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On with the show

07 July 2021

From 7-9 September, The Fire Safety Event makes a triumphal return to the NEC in Birmingham, with organiser Nineteen Events promising a show that’s bigger and better than ever. Here, Fire Safety Matters learns all about what’s on offer for visitors and seminar delegates from event director Tristan Norman

THE FIRE Safety Event is dedicated to supporting industry practitioners, professionals and organisations alike in achieving and maintaining the very highest standards of fire safety management and system specification, installation, commissioning and maintenance.

Showcasing the latest products, technology and solutions in fire safety, this annual show is the perfect opportunity for visitors to gain direct insight into improving business protection and continuity at what has quickly become the must-attend exhibition in the industry’s annual calendar.

In 2021, The Fire Safety Event is being actively supported by several Premier Partners, namely Advanced, Apollo, asecos, C-TEC and Checkmate Fire alongside Eaton, EMS, Global Fire Equipment, Kingspan and Safety Technology International (Europe).

Aside from Fire Safety Matters – which is once again serving as the Official Journal and Lead Media Partner for The Fire Safety Event – this year there are many key industry organisations affording their backing. They are the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), BAFE, the Building Engineering Services Association, the Fire and Security Association, the Fire Protection Association (FPA), the Institution of Fire Engineers, the Independent Fire Engineering and Distributors Association, the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM), the Rail Industry Fire Association, the National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers and the Smoke Control Association.

Those practising sector professionals who attend the show will be able to gain Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points as they hear from leading industry experts including Government officials, lawyers and manufacturers who’ll be presenting their views and opinions in The Fire Safety Theatre (sponsored by Advanced), The Tall Buildings Theatre (organised by the ASFP and sponsored by Safety Chair) and The Fire and Security Installer Theatre.

Importantly, visiting professionals will also be able to view and source the latest fire protection and prevention products and solutions developed by the likes of Aico, Baldwin Boxall, Ceasefire Industries UK, Coopers Fire, detectortesters, Fike Safety Technology, FirePro UK, FSi, Hyfire, Jactone Products, Kingspan, FireVu, Nittan, Patol, Plumis, Sircle, Vimpex and Xtralis. Crucially, they’ll be able to receive practical advice about current projects and experience live demonstrations.

The networking aspect of The Fire Safety Event should never be underestimated. This is the perfect opportunity for practitioners to ‘talk shop’ with the entire fire safety community under one roof. Everyone from fire safety managers, officers and risk assessors through to insurers, consultants, end users and those aforementioned manufacturers will be in attendance.

Pleasingly, traction for this year’s edition of The Fire Safety Event has been particularly strong as the industry – and its constituent companies and practitioners – looks to return to some degree of normalcy as it gradually adapts to a post-COVID business landscape.

To find out more detail around precisely what’s going to be on offer in Birmingham, Mark Sennett (CEO of Western Business Media and the founder of Fire Safety Matters magazine) recently chatted with event director Tristan Norman from Nineteen Group.

FSM: The Fire Safety Event is now in its fifth year. How does this year’s show differ from previous editions, Tristan?

Tristan Norman: I think the main difference that our exhibitors and visitors will feel is around the sheer size and scale of The Fire Safety Event. There are now well over 100 exhibitors booked to attend. The last edition of the show attracted just over 60 exhibitors. We’re now over double the size of the last event. That being the case, we can quite comfortably call ourselves the UK’s largest fire safety-focused show.

The fact we’ve attained that status is testament to the skill of the team here at Nineteen Group who work on the event and also the will of the industry to play its fullest part in delivering a truly brilliant national show back at the NEC in Birmingham in September.

FSM: In your view, what would you say sets The Fire Safety Event apart from other shows in the sector’s calendar?

Tristan Norman: The key element that allows us to stand out is our content. The content is really the star of the show when it comes to attracting visitors through the doors. We have some fantastic speakers and topics lined up across the three different theatres this year.

