Sophie Quinton-Carter attends FIRE 2022 at St Helen’s London.

December 7, 2022

On 18 October 2022 Sophie, of Red Lion Chambers’ Fire Law Team, attended the Fire 2022 Conference organised in association with the National Fire Chiefs Council, The Institution of Fire Engineers, the Fire Protection Society and Fire Sector Federation. This was the UK’s leading fire safety conference.

The conference headline “Working together to drive change” set the scene for a conference focused on collaboration, through a series of fire professional addresses and workshops.
Building on the clear message from the 2021 Conference, the workshops and lectures aimed to help shape policy and lobby for changes that will support and lead the fire safety sector.

The conference was chaired by broadcaster, Aasmah Mir, who led an insightful discussion with journalists, Kate Lamble and Peter Apps, on their reflections on Grenfell. Kate and Pete hosted a podcast throughout the Grenfell Inquiry drawing together what they had learnt from the process, and telling the story of those involved as it was ongoing. They were impressed with the broad remit undertaken by the Inquiry, enabling a reasonable balance to be struck between all parties involved, and they praised the Inquiry for largely keeping the local community onside despite initial reservations. Striking elements of the Inquiry involved testing and certification, and the attitude of testing to pass as opposed to testing for safety. A similar attitude was documented regarding risk assessments and building safety controls.

Steve Hamm (Chief Executive of the IFE) addressed attendees about managing fire safety in a sustainable world. Of particular interest was the increasing challenges posed by the number of electric vehicles, and the use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen, for transportation.

The conference also involved a number of workshops and an address from Jonathan O’Neill OBE (Managing Director of FPA) about how fire regulation continues to be reactive to tragedy, as opposed to proactive.

Red Lion Chambers advises and represents corporations, company directors, UK fire and rescue authorities, as well as public and investigatory bodies.