Home >Blogs> >Mark Sennett
Mark Sennett

From editor - April 2018 14/03/2018

WELCOME TO the April edition of FSM, which includes an in depth look on fire and security issues within tall buildings, retail premises and evacuation policies.

On 10-12 April we will be returning to the NEC Birmingham for the Fire Safety Event, which will once again be co-located with the Facilities Event and the Health & Safety Event. We are expecting more than 5,000 delegates across the three days and more than 250 exhibition stands. 

I’ve once again had the pleasure of arranging the free CPD-accredited content in the Fire Safety Event and if you are free on 10-12 April please do come along for these not to be missed seminars. The topics include Institution of Fire Engineers sharing details of its submission to the Grenfell Inquiry, how to prevent tall building fires, evacuation policies for fires and terrorist attacks, how to prevent false fire alarms, prevention of fires on buses, trains and at sea, protecting hospitals from fires and much more.

But perhaps the highlight of the content line-up is the two mock trials that will be taking place on the first two days. The first trial will see me in the dock over a breach to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and I will be prosecuted by Pinsent Masons LLP, but fortunately they will also provide a barrister to defend me! You will be the jury and you will decide if I’m guilty. 

The second trial is being conducted by renowned health and safety barrister Gerard Forlin QC. This trial is being put on by Turner and Townsend and will focus on corporate responsibility and feature a health and safety mock trial based on a fictional work-place accident.

You can see a full preview of the Fire Safety Event inside this issue of FSM. It’s completely FREE to attend the any of these sessions and the daily 9am breakfast briefing will also provide you with free breakfast! All you need to do is register to attend at www.firesafetyevents.com

On 11 April, we will host the inaugural Safety & Health Excellence Awards, which also contains categories on fire safety and security. The shortlist has been revealed later on inside this issue and we are delighted that more than 300 of you have already bought tickets to the gala dinner, which will be hosted by Rory Bremner. Good luck to all those on the shortlist and thanks again to all of the judges who had a big job on their hands to pick the finalists. We’ve got limited tickets left so if you’d like to purchase a ticket please do so before 6 April at www.she-awards.co.uk 

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

From the editor - January 2018 10/12/2017

AS I write this I’m sat on a balcony in La Manga Club in Spain and it seemed the perfect time to sit back on reflect on what has been such a busy first year for FSM. The other option was to sit and talk to my family but for some reason a bit of peace and quiet in some winter sun while they are out shopping seemed more appealing!

When Keith Gabriel and I joined Western Business Exhibitions (WBE) at the end of last year we were tasked with launching not only FSM but also three Fire Safety Events (Birmingham NEC, Glasgow SEC and EventCity Manchester). Quite a daunting task but one we’ve loved and our immensely proud that we attracted more than 10,000 delegates across the three events, a print audience for FSM of 8,000 and more than 40,000 receiving our weekly email newsletter. We are extremely grateful to all of you who attended the events or read the magazine this year and we also thankful to all the companies who have exhibited or advertised with us. Without these companies support we could not have had such a successful first year and there has been a real sense of us all being in it together. So, from all of us at WBE thank you!

Last chance to enter our awards

You’d think that would be enough launches in one year wouldn’t you? But I’ve never taken the easy options in life and decided it was the right time to launch the Health and Safety Excellence Awards. There are categories on fire innovation of the year, security innovation of the year, campaign of the year, health and safety manager of the year, team of the year and the rising star award. Entries are about to close and it’s FREE to enter. 

So please do enter if you want to recognise how your company, team or an individual has made a great contribution to improve life safety or property protection. It only takes a few minutes to enter so do so now at www.she-awards.co.uk

We will announce the shortlist in the next issue of FSM and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner hosted by Rory Bremner on 11 April 2018 at the Vox in Resorts World, Birmingham.

