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IFE and FIA launch joint Special Interest Group focused on building façades

17 May 2021

THE INSTITUTION of Fire Engineers (IFE) and the Fire Industry Association (FIA) have joined forces to launch a dedicated Special Interest Group focused on building façades and external wall fire safety issues.

The new Steering Group features members from both organisations along with additional co-opted membership from the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the National Fire Chiefs Council. Co-chaired by Jon Pagan and IFE Fellow Adam Monaghan, the Special Interest Group held its inaugural meeting last month.

Pagan, the director of fire safety engineering at International Fire Consultants Ltd, explained: “It’s essential that the fire industry takes more ownership of helping to deal with fire safety issues concerning façades and external walls. We created this Special Interest Group to raise awareness of the issues involved and to provide support to the many fire engineers who work in this area.”

Further, Pagan observed: “It will be the Special Interest Group’s responsibility to identify and monitor research and guidance and to take part in related industry consultations. One of the main focuses of the Special Interest Group will be ensuring that IFE and FIA members are kept up-to-date with the various ongoing activities which are occurring in this key area such that they benefit from the work that we do.”

The Special Interest Group will act as a forum for the exchange of ideas and to agree consistent approaches to common issues related to façades. In addition to this, the Special Interest Group is planning to look at the training and education of those professionals who are involved in this type of fire safety-related work.

As one of its first activities, the Special Interest Group is encouraging all interested parties to respond to the recently published draft for comment PAS 9980 Fire Risk Appraisal and Assessment of External Wall Construction and Cladding of Existing Blocks of Flats – Code of Practice. Members can do so here. The closing date for responses is Thursday 20 May.