored by The Fire Safety Event, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 7-9 September 2021.

On Episode 18, Brian interviews Niall Rowan, CEO of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), who first appeared as a guest on Episode 5 of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast.

Niall took on the role of CEO at the ASFP back at the beginning of 2017 having served as the organisation’s technical officer since 2010. Since then, he has expertly led the ASFP through a period of huge change both for the Association itself and the fire and construction sectors in general.

During his tenure, Niall has played a hugely influential role, providing input to the full range of Government and industry committees tasked with transforming the building safety landscape and improving competency right across the built environment, as well as significantly raising the ASFP’s profile as the ‘go-to’ authority on passive fire protection.

Importantly, Niall has also presided over a period of substantial growth for the ASFP and overseen the launch of its highly successful Foundation course in Passive Fire Protection, which itself enables passive fire protection-focused professionals to demonstrate their competency and study towards Level 2 and 3 qualifications awarded by the Institution of Fire Engineers.

Recently, Niall has announced that he’ll be standing down as CEO after this year’s AGM. On that basis, he chats with Brian about what’s next for him on a personal level, while in parallel outlining his considered views on the competency agenda and the Building Safety Bill as well as several other key areas.

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

When it comes to ‘all matters legal’ in relation to fire safety, there’s no better expert to turn to than our regular Fire Safety Matters Podcast contributor Warren Spencer (managing director at Blackhurst Budd Solicitors) who has prosecuted more cases under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 than anyone else. The list stretches to over 200 cases, in fact.

On this occasion, Spencer responds to the news emanating from the Home Office around the prospect for unlimited fines being realised in relation to proven breaches of the Fire Safety Order. In addition, there’s discussion about a further online conference that’s scheduled for May and once again sees a partnership approach and delivery involving Fire Safety Matters and Blackhurst Budd Solicitors. This time, the subject matter is all about ‘Enforcing the Fire Safety Order’ with referral to real-life Case Studies taken from the Blackhurst Budd archives.

Fire alarms

Our final guest interviewee on this edition of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast is Andy Speake, national technical manager at Aico, the specialist designer and developer of fire and carbon monoxide alarms.

Speake joined Aico back in 2016 in a technical capacity and became IT manager. Coming from a B2B IT background, including roles in technical support and consultancy, his skills were readily transferable.

As national technical manager, Speake’s primary role is managing the Technical Department, including a dedicated technical team which deals with customer enquiries and providing technical support to the Aico sales team. The role also involves overseeing and developing Aico’s Expert Installer training scheme.

Speake works closely with Aico’s parent company Ei Electronics to research and develop new products. In a pro bono capacity, he represents Aico on a number of leading industry organisations, including the British Standards Institution and the Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring.

During Episode 18 of the Fire Safety Matters Podcast, Mark chats with Andy about system installer competency, the role of training in the sector and the cloud-based alarm solutions that Aico is bringing to market.

As always, the Fire Safety Matters editorial team also analyses the latest major news stories emerging from the fire sector here in the UK.

Listen to the Fire Safety Matters Podcast

You can listen to the Fire Safety Matters Podcast for free on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play. To download the Fire Safety Matters 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 Fire Safety Matters 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