EASYFAIRS PRESENTS FOUR TO THE POINT CONFERENCES
In the run-up to Secura, trade fair organizer Easyfairs conducted a large-scale survey on safety, health & wellbeing, security and fire protection. The results served as a guideline for the development of a set of conferences aiming to provide Secura’s visitors with specific answers. In the field of fire protection, four topics will be highlighted. The chairmanship of these conferences is in the hands of ir. Alain Georges, an independent expert and former director-general of ANPI. From his experience, he surely is aware of what is going on in that area in the Belgian companies.
PRACTICAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON EVACUATION EXERCISES
The conferences on fire protection will be spread over the two days. On Wednesday 22 March, the red thread throughout the day will be “What to do in case of a fire?”. The day will be kicked off with the topic that scored second in the survey with 38%: evacuation exercises.
Alain Georges: “It is amazing that companies still have so many questions about this topic. The law has been requiring companies, schools, stores, etc. for years to organize an evacuation drill at least once a year. Normally, the prevention advisor of each organization or company should be able to provide the information necessary to comply with this regulation. Perhaps the explanation for the great interest in this topic lies in the current terrorist threat. After all, we always notice a flare-up in troubled times or after a major incident such as the fire in the Switel hotel. Now I must admit that organizing evacuation exercises is not always that easy. Especially in public areas, it is often striking a delicate balance between commercial and safety considerations. Also in factories, it may be a problem because the production process might have to be shut down. Therefore, the purpose of this conference is to inform the attendees about the best practices to organize this legal requirement in the most diverse situations, with minimal financial loss and maximum efficiency in terms of safety.”
NEW FIRE EXTINGUISHING EQUIPMENT UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
The use of (small) extinguishers too scored with 20% exceptionally high in the survey.
“On the one hand that is quite odd because it is no difficult or new matter. Of course, the environmental legislation has significantly reduced the potential for fire-fighting exercises. Virtual training does not allow to experience the effect of a conflagration on humans, while factors such as heat, breathlessness, fear, etc. really have a major impact on the effectiveness of extinguishing”, says Alain Georges. “On the other hand, various innovative solutions have hit the market over the past few years and I can imagine that potential users are questioning the efficiency of those tools. That is why we provide a two-fold programme on Wednesday afternoon. During the conference ‘New fire extinguishing equipment’, we elaborate through case studies on two innovative solutions: water spray and foaming agents. Additionally, Easyfairs will place a special trailer on the fair site in which real fires can be combated with various extinguishing agents.”
HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY IN THE LEGISLATION
It is no coincidence that the Royal Decree of 28 March 2014 on fire prevention at the workplace raises the most questions (41% of the respondents).
“Correctly interpreting a new regulation is never simple”, explains Alain Georges. “It is therefore logical that – even almost two years after the RD came into force – there is still a great need for information. The regulation being construed purposefully even adds to that need. The legislator states that you must achieve a ‘goal’ and that you have to prove how you do it. The conference on Thursday morning 23 March aims to explain Secura’s visitors in great detail what this Royal Decree stands for and what is the best way to meet its requirements. To that end, we called in a CNPP specialist. One of the requirements of the RD is carrying out a risk analysis. And that appears to be an item many companies and organizations struggle with. That is why during this conference we will also present some cases that illuminate this topic from practice.”
TECHNOLOGY OPENS NEW PERSPECTIVES
On Thursday afternoon, we program a conference on the EN54-13 fire detection standard. After all, the respondents indicated that they have a lot of questions on this topic as well (19%).
Alain Georges thinks this is quite normal since the standards are still relatively unknown in his opinion. “Moreover, technology is evolving at a breath-taking pace. For example, major steps have been taken in avoiding electromagnetic interference in wireless systems. Conversely, we see an increased use in the workplace of devices such as tablets which may cause such interference. That is why this conference will approach the EN54-13 topic from two perspectives. ANPI will both give a presentation on how to meet the standards and give an update on wireless systems. With these four conferences, Easyfairs perfectly responds to the expectations of the Secura visitor. Not only are the more general topics covered in a practical way, even experts are provided with additional baggage since the presentations illuminate one specific element of fire protection. It goes without saying that we can only recommend to register now. To ensure excellent quality and optimum interactivity, the number of participants per conference is limited.”