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lyledunn
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« on: January 01, 2018, 09:49:11 AM »

This forum has always been an extremely useful information source and sounding board for me. I tap into it most days if only to have a browse around. I am of the opinion that it is wilting and needs re-vitalising. I see categories dating to 2008 and many posts that go unanswered. I have often posted just to keep interest alive. I would hate to see the forum dwindle and die out!
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lyledunn
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 09:51:13 AM »

Just noticed that my post is in the wrong category. Sorry!
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colin todd
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Civilianize enforcement -you know it makes sense.


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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 11:12:30 PM »

The forum was started, and continues to be owned by Colin Simpson, who gave up huge amounts of his personal time when working a particular FRS (for which I have always forgiven him).  Such was the admiration I had for his selfless efforts, when the site became too large and he needed a server I personally bought it for him.

However in those days it was used by fire safety professionals who would discuss points of interpretation , alert each other to developments, etc.  Unfortunately, it subsequently went downhill a lot by being used by people who had secured consultancy projects on the basis of their alleged competence but then had to get advice as to what the solutions would be from others, and then charge the client a fee. Worse still, the advice received is generally from anonymous people, the competence of whom the enquirer has no knowledge.  I have said many times, it is tantamount to going to see a supposed medical specialist, who bases his advice on a brief discussion with a few friends down the pub and then sends you a bill.

The end for me was when an organisation of supposed national standing  won a contract to report on fire legislation across many countries.  They got the contract rather than us because they said they had the contacts across the world to do this.  Within days, their consultant was asking people on Firenet to give him the information- so much for international contacts.  A friend sent him an IM and it was clear from the response that he was hoping to get the consultancy project solved in part by the good people of Firenet.  In fairness to the organisation, on investigation, it transpired that various other consultancy advice the chap had needed to give was plastered all over Firenet in great detail, hoping to get the answers; they had all his posts removed.

I see advice given here that is factually incorrect by well-meaning people and tbh I cannot be bothered to correct it half the time.  I restrict myself to a modicum of help to the good and the great like Suppers, Silver, Wullie and the like, who clearly know what they are doing but might benefit from the odd bit of insight that I might have over some detail that they might not have come across, or people who are trying to do good for the world, rather than sell services on the back of advice from goodness knows who on Firenet.
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Colin Todd, C S Todd & Associates
AnthonyB
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 11:39:25 PM »

I have to agree that there are dangers from forums from being used to do peoples job for them rather than discuss interpretations, etc.

It happens elsewhere but even worse than on here - on one forum sponsored by a well known online fire supplier there were several questions from someone who was carrying out FRAs on a care home as a paid third party and it was clear they simply were out of their depth...I had to tell them that they shouldn't really be doing the FRAs based on what they were asking and stating and to at least read the guides or better still sub it to someone who knows what they are doing.

One of the reasons not much happens on here is because it's not well publicised unlike others I frequent such as the fire alarm engineers forum (who are a very helpful bunch, but jump on anyone who reveals from their queries shouldn't be working on alarms and also vet membership to the trade side of the forums so codes, manuals and software is restricted to those who are suitable to use it)

 
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Anthony Buck
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Golden
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Posts: 482


« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 09:23:53 AM »

Happy New Year  Grin

I know I haven't posted much recently but thats for two reasons - firstly was locked out for the best part of 18 months and actually wondered if the forum had folded, secondly since I've mysteriously returned I've been very busy and simply haven't had the time to read the articles let alone contribute.

When I first retired from the fire service I'd been out of direct fire safety work for a few years despite having the 'senior fire safety officer' label and I needed to get up to date. This forum was a great help to me and I am extremely grateful to those who'd contributed over the years and still contributed for their knowledge and help and hopefully passed this forward once I'd caught up, fortunately I'm not one to believe every word posted on forums and being discussing issues as well as being pointed in the right direction to check the standards and history was most useful. To back up the learning I went on to pass the Masters course at University of Leeds in fire and explosion engineering as well as taking many other formal and informal courses to continue my professional development. After 7 years I now consider myself back to a reasonable standard and am hoping to slow down a little by leaving one of the consultancies I've been subbing for (I think some of their other 'consultants' hadn't even bothered to do any research on FireNet) and I hope to contribute more.

Secondly, as Anthony has indicated below I don't like giving information that has taken me years to learn and lots of hard earned money as in the case of the MSc and other courses. I used to contribute a lot on LinkedIn but stopped posting anything a few years ago as I wasn't prepared to help out people who couldn't even be asked to visit a wikipedia page and then study the standards and research quoted in the articles. I find this forum a little different as its obvious that many contributors are very knowledgeable and it is useful to cross-check something that's not quite clear from standards or even on a job where its often not a clear cut decision and this forum is useful for a quick 'reality check'. I have also learnt from certain contributors that FRS inspecting officers need to be regularly challenged.

Lyle I think you will find that there are a few reasons behind a dwindling forum, firstly all of the information is now out in the public domain and its no longer necessary to ask around on FireNet if you need help on standards, research or interpretation of the above. Many people now will also take what is on the internet as gospel - no checking or finding out the research or history behind the standards as the client simply wants the cheapest job carried out. Lastly this forum is 'old fashioned' and not instant enough for the current generation with its lack of emojis etc, - its fine for me as I'm prepared to read through pages to get to an answer but many won't. Personally I will be contributing more questions and hopefully some answers, in my absence I believe I've learnt a lot for myself and continue to get frustrated by other so called professionals so I've plenty to offer and will soon have the time.
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William 29
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 03:04:12 PM »


I see advice given here that is factually incorrect by well-meaning people and tbh I cannot be bothered to correct it half the time.  I restrict myself to a modicum of help to the good and the great like Suppers, Silver, Wullie and the like, who clearly know what they are doing but might benefit from the odd bit of insight that I might have over some detail that they might not have come across, or people who are trying to do good for the world, rather than sell services on the back of advice from goodness knows who on Firenet.

