Chief executive Alex Carmichael is keen to reiterate that SSAIB is fully operational and continues to provide certification for over 1,800 registered firms and new firms looking to join during the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Due to the restrictions imposed by Government - relating to travel and social distancing – the UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries has embraced new technology to provide remote audits for certification, surveillance and re-certification, due to the pragmatic and positive approach to the pandemic adopted by the NPCC, BAFE, SIA and UKAS - as they apply to SSAIB’s certification schemes. Safeguard the health of SSAIB staff We made sure to put procedures in place that would allow us to continue to support our registered firms" An amendment to the ICT infrastructure, as required to support the new remote functions, has also allowed the SSAIB’s head office functions - including phone lines – to remain operational, but measures such as home working have been introduced to safeguard the health of all SSAIB staff. The SSAIB CEO has overseen a widespread transformation to the organization’s working practices in the March month or so, but is confident that these changes will allow SSAIB-registered firms and any potential new firms to enjoy the benefits of third-party certification during these unprecedented times. Alex stated: “As soon as it was first mentioned that this crisis could end up with a nationwide lockdown, we made sure to put procedures in place that would allow us to continue to support our registered firms, and the wider security and fire industries, at a time when we knew they’d need our support more than ever.” Opportunity to gain certification The feedback we’ve had so far from those firms that have had remote audits has been excellent" “By continuing our operations, we are primarily seeking to support our existing clients while - at the same time - providing an opportunity to gain certification, for organizations seeking certification for the first time.” “Certification auditing arrangements for each scheme differ and details of these arrangements will be provided to applicants as part of the application process. Arrangements for surveillance and re-certification audits also differ for each scheme and registered organizations will be made aware of these in advance of surveillance or re-certification audits becoming due.” “The feedback we’ve had so far from those firms that have had remote audits has been excellent and has more than justified our decision to introduce them.” Arrangements to continue While it seems to have been a seamless transition for SSAIB to introduce home working for staff and fully remote audits, Alex conceded that he couldn’t rule out further changes but revealed that any change in circumstances would be managed in a “phased and managed manner.” Alex continued: “These arrangements will remain in place for as long as financial constraints allow. It may be necessary to amend our services, particularly if the lockdown remains in place for a long time.” “In the event of it becoming necessary to reduce the services we can offer, we will do so in a phased and managed manner to minimize the impact on the services we provide. However, should circumstances change, we will inform our registered firms of any new developments.”
SSAIB were overcome with pride upon discovering that registered firm PLP Fire Protection have been providing invaluable assistance in the building of the Government’s first emergency field hospital at the ExCel in London. The temporary NHS Nightingale hospital has been set up to treat up to 4,000 coronavirus patients, with Dorset-based PLP Fire Protection helping to transform the ExCel exhibition space – which was due to host IFSEC International and FIREX International next month, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a reschedule – into a hospital in just nine days. complete the transformation BAFE SP203-registered PLP Fire Protection have worked with 160+ other contractors – as well as 200 army engineers – to complete the transformation and Director Rob Beeching revealed just how hard the work was for him and his team, who he had nothing but praise for in what had been a tough week for them all. Working conditions have been very tough both physically and mentally" Replying to an email from FIA (Fire Industry Association) CEO Ian Moore, Rob stated: “This week, quite honestly has been hell. We were literally brought back to site on Monday morning and had the most unrealistic time to get the initial 500 beds section installed and signed off. The effort from my guys and the subbys [sub-contractors] I have got in has been incredible. I am so proud of them all." close proximity to the virus "We have even had tears from some of our guys, but proud tears. Working conditions have been very tough both physically and mentally. I have been getting home at midnight most days this week, I get home and just feel like breaking down. It's been an emotional rollercoaster for sure.” With the initial 500 beds in place, the hospital will care for patients with the virus in intensive care who have been transferred from other London hospitals. The building work continues in order to get the space sorted for the other 3,500 beds planned, but Rob insisted that he would not force his committed team to continue to work if they were worried about being in close proximity to the virus. personally delivering our equipment The help being offered from so many people has been breath-taking" Rob continued: “We were told - by a representative from the WHO – that once patients start arriving, although they will be sectioned off by a wall, we would still be working in adjacent halls. They said we would be completely safe. I was no way going to force any of my guys if they didn't feel comfortable but, when I asked for a show of hands who wanted to continue, 80% raised their hands." "They are all in this until the end and feel they can’t just leave site until its completed. Even our suppliers have been personally delivering our equipment etc that we need to site. We are so grateful. The help being offered from so many people has been breath-taking.” assisting with the construction SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael added: “It’s great to see SSAIB-registered firm PLP Fire Protection assisting with the construction of the NHS Nightingale field hospital and I have to commend them for their dedicated effort during this time. On behalf of everyone at SSAIB, I want to thank Rob and the rest of his team for their heroic commitment to helping the NHS in this way, as they continue to help with the creation of more beds at the facility. I also hope they all stay safe while completing this vital work needed to help with the treatment of the many patients currently being admitted with coronavirus.”
