The IOSH Fire Risk Management Group held a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons in September, to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. Attendees, including MP’s, peers, industry leaders and representatives from trade associations and professional bodies, examined the fire-related challenges and opportunities in today’s built environment and explored the role of occupational safety & health professionals in fire prevention, and incident management.
They heard that fire safety remains a vital component of new building designs in this age of increasing demand and state-of-the-art construction methods. Planners and designers should consult health and safety professionals from the outset of construction projects to;
(a) make sure building standards are not compromised to meet increasing demand; and
(b) consider the effect design decisions have on future firefighting capability.
Attendees were asked to take away a few key messages from the event;
- We must be careful not to become complacent as technology strengthens many elements of fire safety;
- Education and information about fire safety are vitally important for not only workers but also the general public;
- Occupational safety & health professionals must fully embrace the concepts of fire safety and integrate them into their H&S strategy
- A fire safety culture must be fostered and reinforced if efforts to prevent fire are to succeed and workers are to be protected