It is now over a year since the residents of the Priory Hall Apartment Complex in Dublin were evicted from their homes as a result of fire safety breaches perpetrated by the building developers.
While work continues to improve regulatory control and enforcement to ensure such an incident cannot be repeated, ASFP Ireland (ASFPI) has been working with designers, contractors, fire prevention officers and legislators to raise awareness of the vital role of fire protection systems, particularly passive fire protection (PFP).
As part of its continuing education campaign, ASFPI is working with the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) to present a Technical Session on Demonstrating Competency in Fire Risk Assessment. The event, at the Carlton Airport Hotel, Dublin on 20 November, will include input from a range of industry experts.
Simon Ince of Warrington Certification will present an insight into the UK experience with fire risk assessment. He will describe the learning curve following the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005; the need for a recognised standard; and the long and protracted route that led to the development by the UK Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council of the Competency Criteria for Fire Risk Assessors. This is now to be adapted for use in Ireland, with the addition of a new Appendix (B4).
Other speakers will include ASFPI chairman David O’Reilly, who will discuss the current regulatory context in Ireland and the IFE’s Brian Burke, who will provide the Irish fire safety practitioner’s perspective.
Promoting excellence in the design and installation of fire protection products through high quality and technical expertise is a key aim of the ASFPI. Since April 2012, the Association has been organising training courses in PFP installation and risk assessment.
The courses, developed and delivered in conjunction with Exova Warringtonfire, are being held monthly at various locations around Ireland. Their aim is to improve the standard of installed PFP by educating installers, contractors and risk assessors about how passive fire protection works and why it is vital that such measures are correctly installed and maintained.
The CPD accredited installer courses help provide installers with essential knowledge and understanding to enable them to demonstrate that they have the expertise and commitment to undertake the professional installation of passive fire protection products. The courses will assist companies to demonstrate the necessary competence to enrol in third party certification schemes.
Meanwhile, the Risk Assessor courses help delegates to familiarise themselves with what to look for when inspecting passive fire protection in a building and to be aware of typical problems that may arise when installing such products. The courses explain why passive protection, and other fire protection systems, must be in place and the importance of correct installation and maintenance.
Responding to demand for more comprehensive Fire Risk Assessment training, leading to competency certification, ASFPI plans to introduce further courses designed to assist in this process.