For example, in The Fire Safety Theatre both Dennis Davis (of the Fire Sector Federation) and Niall Rowan (from the ASFP) will be delivering a presentation on the Building Safety Bill while third party certification is the chosen focus of BAFE’s CEO Stephen Adams.

In The Tall Buildings Theatre, Simon Ince from UL looks at safety governance and how to demonstrate compliance. The Fire and Security Installer Theatre is being run in association with the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and Electronic Call Handling Operations (ECHO) initiative. Certification in a post-pandemic world is the subject of choice for NSI CEO Richard Jenkins in his presentation.

Anyone who’s anyone in the fire safety industry is exhibiting at the show. The great and the good of the industry are going to be in attendance.

FSM: On that last note, Tristan, can you give us an idea of what key brands will be present at the show?

Tristan Norman: There are some returning brands to whom we’re very grateful. Here, we’re talking about the likes of Apollo Fire Detectors, Tyco, Honeywell, Advanced, Global Fire Equipment, EMS, Kingspan and the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

We’ve also had a huge influx of leading fire safety solutions manufacturers joining the show. Those companies include Aico, Eaton, Everlux, Hyfire, Baldwin Boxall and Plumis. It’s proving to be a real barnstormer.

FSM: What about the leading industry associations and trade bodies? Who’s going to be at the NEC?

Tristan Norman: As you would expect, the majority of the UK’s fire sector is represented. BAFE, the ASFP, the IFSM and the FPA, for example, will all be there. From an installer point of view, as I said the SSAIB are part of the event. ECHO will be represented with input from the Fire Industry Association, the British Security Industry Association and the NSI.

FSM: Why is the involvement of organisations such as those you’ve listed so important and what can visitors expect from them?

Tristan Norman: It’s one of the rare touch points during the calendar year when industry practitioners have the chance to interact with association representatives. Visitors can look to maintain their CPD points and also derive the very latest information on standards and regulations.

With the Fire Safety Bill recently receiving Royal Assent to become the Fire Safety Act 2021, we’re now witnessing the biggest changes in terms of fire safety reform in living memory. It’s a pivotal juncture for the sector.

Industry practitioners need to be part of the journey towards meaningful change. There’s huge amounts of learning to be had right across the piece. The industry’s key associations are the ones with the knowledge to impart and we give them the platform to do just that. At Nineteen Group, we pride ourselves on being able to facilitate learning for the fire sector.

FSM: What’s going to be the key content on offer that visitors to the show can enjoy?

Tristan Norman: In terms of the seminars, as I said there are three distinct learning tracts. The Fire and Security Installer Theatre very much does what it says on the tin. It’ll be updating installers on industry legislation, standards and regulation plus imparting information on the latest trends and innovation.

Then you look at The Fire Safety Theatre. This is much more case study-led and there will be panel debates. There will be lots of talking points and areas of discussion. In terms of The Tall Buildings Theatre, it’s obvious to us all that fire safety in this area has never been more prevalent and important. Three days of content will be on offer for what is one of the UK’s biggest safety challenges.

FSM: In your opinion, Tristan, why should practitioners who have perhaps never visited The Fire Safety Event do so on this occasion?

Tristan Norman: This year, more than ever before, there have been huge and sweeping changes across the fire industry, not least in terms of the introduction of the Fire Safety Act (which is intrinsically linked with the Fire Safety Order) and the upcoming Building Safety Bill. Much of the change, of course, has been driven by Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

The Fire Safety Event is the largest event of its kind at which current practitioners can meet the biggest players in the sector. Put simply, fire safety-focused practitioners cannot afford not to attend.

FSM: If people want to register to attend The Fire Safety Event, what’s the easiest way in which they can do so?

Tristan Norman: The best thing to do is visit the website at www.firesafetyevent.com. There, it’s possible not only to register, but also to view the entire seminar programme and check out all of the exhibitors.