Both BAFE and FireQual would like to acknowledge the Grenfell Tower fire on its sixth anniversary (14/06/2017). Everyone involved in the fire safety industry remembers this tragic event and our respects go out to all affected.
What is important to note is the ongoing response and aftermath of this event. Latest developments of this being the upcoming updates to fire safety legislation, where a far stronger focus on the Responsible Person and their duties is being scrutinised more so than ever.
Now is the time to seriously acknowledge UKAS accredited, third-party certification as the key indicator of competence. This is especially crucial for Responsible People, where their choice of life safety contractors will now be a clear sign if cost or safety was the main driver in their decision making process.
Whilst there is always scepticism regarding Third-Party Certification from some, we strongly believe this significantly aids in regulation of quality organisations (and their employed individuals). It is a clear demonstration of objective evidence, audited at least annually by an independent party (i.e. a UKAS Accredited Certification Body). This is the most robust form of regulation on the market. At present this is completely voluntary, which also strongly demonstrates an organisation’s dedication to competence if they choose to go through this process.
In regard to Fire Risk Assessment providers’ competence, Government have stated they are “actively working with the sector to develop a robust roll out plan and will provide more information on this in the coming months.”1 BAFE are proud to be part of this work and trust Government will make suitable improvements moving forward to help regulate this vital service.
Multiple organisations and individuals have stressed that we cannot let an event such as the Grenfell Tower fire happen again. BAFE and FireQual’s work supports these statements in developing quality avenues to develop knowledge with regulated qualifications and help demonstrate competency through appropriate Third-Party Certification.
Dr Justin Maltby-Smith CEng FIET CMgr FCMI - Group Managing Director
1New fire safety guidance comes into force on 1 October 2023. Home Office 30 March 2023 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-fire-safety-guidance-comes-into-force-on-1-october-2023