Fire Protection Standard
Fire Extinguisher and Fire Detection Alarm Systems Many organisations have yet to come to termswith the 2006 changes in fire protection legislation, leaving them at risk of prosecution if they fail to comply.Here, the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) explains why it’s essential to understand and implement legislative requirements to protect your organisation.
It is reported that in excess of 80% of businesses that experience a serious fire never fully recover.
- What are some possible consequences of failing to comply with the latest fire safety regulations?
- What are the currently recognised Third-Party Certification (TPC) schemes for contractors?
Changes in fire protection legislation, with the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order in England and Wales and the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 that came into effect in October 2006, have major implications for owners and occupiers of commercial, public and multi-tenancy property.However, many organisations are still to come to terms with the changes, leaving themselves open to prosecution if they fail to implement the regulatory requirements.
Recent research by Norwich Union Risk Services has made the disturbing revelation that awareness among organisations of the new fire safety legislation has hardly risen since the regulations were introduced.Just 62% of organisations questioned were aware of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order one year after its introduction.It is reported that in excess of 80% of businesses that experience a serious fire never fully recover. Out of the remaining 20%, 70% of those surviving business fail within two years due to the original fire.
The latest insurance industry figures put the cost to businesses in the UK at around £800m.However, insurance is unlikely to fully compensate for the interruption to your organisation. How can you compensate for the loss of a business opportunity whilst your organisation is not fully operational? Responsibility for fire safety lies with the owners or occupiers of premises who must designate a ‘responsible person’.With Fire and Rescue Services no longer issuing fire certificates, the onus is on the ‘responsible person’ to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment, implement the required fire precautionary and protection measures and maintain a fire management plan.
The Fire and Rescue Services have a statutory duty to enforce the legislation’s requirements.Failing to fully comply with the fire regulations puts businesses at risk and individuals in the organisation, including the designated ‘responsible person’, could face prosecution in the event of a serious fire.Failure to comply with fire safety requirements is also likely to result in an insurance company refusing to pay all or some of an insurance claim. So it is essential to understand and comply with legislative requirements to protect your organisation.One important fire safety measure that is required in any premises is a fit for purpose Fire Detection and Alarm system (FD&A).
If you have a new system installed or the existing system serviced, the fire regulations require you to be able to demonstrate that the people doing the work are competent.Third-Party Certification (TPC) is recognised as being the most effective way of ensuring your contractor is competent. There are currently two recognised TPC schemes: BAFE SP203 (SP101for Extinguisher service) and LPS 1014. The BAFE scheme is operated by a number of certification bodies, led by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) that is accredited through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).NSINSI has over 135 approved companies and sites, representing the largest proportion of all third-party approvals for FD&A systems. Contractors who are NSI-approved will display the relevant approval logos, such as NSI Fire Gold and Fire Silver logos.Companies with NSI Fire Gold approval also meet the industry-specific ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System Standard. NSI approval is only achieved if the company meets the required industry standards on a consistent basis.In the case of FD&A, companies must be approved for each of the areas of design, installation, commissioning and maintenance they are involved in.