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BAFE welcomes Scottish Government fire safety guidance

Friday 22nd June 2018

Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Premises with Sleeping Accommodation

The guidance focussing on fire safety within existing premises with sleeping accommodation released 13th June makes multiple recommendations to establish a safe environment. BAFE acknowledge and welcome information provided especially regarding obtaining advice on fire safety and the use of third party certificated contractors:

“27. Dutyholders should consider their own capabilities and circumstances in respect of assessing and managing risk, and factors such as the size and use of premises and the number and type of persons involved.

28. Whilst dutyholders are usually best placed to know their premises, they will need to decide whether they, or their employees where applicable, have the capability to assess fire risk. If dutyholders do not have sufficient resources, skills or experience to undertake a fire safety risk assessment themselves they can arrange for a suitably qualified person or company to carry out an assessment on their behalf.

29. When looking to contract a specialist, it can be difficult to judge the competence of companies and persons who advertise their services. The fact that a person or company is operating in the fire sector or that someone has previous fire service experience, does not mean that they are a fire safety specialist.

30. Both the Scottish Government and the SFRS recommend that dutyholders 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).”

- Chapter 1: Preface, Obtaining Advice on Fire Safety http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/9883/1

“118. Fire protection products should be fit for purpose and properly installed and maintained, while installation and maintenance contractors should be competent. Third-party certification, where a reputable certification body independently checks competencies and processes and that standards are being met, is one method of providing a reasonable assurance of quality of products and services, provided that the certification body itself is a competent evaluator. Accreditation by UKAS is an indication that a third-party certification body is a competent evaluator. Products and services that are not third-party approved by an accredited body are not necessarily less reliable, but accredited third-party certification can offer assurance. Information on schemes is available from trade associations.

119. There are third-party certification schemes for emergency lighting, fire warning systems and fire fighting equipment which can add reassurance for design, installation and maintenance.”

- Chapter 4: Managing Fire Safety, Third Party Certification http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/9883/4



The whole document (Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Premises with Sleeping Accommodation) can be read online or downloaded in PDF format here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/9883/0

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If you require fire safety services for your premises use BAFE. BAFE is the independent register of quality fire safety service providers, who are certified to ensure quality and competence to help meet your fire safety obligations.

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Legal obligations nationwide require the appointed responsible person for fire safety for commercial/non-domestic premises to have adequate fire protection.

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Third Party Certification is the best assurance of quality when looking for a provider to help meet your fire safety requirements.

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