SSAIB, one of the licensed certification bodies who deliver BAFE scheme assessments, have achieved an historic milestone of 300 active BAFE scheme-certificated companies. In September 2019, BAFE registered A1 Fire and Security Ltd, who are the 300th active company on the BAFE Fire Safety Register that have been assessed and third-party certificated through SSAIB. They join the more than 1450 BAFE-registered companies who are third-party certificated, with over 1700 BAFE fire safety scheme certifications. Third-party certification Devon-based A1 Fire and Security Ltd gained third-party certification and BAFE registration to the SP203-1 scheme, for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems. The certification provides us with substantial credibility that will help us promote this service" Matthew Weigham of A1 Fire and Security Ltd stated, “Gaining certification to the BAFE SP203-1 scheme, through SSAIB as our certification body, is vital to show our commitment to quality when providing our fire alarm services. This audit was important to us to prove we are competent, and the certification provides us with substantial credibility that will help us promote this service.” Commitment to fire safety industry Stephen Adams, BAFE chief executive, said, “We congratulate both SSAIB on this milestone and A1 Fire and Security Ltd on gaining their third-party certification. SSAIB have been a long-standing supporter of BAFE, who are extremely proactive with their commitment to the fire safety industry. We wish them, and all of our licensed certification bodies, further ongoing success in our combined efforts to develop the quality regulation of this industry.” SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael added, “SSAIB are extremely proud to offer the BAFE scheme assessments for fire safety third-party certification in multiple disciplines. Our congratulations go out to A1 Fire and Security on gaining their certification and I would also like to congratulate our fire systems scheme manager, Keith Strugnell, and the SSAIB team on this achievement.” “We will continue to work with BAFE to support the future of fire safety and, through certification of quality companies like A1 Fire and Security, the fire safety of customers’ premises.”
Professional security installers are the essential lifeblood of IFSEC and FIREX International, so they are delighted to announce their long-standing partners SSAIB as the official Installer Partner for the 2020 shows, taking place once again at London’s ExCeL from May 19-21. As the certification body for security and fire alarm installation professionals, manned guarding services and monitoring, SSAIB-approved companies are exclusively invited to IFSEC International and FIREX International 2020 to meet with trained SSAIB personnel and engage with over 500 leading manufacturers and suppliers of security and fire safety technologies and services. IFSEC and FIREX are the perfect learning environments for SSAIB companies where they can spend three days totally immersed in state-of-the-art technologies, solutions and discussions all focused around the driving issues in security and fire. Life safety risk assessment SSAIB’s presence at FIREX will contribute to the show’s stated aims of promoting expertise and guidance in life safety It’s where the entire security and fire communities always come together to collaborate, ask the big questions and find the practical answers to their current challenges. SSAIB will also use its time at IFSEC and FIREX to host the regional South East meeting at the show, which makes it convenient for approved companies to make full use of their time at IFSEC; mixing SSAIB business with their own fact-finding and discovery. The 2020 events also mark the return of SSAIB to FIREX International, where they’ll be on hand to discuss various BAFE-approved certification opportunities in fire system design and installation, life safety risk assessment and the correct use and maintenance of portable extinguisher equipment. With the national agenda now firmly fixed on promoting certified life safety schemes and awareness, SSAIB’s presence at FIREX International will rigorously contribute to the show’s stated aims of promoting expertise and guidance in life safety. Fire and security industries In line with the new decade, SSAIB will once again host the official Installer Bar in IFSEC that will have a dedicated ‘Roaring 20s’ theme to herald 2020. Look out for the Prohibition ‘speakeasy’ themes although, rest assured, none of the refreshments will be bootlegged! SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “We are delighted to be named as the official installer partner for IFSEC and FIREX International 2020 – as they are the premier events for both the fire and security industries and we would very much encourage our registered firms to visit us there next May." “We’ve also incorporated our South East regional meeting into IFSEC 2020, because it gives the many firms that attend our events the opportunity to immerse themselves in all the latest developments and technologies on show at IFSEC and FIREX.” Ever-strengthening partnership “Not only can they do this and hear all the latest updates we’ll be sharing, but they’ll also be invited to join us at our Installer Bar for an informal catch-up and refreshments too. SSAIB has enjoyed a lot of success lending our name to an IFSEC bar over the last two years, so we’ve decided to try and build on that further by making a welcome return to FIREX as well." I am excited to announce SSAIB as the official Installer Partner of IFSEC and FIREX International in 2020" "Due to the sheer size of the two shows, it’s not always possible to take in everything in one visit and – this way – you’ll get two chances of asking any questions you might have about the many schemes that SSAIB provide certification for.” IFSEC and FIREX warmly welcome our ever-strengthening partnership with SSAIB and look forward to welcoming their approved companies to next year’s shows. Security and fire challenges With such comprehensive coverage across the whole of the UK, IFSEC International and FIREX International look forward to meeting SSAIB’s professional installers at IFSEC and FIREX and helping them overcome the everyday security and fire challenges they encounter. Rachel Eaton, Event Manager, IFSEC International & FIREX International commented: “I am very excited to announce the SSAIB as the official Installer Partner of IFSEC International and FIREX International in 2020." "The SSAIB has been a champion of IFSEC for over two decades, so I’m delighted to see the SSAIB return to support FIREX as well. Due to the strong relationship we have with the SSAIB, we have managed to bring Scottish installers back to both events, hugely improving the diversity of visitors and exhibitors we have on site.” Cyber and converged security IFSEC International and FIREX International take place 19th-21st May at ExCeL, London. Co-located with Counter Terror Expo, Intelligent Building Show, Facilities Show, Safety & Health Expo and Workplace Wellbeing Show, the three-day free-to-attend exhibitions and conferences bring together the latest physical, cyber and converged security and fire safety technology, solutions and insights from hundreds of suppliers.