Fire Safety Event

As you will see on page xx we have now announced our content for the CPD-accredited seminars on offer at the Fire Safety Event at NEC, Birmingham on 10-12 April 2018. The event is completely FREE to attend and will be co-located with the long-established Health and Safety Event and Facilities Event. There will be more 300 exhibitors on site who will be showcasing the latest products in the market and we will also have all the top industry associations exhibiting. 

The CPD-accredited seminars include sessions on tall building fires, lessons learned from the Grenfell Tower tragedy, a corporate manslaughter mock trial, a Fire Safety Order mock trial, evacuations during a terrorist attack, conducting a suitable risk assessment and much more. You can register to attend the event and reserve you seat at any of these sessions now at www.firesafetyevents.com

Security Event 2019

So, what’s next? Well we are delighted to announce the launch of The Security Event, which will be co-located with Fire Safety Event, Health and Safety Event and Facilities Event at NEC Birmingham on 9-11 April 2019.

The Security Event has already secured eight industry leading manufacturers and distributors as founding partners, all who will be exhibiting at the event including Anixter, Bosch, Comelit, Dahua, Honeywell, TDSi, Texecom and Videcon. It will feature professionally accredited seminar content and an exhibition comprising more than 100 of the leading brands in the security sector. The free-to-attend event will attract end users, installers, specifiers, consultants and the full UK buying chain.

I will be organising the content for the theatres at both the Fire Safety Event and Security Event and can’t wait to get started on this new venture. You can read further details about The Security Event on page xx and we are calling on the industry to become involved. For those who would like to find out more please visit the website www.securityevent.co.uk

Later this month we will be exhibiting at Intersec Dubai, where FSM is an official media partner. You can see a detailed preview of Intersec inside this issue, which highlights what’s on offer in the security, fire safety and health and safety parts of the exhibition. If you’ve picked up FSM while you’re at Intersec we hope you enjoy reading it! You can subscribe to get this magazine five times per year for FREE at www.fsmatters.com

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

Changing world 12/07/2017

IT’S BEEN a while since my last blog post and I thought there was no better time to rectify this than while sat by a pool on holiday in sunny La Manga Club in Spain.

Now you can either look at my decision to write a blog while on holiday as proof that I really need to get out more, a welcome distraction from my twin children trying to drown me in the pool, or the reality that the past few weeks have kept this website updated with major events. Since I last posted, the UK has suffered three terrorist attacks, two cyber-attacks and the most devastating building fire since the Second World War. We’ve also had a general election, which instead of producing a result of strong and stable leadership that has actually led to the exact opposite. This may in turn lead to the end of austerity measures for public services. During the same period Dianne Abbott has both quit, been replaced and returned as Shadow Home Secretary! 

What’s certain is we now live in a different society than we did only a few short weeks ago. Fire safety is top of the media and government agenda following the Grenfell Tower fire in London. I’ve got no interest in speculating on all the problems and causes of the fire, which disappointingly can’t be said of certain leading figures in the sector who seemed more interested in being part of sensationalist headlines than taking stock of the tragedy itself. Sadly, it has taken a tragedy of this magnitude to raise serious questions over suitable cladding materials and to question if the Building Regulations will finally be reviewed. What has been truly heartening is how the British public had come together in a true sense of community in the wake of the terrible events at Grenfell, London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Manchester. I for one was proud to live in a country where people travelled from mile around to give aid and comfort to victim. In relation to the terrorist attacks, this was the best sign of solidarity this country could give and proof that the evil acts of others will not shake our values and only make us stronger.

Fire Safety North

Fire Safety North will be making its debut at EventCity Manchester on 10-11 October offering an unparalleled line-up of CPD-accredited seminars and more than 30 exhibitors.

Following the success of the Fire Safety Events at Birmingham NEC and Glasgow SEC earlier this year, we are delighted to be bringing the event to Manchester and co-locating it with the long-established Health and Safety North exhibition. The event will feature more than 20 hours of seminars delivered by industry experts and attract more than 2,000 delegates from across the North of England. 

