13 Jul 2023 | Building Safety

BPF and ARK Workplace Risk collaborate on building safety summer series

I try to get to know as many of our members as I can. In my previous job, we had 200,000 members, which was a tall order! However, the BPF has about 400 member organisations, so just about do-able. There is part of our member organisations, however, that I would admit I didn’t know very well up until six years ago, the sector’s Health & Safety Directors, Building Safety Managers, and Risk Managers.

Sadly, it has taken tragedy in the shape of Grenfell, for me to acquaint myself with this part of our membership. And whilst I would never wish the circumstances, it has been good to get to know a very knowledgeable and essential part of our membership, which perhaps doesn’t get the profile of other functions in the property sector, but performs a vital role in protecting members’ assets, employees, customers, and reputations.

I would add that property managers in the sector have also been at the forefront of much of this, grappling with many new requirements, and how they would impact on themselves and their clients. Some excellent legal professionals have also been trying their best to interpret what is certain, and sometimes uncertain.

The issues that have come with various new regulations on building safety and fire safety are beyond my expertise, and therefore it has meant relying on the helpful support of many members, who have been participating in our Building Safety Sounding Board, and been prepared to share their knowledge and experiences, not only with me, but as importantly with each other. Detail has often been scant, and it is only through checking with others that members have become comfortable that their approach is broadly correct.

I have also relied on Ark Workplace Risk, and particularly their expert David Hills. I met David many years ago at Celtic Manor at an event Ark were hosting to reflect on The Hackitt Review at the Annual RESi Conference. At that time, there were very few events on building safety, and Ark seemed very switched on, on what was to transpire.

As some members will know, we ran a series of webinars with Ark during 2022. These were recorded and sit on the BPF Youtube account. We were conscious however, that members may want information to consume more at a time of their convenience, in shorter digestible formats, and covering a broader spectrum of issues than the requirements of the new building safety regime.

I am therefore pleased to say having given all that some thought we are today launching with Ark a summer series of 10 building and fire safety videos. On average, they are about 10 minutes long, and therefore can be digested relatively easily, on members’ commutes for example.

The first two cover Building Safety Management Systems and Essential Fire Safety Equipment Checks, two more will follow each week for five weeks in total. The final two will cover safety cases and are slightly longer at about 15 minutes each. As well as flagging each week in our newsletter, the videos will again be posted on the BPF Youtube account. To help you lookout for the ones you may find most helpful the list of ten reads:

  1. High Risk Building Registration
  2. Building Safety Management Systems
  3. Safety Case & Safety Case Report (part one)
  4. Safety Case & Safety Case Report (part two)
  5. Essential Fire Safety Equipment Checks
  6. External Wall Assessments and Information Sharing
  7. Fire Doors and Inspections
  8. Fire Risk Assessments
  9. Premises Information Boxes
  10. Residents Information Packs

I hope you find it a useful resource, at a convenient time of the year. Your feedback is always welcome though, as we reflect on this and future activity on building safety. You are welcome to contact myself Ian Fletcher

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Ian Fletcher Director of Policy (Real Estate)