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Fire Safety - Getting it right the first time

We all desire to be competent. It’s a base-level requirement of the work we do every day. We desire to excel and to improve, so basic competency should be what we strive for passively. However, competency and ethics are UK-wide issues that need addressing urgently.

Between skills shortages and constant changes to regulation leading to ‘regulation anxiety’ – industry leaders are concerned that residential construction is not performing at the level it could be. So competency training has come into sharp focus for 2022. The questions we need to ask however are – what challenges are we aware of and what can we do to solve them?

London Build 2022

November 2022 was a key month for Resibuild in terms of outreach – not only did we hold our annual flagship event at The Shard where we hosted panels, presentations and roundtable discussions on industry-wide topics, but we also attended London Build 2022.

London Build is a yearly construction expo where members of the industry from all walks of life can cross paths, network, and exchange ideas to boost the industry. Resibuild attended as an exhibitor alongside Sapphire Balconies where we had the opportunity to speak to the industry at large.

Repeated talking points from everyone we spoke to between London Build and our flagship event at The Shard were the importance of working ethically, strategies to work with ethics in mind such as ESG strategies and the importance of competency across the industry. We created a research piece on people’s key focus for 2023. Amongst other pressing topics like communication and collaboration was, above all else, improving competency across the industry.

This posed a further question – how can we address competency issues on such a large scale?

Research piece

The wider residential construction industry is fascinated by the small, manageable ways in which we can improve our competency, not just the higher-scale goals we all aspire to.

50% of the people we interviewed between London Build and our event at The Shard said competency was the most important topic for them going into 2023, closely followed by the rise of new technologies and regulation changes. Resibuild are here to advise and educate you on all your construction concerns whenever you need us.

By performing cross-department training in our workplaces we can educate entire workforces on what might be viewed as simple processes in their own departments. By booking yourself and your team onto presentations and CPD training sessions (available on the Resibuild website), you can improve your competency in areas such as Carbon, Fire and Balcony Design.

Competency training can mean the difference between countless hours of redesigning, fixing or improving and a well-trained industry getting a job right the first time.

“Fire Safety vs Sustainability” Panel

Thinking back to London Build 2022, one of the best panels that Resibuild attended was the panel centring around fire safety & sustainability. Questions on the ethical nature of fire safety work were posed as well as a deep discussion of how we as an industry can act to make the industry safer and ourselves more competent.

In the ‘Fire Safety vs Sustainability’ panel, a line-up of fire safety experts in fields such as fire officers, concrete manufacturers and external envelope masters spoke about how to work sustainably. For example, using long-life materials in firestops can have tremendous benefits from both a fire protection and carbon perspective.

Nick Haughton spoke about the issues surrounding balconies, fire safety and the ways in which balconies can add extra fire protection. Smaller and fewer penetrations in the façade can bolster the effects of a firestop. Further to this, balconies are now designed to be entirely non-combustible much like a building’s cladding, so the spread of fire will be reduced.

Achieving industry competency is an ongoing battle and getting it right the first time isn’t always as simple as hoping for the best – consistent and continuous cross-department and cross-industry training is vital for improvement in all areas.

Thanks to the rich discussions we involved ourselves in at London Build 2022 and research conducted at our flagship event at The Shard, we now know that a key focus for 2023 will be on industry competency and Resibuild is here to provide extra industry knowledge whenever you need it.

We recently hosted a live fire test in association with Efectis in Belfast. To rewatch the full event, visit

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