Here at Fire Depot our mission is – and has always been – to save lives and property from fire and never has this been more important than now. But with all the current speculation and uncertainty regarding fire safety products and regulations, what part do fire safety approvals, certifications and accreditations play?
One of the most significant changes following the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is that fire certificates are no longer issued. Instead the onus falls onto a building’s ‘Responsible Person’ to take appropriate action to prevent fire and protect building users in the event of a fire.
With prosecutions on the increase and in the light of recent events, it is increasingly clear that everyone with responsibility for fire safety, whether they are a building’s ‘Responsible Person’ (duty holder in Scotland) or an installer or maintainer of fire safety equipment such as fire doors, fire extinguishers and fire alarms, needs to ensure that they recognize they are responsible and have a duty of care, as in the event of a fire all duty holders may be liable for prosecution.
Under Articles 8 – 24 of the Fire Safety Order 2005, the Responsible Person of a building has a general duty to take fire precautions. This includes undertaking fire risk assessments and training and maintaining emergency routes and exits, fire detection and firefighting equipment.
Unless you are experienced in undertaking fire risk assessments and putting in place adequate and appropriate fire precautions, it makes sense to bring in a competent fire risk assessor to undertake this on your behalf but do bear in mind that no matter who carries out the fire risk assessment, the Responsible Person as the duty holder retains the responsibility for ensuring the adequacy of that assessment.
When employing a specialist to undertake your fire risk assessment, you should make reasonable checks to ensure that they are competent to do the job properly by for example, checking registrations or certifications from a professional body such as BAFE (British Approvals for Fire Equipment) or the FIA (Fire Industry Association); that they have experience of undertaking fire risk assessments for your kind of business and premises; and requesting references from previous clients in premises of your type. In other words, carry out due diligence and have evidence that you did so.
The same is also true for an installer or maintainer of any fire safety equipment - whether it be fire doors, fire alarms or fire extinguishers - that you may contract out to. Check that they have third party accreditations and that the equipment they are using is reputable, fully tested and carries the appropriate fire approvals. You can search for certified products on the LCPB (Loss Prevention Certification Board) RedBook Live website
Installers and maintainers
For installers and maintainers of fire protection equipment, never has it been more important to ensure that you are installing fire safety products which are approved to current UK fire safety standards.
Sentura Group (of which Fire Depot is a part) has many third party accreditations having achieved ISO9001 approval every year since 1999 and held a licence for the prestigious British Kite Mark for over 20 years. We also hold the internationally respected BRE LPCB mark of approval (which many insurers and specifiers look for), so you can have complete confidence in installing fire protection products purchased from us.
Keeping commercial and industrial premises safe from fire is a huge responsibility. Life is precious and property and assets matter. For expert help and advice on all fire protection and safety products, please contact the Fire Depot team on 0330 999 2233, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.firedepot.co.uk to see our full range of fire safety products.