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International Arup expert speaks on Building Fire Safety at Johannesburg Conference

Dr Susan Lamont, Associate Director at Arup, spoke on ‘Safeguarding the fire strategy for the life of a building’ at the IFE Fire Safety Professional Development Seminar 2019 on Thursday 4 April in Sandton. Dr Lamont has worked in the fire protection industry for 19 years in the UK, USA, Middle East and most recently South Africa. She is currently based in Dubai and is Arup’s global fire engineering skills leader responsible for technical quality and investment in innovation and research and development.

Following significant fire related tragedies like Grenfell Tower in London (2017) and the Bank of Lisbon fire in Johannesburg (2018), the theme for this year’s conference was ‘Fire Safety – 100 years on...are we any safer? with emphasis on high rise buildings’.

Dr Lamont is experienced in the topic having recently worked with the National Fire Protection Association to develop EFFECTTM, a free to use fire risk assessment and prioritisation tool for assessing existing buildings with combustible façade systems. She has also written design guides, aided in adapting fire codes and worked though all stages of design and construction on a diverse range of projects. 

Based on this depth of experience and knowledge she presented to peers in Sandton on the importance of integrated fire strategy design. Lamont explains, “Fire safe buildings are only achieved when the fire strategy is developed, understood, coordinated and delivered in full by all parties through design, construction and operation.”

The talk was well-received and sparked much discussion at the conference.