Out of the ashes: when fire protection works

Don’t let the TV news reports fool you – buildings are safer than ever before.

Ongoing refinement of regulations and ever-improving systems and techniques are minimising the chances of fire and reducing the damage caused if a blaze were to occur.

While high-profile events such as the Lacrosse building fire have shown that some problems still exist, particularly with cladding, the fact that occupants evacuated safety and the fire was extinguished showed that the fire systems worked.

So, how is this showing up in the statistics?  What are the courts seeing?

What changes are being considered to improve safety even more?

And will fire protection finally get the recognition it deserves?

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Peter Collina

State Manager – VIC, FPA Australia

Peter is a qualified civil engineer, registered building surveyor and domestic builder, with over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, having worked for State and Local government, the private sector and private practice. Peter is currently the Chair of the Complex Site Taskforce which was set up by the Victorian Government to provide expert advice to local government and affected property owners following the Black Summer bushfires.

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Peter Johnson

Arup Fellow – Fire Safety Engineering, Arup

Peter Johnson is a Principal and Fellow at the global consulting firm of Arup. He has had an international career over 40 years in fire safety engineering and design of buildings and transport infrastructure, as well as fire research, education and standards writing.

Recently, Peter was one of the research leaders for the Warren Centre fire safety engineering project. Since the completion of the Warren Centre project, Peter has been heavily involved with the Australian Government and state government regulators looking to reform fire safety engineering education, performance-based design, professional practice, and building regulations.

Peter is also a Fellow of the Engineers Australia and the US based Society of Fire Protection Engineers, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and a Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Fire Protection Association, Australia.

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Danny Gasbarro

Account Manager – Victoria, Windsor Management Insurance Brokers

Danny is a qualified practising insurance broker with many years of commercial experience acquired both locally and abroad.

After joining Windsor Management Insurance Brokers, Danny was allocated the main NSW FPA region to help grow as our presence in NSW was not that significant since gaining the FPA’s approval to act as their preferred insurance broker to its fire protection contractors. Danny has managed relationships in NSW very successfully and has also had operational involvement in claims that have been notified.

Prior to joining Windsor, Danny was actively involved in the automotive sector for over 20 years providing practical guidance and risk mitigation advice to owners / operators of large businesses and commercial fleets and enjoys a very solid relationship with Insurers and clients alike.



Dr Jonathan Barnett

Managing Director, Basic Expert

Dr Jonathan Barnett is an internationally acclaimed technical expert in fire safety engineering with over forty-six years’ experience in his field. Previously a professor at WPI in the United States, Jonathan has researched topics such as computer modelling of fire, structural fire protection, combustible cladding and the development of new fire test standards.

Jonathan has done projects throughout the world including the United States, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Starting in 1992 he has worked with the CSIRO, the University of Melbourne, Victoria University, the University of Newcastle, the Australasian Fire Authorities Council, and fire brigades in Victoria and New South Wales.

Jonathan is a chartered professional engineer who has designed numerous commercial, residential and special purpose buildings. He is a leader in building defect rectification strategies.

Today he is a Director of Basic Expert, a specialist forensic engineering, fire engineering and construction project management firm with projects throughout the world. Basic Expert focuses on helping people with non-compliant buildings deal with dangerous cladding, inappropriate Essential Safety Measures (fire alarm and detection systems, fire rated doors and the like), and helping them with building rectifications from design, to permits, to construction and through the legal quagmire of litigation.