Nic Preston: Can you describe the work of C S Todd & Associates Ltd. and how you support the fire safety industry?
Andrew Fox: We are a practice of independent consultants, formed in 1982 by Colin Todd MBE after gaining many years of experience in risk management and fire protection engineering.
The dedicated team he has brought together has both technical expertise and hands-on experience in the fire sector including chartered engineers, incorporated engineers, and fire safety professionals with local authority fire and rescue service experience.
We specialise solely in fire safety and fire engineering offering unbiased opinion on all aspects of fire safety. The strength of the services we offer lies in the wide spectrum of experience and knowledge of our team of consultants.
We offer consultancy services in all aspects of fire safety, including fire risk assessments, surveys and audits, fire safety design and management, fire engineering/fire safety strategies, specifications for fire protections systems, fire detection and alarms and gaseous extinguishing systems, and fire training. The practice also carries out investigations of existing systems. In addition to these services, we provide expert witness (for defence or prosecution) in cases involving alleged offences under fire safety legislation, and for civil litigation.
Our clients include large corporates including the largest property managing agents and the largest hotelier in the UK. We support a range of businesses from these large corporates to SMEs, local authorities, government departments as well as individuals.
The work of the practice includes the following:
Nic: Why did you choose to work with FireQual?
Andrew: It is a simple one for us, we chose to work with FireQual because we see the organisation as the specialists for qualifications within the fire protection industry.
Nic: What do you feel are the current challenges within the fire safety industry?
Andrew: Competence of fire risk assessors remains a serious challenge, with insufficient uptake by Responsible Persons/Duty Holders in the use of third-party certificated assessors.
This has led to the presence of a number of ill-trained individuals carrying out fire risk assessments potentially placing the public at danger and exposing Responsible Persons/Duty Holders to prosecution.
Nic: Why do you feel the development of knowledge and skills is important to the fire safety industry?
Andrew: Fire safety is obviously a major issue for the safety of the public, particularly the most vulnerable in society. It covers a broad range of disciplines, and there is constant research and development in these fields.
It is important that fire safety practitioners, including fire risk assessors, not only achieve competency but maintain competence in the subjects of developing technology and changing legislation.
Nic: How do you feel regulated qualifications can support the industry?
Andrew: Regulated qualifications can help to raise the bar in terms of knowledge and skills development creating consistency in competencies across the industry and help to provide a distinguisher between those who have undergone formal training and those that have not.
For further details of C S Todd & Associated Ltd. and their work please see their website: https://www.cstodd.co.uk