The event is being supported by a number of key associations including the Institute of Fire Safety Managers, who will be holding a technical day for its members on day one, the Association of Specialist Fire Protection and third-party certification body SSAIB. 

We have listened to people in the north of England who are end users, risk assessors, installers and fire safety professionals who have told us that they want to have a place to network and see the latest fire safety products. Fire Safety North provides that opportunity and will feature a content line-up normally reserved for a paid-for-conference and an exhibition boasting all the leading brands and products in the fire sector. 

Fire safety has hit the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons and Fire Safety North provides an ideal opportunity to gain essential advice and browse life-saving products that can protect your employees and your workplace.

As I mentioned the CPD content line-up is not to be missed and will include a mock trial under the Fire Safety Order where I will be the defendant being prosecuted by leading fire safety lawyer Warren Spencer and you will be the judge and jury! Not to be missed sessions on tall buildings, prosecutions under the Fire Safety Order, understanding passive fire protection, preventing fire spread in tall buildings panel debate and address from the Welsh Assembly on how it succeeded in making it mandatory for sprinklers in new homes. 

For more details or to register to attend for free visit www.firesafetyevents.com

Safety and Health Excellence Awards

Just a reminder that our Awards are now open for entries to the Safety and Health Excellence Awards. I'd encourage you to enter now for FREE it only takes a few minutes to enter and we really do want as many entries as possible. So please enter! Here's the details:

The entry period closes on 30 November 2017 and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner hosted by Rory Bremner on 11 April 2018 at the Vox in Resorts World, NEC Birmingham. For the first-time ever the winners of the prestigious British Safety Industry Association (BSIF) Awards will also be announced on the night. 

The categories include:

BSIF Product Innovation Award
BSIF Safety Solution Award
BSIF Customer Service Award
Health & Safety Matters (HSM) Safety Manager of the Year
HSM Rising Star Award
Lifetime Achievement Award (not open to nominations)
Innovation of the Year for Fire
Innovation of the Year for Security
Campaign of the Year (Fire, Security, Health and Safety)


More than 350 industry professionals will be present on the evening, which will feature a VIP drinks reception, three-course meal, magicians, charity casino, live band and a comedy set from host Rory Bremner.

Tickets are now on sale for this not to be missed event and cost £199+VAT per person or £1800+VAT for a table of ten. You can enter the awards or buy tickets at www.she-awards.co.uk

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Keith Gabriel on 07484 099778 or email kgabriel@western-bp.co.uk

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

From the editor - June 2017 19/05/2017

Managing editor Mark Sennett introduces this edition of Fire and Security Matters magazine.

THE LAST month has certainly been newsworthy with the calling of a general election, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary causing outrage with uniformed police officers and of course one of the biggest international cyber attacks in history. 

You can see information on all of these stories in our news section and we also have an extensive article by Mike Gillespie on the ever-increasing threat of cyber crime. I can assure you commissioning that article was not an act of clairvoyance from me as this topic has been a very real threat for a long time. In fact the most recent government statistics show that we are now more likely to be a victim of cyber crime than any other crime. So hopefully Mike’s article will help you and your business prepare for this very real threat.

Last month was the debut of the Fire Safety Scotland event at SEC Glasgow and I was delighted to see many of you there. If you enjoy the educational content in this magazine then you would greatly benefit from attending one of the Fire Safety Events and as an extra bribe all the sessions are CPD accredited. The next event we are running is Fire Safety North at EventCity Manchester on 10-11 October. We’ve got some really important topics on the agenda including a session from top fire safety prosecutor Warren Spencer about prosecutions he’s led under the Fire Safety Order as well as the first ever mock trial at a UK fire safety event where I will be the defendant and you will be the judge and jury. So, for all of you who want to see me in the dock make sure you book your seat at my trial on 10 October! You can see the full timetable on the inside front cover of this magazine and you can reserve your FREE place at any of the seminars at www.firesafetyevents.com

Inside this issue of FSM we have three main themes complex premises, remote systems and modern construction methods. In our fire section, we have an article from Aston Bowles on protecting heritage sites and another from Kelvin Miller on fire risks at oil and gas facilities. John Robb takes a look at threats that could trigger emergency procedures within a commercial building has multiplied in modern times. While Kevin Mears explores how new technology is helping to win the fight against unwanted alarm signals.

