FPA Managing Director Dr Gavin Dunn highlights fire safety in the net zero era

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Overview of Dr Dunn’s insights on net zero and fire safety

Dr Gavin Dunn, the newly appointed Managing Director of the Fire Protection Association (FPA), recently emphasised the interconnection between achieving net zero goals and fire safety in the built environment sector.

With his background as a chartered building engineer, Dr Dunn highlighted how the pursuit of decarbonisation and net zero is influencing business decisions and changing the risk profile in this sector.

He stressed that new practices and materials aimed at meeting these environmental targets introduce risks previously unencountered, especially in the context of fire safety.

Dr Dunn said: “As we drive towards net zero, the imperative to decarbonise is increasingly driving business decisions, and this holds true for the built environment sector.”

He also warned of the fire risks associated with new technologies and materials, such as high-performance insulation, timber construction, and energy systems like solar panels and heat pumps.

Dunn expressed concerns over potential fire events involving these technologies, noting they not only increase the risk of fire but also pose challenges due to the release of potentially toxic effluents and embodied carbon.

FPA Spring Seminar: Fire Safety and Sustainability of the Built Environment

The FPA Spring Seminar, titled ‘Fire Safety and Sustainability of the Built Environment‘, will be opened by Dr Dunn on 17 April at Chicago Booth’s London Conference Centre and online.

The seminar, featuring advice and guidance from industry experts, is designed to help businesses maintain best practice fire safety management amidst evolving sustainability requirements.

Sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including modernising construction, legislative changes, fire risks in timber constructions, and managing fire risks while enhancing building energy performance.

This event is aimed at a broad audience, including building owners, responsible persons, fire risk assessors, fire safety managers, contractors, designers, and insurers.

The seminar will provide invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of fire safety and environmental sustainability.

Importance of balancing sustainability and fire safety

Dr Dunn emphasised the importance of implementing net zero plans in the built environment safely and efficiently.

He stated: “It is vital, however, that we now learn how to do this safely and efficiently.”

This statement underscores the FPA’s commitment to enhancing fire safety awareness, particularly in the context of the built environment’s evolving sustainability requirements.

The FPA’s efforts through this seminar and other initiatives reflect the broader industry trend of integrating environmental sustainability with fire safety.

By focusing on these areas, the FPA aims to ensure that the drive towards a more sustainable future does not compromise safety standards.

IFSJ Comment

The FPA’s focus on fire safety in the context of net zero goals addresses a critical aspect of sustainability in the built environment.

As the industry moves towards environmentally friendly practices, the need for a comprehensive understanding of the associated risks, especially in terms of fire safety, becomes increasingly vital.

The FPA’s initiatives, such as the upcoming Spring Seminar, play a key role in educating industry professionals and stakeholders about the complexities at this intersection.

By fostering a dialogue between experts and practitioners, the FPA is contributing significantly to the development of safer, more sustainable building practices.

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