As BAFE Registered Companies will be aware, there are certain time period requirements when service and maintenance work should be performed for fire safety provisions and systems. At present, if a client is not permitting access on-site due to coronavirus precautions, the company should make sure that they explain that it is their decision to not allow the completion of the work. It is the role of the premises management (i.e. Responsible Person/Duty Holder) to ensure they fulfil their fire safety obligations. Advise them of any risk and if they still do not grant access on-site, document this communication. This will provide evidence that they have acted responsibly with their clients. If they are allowed access on-site, please stay safe and follow appropriate coronavirus guidance to ensure that they are not unnecessarily increasing risk to anyone in the premises or themselves. Chris Auger, Head of Schemes - BAFE
BAFE launches a new scheme to assess the competency of dry riser/wet riser service and maintenance providers. With over 12 months in development including a public consultation, BAFE have worked with industry experts to establish robust criteria to assess and determine evidence of a provider’s competency to deliver maintenance of dry and wet risers/falling installations. Dry And Wet Riser Installations The BAFE Competency of Organizations for the Service & Maintenance of Dry and Wet Riser/Falling Installations (SP105) Scheme is the first of its kind to assess competency to deliver this service. Chris Auger, Head of Schemes – BAFE, said: It’s crucial that BAFE represent the best levels of quality for the fire safety industry to achieve" “It’s crucial that BAFE represent the best levels of quality for the fire safety industry to achieve. There are possibly thousands of dry and wet riser installations nationwide and we acted on the fact that a method of determining a provider’s competency to deliver this important service was required. I am very happy to say we have delivered this to the industry, and I am confident this is a crucial step forward in the current climate of fire safety competence.” Maintaining Competency Schemes Stephen Adams, Chief Executive – BAFE, added: “BAFE continues its commitment in developing and maintaining our competency schemes in support of the Responsible Person [Duty Holder/end users] and specifiers of fire safety services.” “The new SP105 Scheme demonstrates this, offering a way to easily source an evidentially competent provider for wet and dry riser maintenance – an area I’m honestly surprised the industry has not demanded until now.” Further information regarding the BAFE Competency of Organizations for the Service & Maintenance of Dry and Wet Riser/Falling Installations (SP105) Scheme can be found on the BAFE website.
The FPA Managing Director Jonathan O’Neill thought it was important to chair the Fire Sector Summit to stress his feelings towards the current state of the fire industry. He opened the event commending the Fire and Rescue Services but commented “Please don’t see Sir Martin [Moore-Bick]’s comments and recommendations [regarding the Grenfell Tower fire] as an attack. See them as an opportunity.” “If Dame Judith Hackitt gets her way you will likely to be asked to do more and more and to be better at it. You mustn’t stand by and see others moving out of the shadow of austerity, whilst you are left behind. Show that you are a service that listens and learns. Recognize the changing risk profile on your patch, such as greater number of at-risk groups and individuals being accommodated in more combustible, less resilient structures and demand the resources to sort this out.” High Integrity detection and evacuation systems Jonathan O’Neill continued strongly “And to Government – get on with it. I heard they aren’t planning to introduce the legislation that will see Hackitt’s recommendations become law until the middle of next year, and the law will take about a year to get through the Parliamentary process. That is four years after Grenfell – it’s too long. I make the plea to Government, after the General Election whoever is in power – get on with it.” Make the changes in building regulations that are so obvious they really don’t require further scrutiny" “Make the changes in building regulations that are so obvious they really don’t require further scrutiny. Mandate Third Party Certification, ban single staircases in tall buildings, and install sprinklers and high integrity detection and evacuation systems and ban combustible materials in all high risk occupancies, regardless of a buildings height. This is not rocket science, so get on with it and get on with it immediately please.” This self-proclaimed ‘soapbox’ moment received a loud round of applause in agreement from the delegates before the plenary session could continue. Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment scheme Chris Auger – BAFE Head of Schemes, who attended the event, commented “BAFE fully support and reiterate Jonathan O’Neill’s statement and demands to Government. An important factor here is to consider the entire life-cycle of buildings and their ongoing assessment for fire risk." "The competency of fire risk assessors however continues to remain a largely unregulated and precarious market. BAFE introduced the SP205 Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment scheme in 2012, developed with the request from Government after the Lakanal House fire in 2009.” “The industry has regulatory procedures available, but whilst this remains voluntary only the overtly responsible providers are gaining third party certification to prove their competency in this realm. Big changes are required to ensure only competent providers are being used for the appropriate work. Construction and fire safety providers cannot let all of the excellent work done in the Competency Working Groups go to waste through inactivity from Government or the Industry!”