Mike Hodges explains how pressure relief vents play a critical role in protecting complex premises and sophisticated buildings such as data centres. Paul Lane examines crucial fire safety factors that are intrinsic to the overall life cycle of a building.

In our security section, we have an article from the National Security Inspectorate on how powered gates and barriers are becoming an increasingly important part of multi-faceted security systems. Ken Bickers provides a fascinating case study on how smart systems are allowing people to protect and monitor their homes and workplaces from the palm of their hand wherever they are in the world. 

As usual we close out the issue with a look at the next major fire and security exhibition, which is FIREX and IFSEC at ExCel London on 20-22 June. If you’d like to meet up with us at the event then please feel free to stop by stand U820 at the Facilities Show, which is also on at ExCel during those dates. If you’ve picked up this magazine at one of these shows and you’d like to receive all five issues per annum for FREE then simply visit our website www.fsmaters.com and click the free subscription tab on the top right of the homepage. 

Don’t forget if you can’t wait until our next issue comes out in October you can get daily news updates from our website or sign up to our weekly newsletter, which has all the latest news, prosecutions, products and jobs sent straight to your inbox. With more than 40,000 of your peers already receiving the newsletter you’d be in great company! To register just click on the email news tab on our homepage at www.fsmatters.com

As you will notice inside this issue we are delighted to announce the launch of the Safety and Health Excellence Awards 2018. Entries for these are now open and it’s FREE to enter! We are delighted to be launching the awards, which have dedicated categories for fire, security and health, safety and wellbeing. For more information on how to enter or on how to buy tickets for the Awards night itself (hosted by Rory Bremner) on 11 April 2018 at the prestigious VOX at Resorts World Birmingham, please visit www.she-awards.co.uk entries close on 31 October. 

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

From the editor 15/04/2017

Managing editor Mark Sennett introduces this edition of Fire and Security Matters magazine.

I’D LIKE to start off my notes by thanking everyone for the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received following the launch issue of FSM. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind launching the magazine and the Fire Safety Event series and we are learning as we go but I’m thrilled that not one person has requested that they no longer receive the magazine!

The inaugural Fire Safety Event took place at the NEC Birmingham on 21-23 March and it was great to meet so many of you at the event. Having only had little over three months to organise the exhibition and conference programme it was with some trepidation that we travelled up the Birmingham in preparation of the event. To our joy plenty of delegates attended the event and many of the seminar sessions were standing room only. Thank you to all the speakers, exhibitors and delegates that took part. The Fire Safety Event will return home to the NEC on 10-12 April 2018 and if you’d like to exhibit please do drop me a line at msennett@western-be.co.uk if you missed this year’s event you can check out videos, seminar reports, photos and tweets via our website www.fsmatters.com

But you don’t have to wait a year to come and visit the Fire Safety Event as the next one takes place on 3-4 May at SEC Glasgow. Once again it will have an unparalleled line-up of FREE CPD-accredited seminar sessions delivered by leading industry figures. We’ve got topics on how to evacuate during terrorist attacks, a keynote speech from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Alistair Hay, the role of the competent person, how to assess the competency of your risk assessor, means of eliminating false alarms, the importance of using visual alarm devices, your legal responsibilities in relation to sprinklers and much more. There will be more than 30 fire specific exhibitors on site to show off the latest products and innovations in the sector. 

