BAFE responds to Scottish fire safety consultation

BAFE responds to Scottish fire safety consultation

THE ORGANISATION has responded to the consultation regarding guidance on ‘existing premises with sleeping accommodation’.

This consultation is seeing three fire safety guides being combined to ‘assist with reference and future updating’, and the guidance document states that the government and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) ‘recommend that duty holders who wish to contract the services of an external fire safety risk assessor, select an assessor from a list of competent fire risk assessors maintained by a professional body or a UKAS accredited third party certification body.

‘Alternatively they could use the services of companies, including sole traders, that are third party certificated under appropriate schemes operated by certification bodies that have, themselves, been UKAS accredited as competent to certificate against such schemes. (The benefit of company certification is that the certification body monitors the quality of the certificated company’s work and confirms that there is a system for management of quality within the certificated company)’.

BAFE stated that while it was ‘extremely pleased to see the continued support for third party certification regarding the competency of fire risk assessors’, it believes that ‘changes should be made to the revised guide’, specifically in a chapter on provision and use of means of escape in relation to emergency lighting.

On this note, it states that the ‘maintenance of Emergency Lighting Installations ought to be strongly recommended. The text should also say that third party certification schemes are available which can add reassurance for the design, installation and maintenance’. It also welcomed a section focused on unwanted fire alarm signals (UFAS), but disapproved of ‘missing information regarding third party certificated providers to deliver fire detection and alarm system works for all stages’.

It added: ‘The document completely ignores third party certification of the design, installation and maintenance of fire detection systems. The use of a competent, certificated contractor can provide reassurance that the system is appropriate as well as assist in the reduction and avoidance of UFAS…BAFE believes that appropriate references should be added to the text.’

Finally, in another area of the document third party certification schemes were stated to be ‘in place to provide assurances of quality for firefighting equipment’, but the ‘ongoing maintenance of these is not mentioned’, BAFE commenting that a ‘reference to the certification schemes for fire-fighting equipment and its maintenance would seem appropriate as they can assist in selecting, correctly siting and commissioning such equipment and carrying out necessary maintenance’.