What Fire Protection Accreditations To Look Out For – Albion Detection System
Attaining Fire Protection Accreditations is essential for companies to recognise and adhere to the latest British fire safety standards.
Both to avoid fire safety negligence and to ensure all who work in or visit your premises are protected from the risk of fire and its consequences.
There are several professional bodies which offer third-party fire protection accreditation to companies responsible for the installation and maintenance of your firefighting and fire prevention equipment.
In addition to your own business and your designated responsible person – on whom the responsibility for all fire safety measures ultimately falls.
The most widely recognised and trusted of these accreditation companies is BAFE, the independent register of quality fire protection and fire safety providers.
These companies work to represent accredited members and provide the highest quality training available, as well as helping to promote and shape legislation and professional standards in fire safety.
In addition to ensuring your chosen installer is equipped with the skills and experience to help you attain the level of fire protection equipment your business truly needs, choosing an accredited company also helps you to stay on top of the latest fire safety regulations and responsibilities.
Simply checking your chosen company is accredited with the correct bodies is not enough.
You must ensure they are adequately accredited for the service or fire safety provision you need.
These accreditations are broken down into recognisable certifications which span areas such as
- Fire Alarm System
- Service & Maintenance
- Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
If your chosen installer or maintenance personnel do not possess the correct accreditation for the service you need to purchase, you could be at risk of a Fire Safety Order and subject to prosecution.
Ensuring you select competent suppliers is both legally required and practically advised, and the sheer range of schemes available makes it important to ensure you choose the right accreditation for your needs.
Failure to adhere to these requirements can result in
- Severe damage to your business through costly fines and legal costs
- Loss of property through negligently installed and maintained fire equipment.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key accreditations to look out for when compiling your own fire protection strategy.
Fire Detection And Alarm Systems
Fitting and maintaining your fire detection or fire alarm system requires significant expertise.
Depending on the size and scope of your building or premises, you may require a high-tech fire alarm system which covers many areas and floors, all aspects which cannot be adequately (or legally) handled by professionals who lack the correct accreditation.
The BAFE registered Fire Detection & Alarm Systems Scheme. No. SP203-1 recognises the importance of compliant fire detection systems.
It works to assist in minimising false alarms which can cause a distraction when running your business.
There are four modules of the SP203-1 scheme, recognising industry practice and demand. These modules encompass the areas of:
- System design
- Commissioning and Handover
The scheme is operated by trusted third parties on behalf of BAFE.
Following the successful completion of the scheme, accredited companies are presented with four certificates from the four approved certification bodies to demonstrate full compliance with the regulation law.
Emergency Lighting Systems
Many companies choose to install emergency lighting to illuminate walkways and help guide anyone in the building to the emergency exit points in event of a fire-related incident which requires evacuation.
Emergency lighting also helps provide better conditions for seeing exactly what is happening should the mains power fail.
Emergency lighting is available in a variety of different formats,
- Some of which are developed to blend in seamlessly with the existing structure,
- Others of which contain special features such as water-proofing for outdoor use.
Whichever you choose, emergency lighting should always be installed by a BAFE Emergency Lighting SP203-4 registered company.
The scheme was launched in 2010, with help from the ICEL (Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting).
This scheme is comprised of six steps to full certification, as defined by UKAS accredited Certification Bodies on behalf of BAFE.
Following completion of the certification modules, each registered company will be subject to ongoing surveillance and auditing to ensure they continue to comply with the scheme’s stringent requirements.
Fixed Gaseous Fire Suppression Systems
Fire extinguishers can help to fight smaller fires at first contact, and their hand-operated process makes them easy to use in emergency situations.
These and other forms of fixed fire suppression systems should always be installed and maintained by accredited companies in possession of the BAFE Fixed Gaseous Fire Suppression Systems SP203-3.
Registering for this system ensures your chosen installer is equipped competently in the system design, installation and maintenance of these devices, meaning you have less to worry about should the time come when they are needed to help fight a fire.
As with other schemes and accreditations from BAFE, this accreditation is supplied by UKAS accredited certification bodies on their behalf – and on completion, companies are added to the trusted BAFE database.
Finding The Right Accreditation
Selecting an accredited supplier requires a degree of homework, but thankfully BAFE has a searchable database of approved companies to help make the task simpler.
The process of checking certifications takes seconds via the official BAFE website.
With the increasing importance of fire risk assessments emphasising how vital it is to stay on top of the latest fire safety law, accreditation provides evidence of best practice, experience and expertise.
Still unsure of your fire safety requirements?
The FIA provides British Standards for a wide range of fire safety equipment, from fire extinguisher installations through to detection and emergency lighting.
You can check these standards at the official FIA website.
Focussed On Fire Protection
Here at Albion – Detection we’ve also created our own downloadable guide to fire protection – this is an essential, in-depth reference for business owners. Download our FREE Fire System Audit Checklist for business owners here to get the inside track on where to start, or contact us to find out more, or book your free no obligation Fire Protection Consultation