Here is a short update on our European SFPE activities.
The big event for this autumn was the SFPE Europe meeting that took place in Paris, 12 September 2017.
These meetings are unique occasions for the SFPE Europe Chapters. At these meetings we get a chance to meet face-to-face to share updates, challenges, and best practices which benefits all of the SFPE Europe Chapters.
Within SFPE Europe several topics were discussed:
A Focus on Europe:
- How to grow by involving new chapters and create new chapters.
- The best structure of SFPE Europe is to support the growth of SFPE in Europe.
- Local and common goals related to credentialing, collaborations, and certification.
- Future meetings and conferences.
A Focus on a Global Involvement with SFPE:
- How to deploy the SFPE strategic plan.
- Increase cooperation.
- Develop a new chapter structure policy.
SFPE Benelux chapter is working full swing on the 2018 conference. We have organized member activities trying to expand our chapter membership. We are also establishing task groups on car parks, tunnels, and healthcare. Another initiative of ours is improving the website. We would like to find way to increase interaction with the student chapter in Ghent.
The French Chapter had its annual meeting, 27 June in Paris.
- Five new directors were elected on the board.
- The activity report and the financial report were approved.
The new board had its first meeting, 11 July and it was dedicated to the preparation for the breakfast conference. The breakfast conference will be about soft regulation and its consequences on fire safety taking place in Paris, 19 October. Two presentations are expected, one by a lawyer and the other by a fireman. The French Chapter is expecting many attendees as the introduction and enforcement of soft regulation are new in France.
SFPE Norway was recently constituted and approved by SFPE BoD. The chapter is planning a first workshop in Oslo, where a three year research project is to be presented and discussed. Other activities are related to formal and practical aspects of the chapter formation.
The Polish chapter has the following information to circulate:
- We recently held elections, with these results: new president, Tadeusz Cisek; vice presidents, Piotr Tofilo and Wojciech Wegrzynski. Piotr Tofilo will continue to provide international representation and collaboration for the chapter.
- We are preparing a sprinkler conference in Warsaw that will be co-organized with the European Fire Sprinkler Network.
The SFPE Portugal members are strongly involved in the Subcommittee, 6 of the Portuguese Technical Committee, 46 dedicated to FSE. Eleven members of this subcommittee are SFPE Members. In July, we finished the translation of the ISO 23932 and meanwhile we stated the translation of the ISO TR 16738.
- Debate - 29 September on “Sprinklers: When, Where and Why?"
- Technical Visit - 27 October to Coimbra University at their fire laboratories
- Debate - 24 November on“Smoke Control: Are the Code Prescriptions Enough?”
In October, we will launch the free student membership program in a roadshow through four major Portuguese engineering universities. We will also launch a company membership campaign to raise funds and increase the number of international members.
The 2018 ambitious activity plans are almost complete. We will have eleven events with activities to include three debates, three technical visits, two seminars (in the islands), two courses, and a conference with live broadcast on the internet. We plan on covering the all Portuguese regions to include:
- South - Algarve
- Centre - Lisbon and Coimbra
- North - Aveiro and Porto
- Two archipelagos- Madeira and Azores
The Spanish chapter is quite busy with the technical work. Specifically we are creating several technical working groups related to different areas within Fire Safety Engineering.
We attended the SFPE Europe meeting in Paris which was a very successful meeting. The meeting increased opportunities to work closer with other chapters and learn from each other.
We are also in the process of evaluating the possibility to create a student membership program.
The key initiative for the upcoming months is for the chapter to do a vital campaign to increase membership and to raise funds for the chapter.
We are planning to have 1-2 additional events by the end of the year.
SFPE Sweden has, among other things, focused on starting up the work and task groups for new guidelines. We did a Round Robin study and the SFPE-BIV conference, during the second half of 2017. All activities are summarized as the following:
- SFPE Sweden has begun producing a new guideline covering the differences in sprinkler standards, more accurate SBF 120:8, and EN 12845. A group of our members, in different professions, will author the guideline. The guideline will be published next year.
- SFPE-BIV has also started a task group. They first started conducting a Round Robin study about CFD-calculations. The purpose of the Round Robin study is to increase the quality in CFD-calculations in general. The result will be presented in a rapport at our conference in April, next year.
- Our internal strategical document for membership administration/management is now finished and delivered to our members. The strategy presents many new activities to market membership in BIV and SFPE. As an example, we will host annual educational lunches with students and start a mentor program for new fire protection engineers. The strategy will also see how we can make members more complicit in projects and activities.
- Our local groups have had three educational meetings each. In the middle of Sweden about fire protection engineers different rolls in the construction industry, in the south about ESS (European Spallation Source) and the challenges for the fire protection arrangements in such a complex industry. In the East of Sweden about their new high rise building, Karlavagnstornet.
- Our referral-committee has also responded to several letters referral about the changes in regulations concerning fire hazardous gas from the Swedish Fire Protection Association, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and National Board of Housing.
- Last, but not least, SFPE Sweden has started working on our annual conference. We hope to hold the conference in Linköping April 2018.
The SFPE UK Chapter continues to grow in membership, chapter supporters, and chapter activities.
Our members have been exceptionally busy dealing with the issues facing the UK construction industry after the Grenfell Tower fire. The fire both highlighted potential issues in existing buildings, as well as raised fire up the agenda for new projects, leading to a significant increase in workload and a subsequent reduction in members time to volunteer.
We have managed to have our annual August summer social event in Manchester, with substantially reduced number. The chapter members have been exceptionally busy working and will continue working till the end of the year. The lack of admin support and reduced member engagement has left us struggling with housekeeping issues like the website maintenance, election of a treasurer, the AGM, and even entries for our annual fire competition.