Although there are currently no legal obligations for fire risk assessments to be carried out by a 3rd party accredited person/company, many people do look to professional services for peace of mind when it comes to such an important health and safety matter.
“Data from the English fire and rescue services suggests that the main compliance failure leading to enforcement action is a failure by duty holders to carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.”
Martin Duggan – FIA
For duty holders who feel their premises requires a comprehensive assessment beyond their capabilities, they will often seek assistance, or even outsource the job to those who know exactly what to look for. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and is subsequently one of the main reasons for enforcement action being taken.
Risk assessment companies can also provide less than adequate services, and all in all, the biggest failing of fire risk assessments when a fire officer does a building audit is the competency of the assessor completing the FRA.
This was the motivation behind the surge in helping people know exactly how to hire completely proficient professionals, and of course to help the professionals themselves become certified accordingly.
To aid people in choosing only the most competent of professionals, the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council has published two key guidance documents, with a set of criteria used to judge the assessors.
The first competency criteria document was published in December 2011, and the second ‘guide to choosing a competent fire risk assessor’ was published in February 2013.
These documents set the benchmark as to the quality of service that should be provided, and should be used by all businesses looking to update their fire risk assessment. Failure to comply with fire safety legislation can result in serious consequences for those involved, so it is imperative that choosing your assessor is not a 5 minute job.
In a nutshell, the main competence indicators are being registered with professional body registration schemes, and to be certified by a certification body that is UKAS accredited.
Total Fire Services were 4th in the UK to receive external certification by the NSI for the BAFE SP205 Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment Scheme. With our services, you can therefore be completely confident leaving your FRA in our hands.
This begs the question, would you know how to select a competent fire risk assessor? Your safety depends on it, so think carefully and review the documents provided to ensure you make the right choice.