We are also delighted to announce that the Association of Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) will be hosting a breakfast briefing on 4 May as part of the event, where not only will you get a free bacon roll and refreshments on arrival but also be able to enjoy three CPD-accredited sessions on passive fire protection. You can find all full details on this and all the other session in our preview pages. If you’d like to reserve you FREE seat at any of the Fire Safety Event CPD sessions and have access to more than 250 exhibitors, visit www.scotlandworks.com 

Now shifting focus back to FSM, this issue focuses on three key themes: passive fire protection, business continuity and terrorist threats. As you will see passive fire protection is the topic of choice for our new cartoonist Rob Nesbitt, who’s a former firefighter and now a risk assessor. Rob will be producing a different cartoon each issue of FSM and we hope you enjoy them.

In our fire section, we have articles from ASFP’s Niall Rowan who comments on a recently published report, which highlighted failures in the quality of construction and fire-stopping installation in a number of Edinburgh schools. Russ Timpson explains that fire protection must be improved for cladding on tall buildings in order to mitigate the devastating impact of fire on life safety and business resilience. 

Stephen Beadle outlines how maintaining your fire system properly benefits business continuity and can make all the difference in preventing a total-loss fire. Rounding off our fire-related articles, I sat down with C-TEC’s managing director Andrew Foster, who explains why manufacturers of fire-detection systems are having to change their approach in the UK.

Sadly, the UK recently suffered another terrorist attack and so it is timely that we have three articles that explore ways of preparing for such attacks, the evolving forms of terrorism and how to ensure your business can stay resilient post-attack. 

I look forward to seeing some of you at the Fire Safety Event in Scotland and FSM will return next month with focusses on complex premises, remote systems and modern construction methods. If you’d like to submit an article for consideration in FSM or to enquire about advertising please email msennett@western-be.co.uk

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

Blog for FSM website 01/03/2017

Blog for FSM website

WELCOME TO the new website for Fire and Security Matters and it's my pleasure to pen the very first blog on the site. It seems logical that I take this opportunity to explain what FSM is all about.


I've been lucky enough to work as a journalist and event organiser in the fire sector for the last three years and am delighted to be launching FSM, which will be an independent voice for facilities and risk management. The magazine and website are not answerable to any membership body or trade association but we are pleased to be partnering with the leading bodies so we can get valuable viewpoints from all of them on key issues facing the fire, security and facilities sectors.


FSM will provide readers with in-depth technical articles, which will share innovation and best practice to address key issues relating to life safety and property protection. Industry experts will provide case studies on how they have worked in a multitude of environments to limit or eliminate risk from fire, security, cybercrime, flooding and terrorism to name just a few. 


We have more than 43,000 readers who receive a newsletter on a weekly basis that contains all the latest news and views from this website. FSM also has a great line-up of opinionated industry figures who will not pull any punches with their views, such as Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack, leading fire safety lawyer Warren Spencer and the Secret Risk Assessor (whose identity I can't disclose for fear of death!). 


All the latest news, prosecutions, products and services will also be included in every issue of FSM and if you can't wait to receive a print copy make sure you check back for daily updates of these sections on this website. The magazine will also give extensive insight into the unparalleled line-up of free educational content on offer at the Fire Safety Events, which are being held on 21-23 March 2017 at the NEC Birmingham, 3-4 May at Glasgow SEC and 10-11 October in EventCity Manchester. FSM will take a detailed look at the seminars, which offer the most high-profile list of speakers assembled at a free-to-attend fire safety event in the UK. You can find out full information on the seminars at www.firesafetyevents.com


In 2017, FSM will publish four print issues that come out in March, May, June and October. If you're not a current subscriber you can register to receive copies of the magazine on the homepage at www.fsmatters.com you can also view a digital edition of the magazine for free on this website. 


If you would like to submit an article, blog or information on a new product please drop me an email at msennett@western-be.co.uk

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.


Mark is the editor of FSM.