Thank you Sir! Your advice is always appreciated as you know. I think the forum is good for generally seeing what opinions are out there, and I tend to use it when I have come to a bit of a dead end or form an opinion that we have first debated in house, and then to seek other opinions.

I agree, it can be used as "lazy consulting" in that rather than find the research yourself, the first port of call is Firenet. Hopefully given the current fire safety climate this will come to an end.
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Messy
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Posts: 251


« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 08:17:13 PM »

The end for me was when an organisation of supposed national standing  won a contract to report on fire legislation across many countries.  They got the contract rather than us because they said they had the contacts across the world to do this.  Within days, their consultant was asking people on Firenet to give him the information- so much for international contacts.  A friend sent him an IM and it was clear from the response that he was hoping to get the consultancy project solved in part by the good people of Firenet.  In fairness to the organisation, on investigation, it transpired that various other consultancy advice the chap had needed to give was plastered all over Firenet in great detail, hoping to get the answers; they had all his posts removed.

Colin,

That is quite extraordinary. I had no idea and I can understand how that would have angered you. I would love to know more, but I am not going to ask!

I have benefitted greatly from this forum over the years. The late and greatly missed Kurnal was one particular star for me and went out of his way when I was starting up in business. Even you Colin - despite your distrust and general grumpiness against any F&RS (and employees thereof )which are located south of Hertfordshire and north of Surrey - I am afraid you have been significantly helpful, to which I am most grateful. I wasn't aware about your generosity in relation to the server, so thanks for that as well.

Why is it quiet? I am not sure but I wonder if sometimes, with all the private jokes and 'in-the-know' comments, the forum does appear a bit of a closed shop sometimes

I do hope the site continues. Anyone who bases any profession decision on an anonymous post is a fool. But such a post can point people in the right direction for further research and study. This is how I tend to use the site, and my anonymity is necessary as my employer would not be keen on me discussing corporate matters publicly on here.

I am most grateful to all who contribute and hope the exchanges can continue for some time to come
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Dinnertime Dave
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Posts: 740


« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 10:47:33 PM »


I'm throughly grateful to all answers I receive to questions I raise on here, hopefully I may even have passed on something to someone else.

Whilst I don't contribute everyday, I do log on and read what's being discussed. Sometimes I have no interest in the subject, sometimes quite frankly I haven't got a clue what the answer is and Firenet has served its purpose, it shows me that there is so much I don't know and stick to areas of competency.

Not sure whether the forum is quieter now, there is so much that contributors are waiting to discuss but have held off the obvious, and frankly that adds to its credibility, I read articles on LinkedIn that seem to be about "Listen to me I'm an expert"
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lyledunn
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Posts: 341


« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 08:48:19 AM »

If a business model relies solely on knowledge and its interpretation then I am afraid that it's days are numbered, more especially if it can be usurped by someone trawling internet forums. Hoarding information like some old wizard who has collected 500 years of spells and potions in a big, dusty book is understandable but somewhat naive. To take the analogy about the doctor and the guys down the pub, well that is topical. AI (artificial intelligence rather than approved inspector) has allowed someone with half an O level in common wit to stick two Bob in the slot and get the machines interpretation of the inputs with a better accuracy than the cream of the medical profession.
So it was with my own area of operation. My early days in a consultants office saw me wrestling with what I thought were difficult electrical design calculations. It made me proud that clients paid top dollar for my efforts. Then along came computer software that could be operated by the unwashed and so good bye to tidy earner.
It doesn't stop me providing assistance to anyone who wants to tap into my dusty book.
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Bill J
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 09:26:11 AM »

I too regularly visit but rarely comment.

I know my stuff! The most important thing I know is that I am not always as right as I think I am, and my way which has always worked for me, is not necessarily the only way, or even the best way.

"My Stuff" is Fire Alarms, It is what I do daily, and therefore I am experienced, knowledgeable and competent (I hope). However, each day brings a new challenge, and over the years this forum has supplemented my knowledge, and in some cases more than supplemented.

It is rare I am ever able to contribute specifically, but am always willing to try if it is within my scope. I wonder if that is why some topics have very little contribution - people are only contributing when they feel able.

This forum is a tool, a valuable one, which not only broadens my horizons, but also slaps me back in place when I think that sounds simple. The problem is the likes of the guy who felt that he could gain all of his knowledge and experience here is also a tool, just a different type!

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colin todd
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Posts: 3291

Civilianize enforcement -you know it makes sense.


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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 09:57:52 PM »

Davey, if you are really interested in the history to which I referred feel free to ask.  Send me a private message and I will reveal all.  Alternatively, you must feel free to ring, but don't press 1 when asked to press 1 if you are now, or ever have been, a member of LFB, as the system will automatically disconnect you.
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Colin Todd, C S Todd & Associates
Messy
Sr. Member
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Posts: 251


« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 03:22:46 PM »

Davey, if you are really interested in the history to which I referred feel free to ask.  Send me a private message and I will reveal all.  Alternatively, you must feel free to ring, but don't press 1 when asked to press 1 if you are now, or ever have been, a member of LFB, as the system will automatically disconnect you.

That is very generous Colin, but since the new site has been up and running I have been unable to send private messages as when I try to access an individual's profile I get a message: An Error Has Occurred! Many apologies, but you can't view just any profile.

As for phoning you, I know that by dialling 1, your phone system automatically reverses the charges, and the last time I called, you intentionally kept me talking for hours. I am not getting caught out like that again
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