Sunday 24 September 2017

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“Ultimately, it  is desirable that companies or organisations carrying out fire risk assessments as a service to regulated residential care establishments hold recognised third party certification by a UKAS accredited Third Party Certification Body”. New requirements set by RQIA for Fire Risk Assessments in care premises in Northern Ireland


NSI has committed to making a significant investment in both time and resources to ensure that it can provide this growing part of the fire industry with a credible, independent third party certification service.

According to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) who are responsible for collating fire statistics throughout the UK, there were 24,900 fires recorded in buildings (other than private dwellings) during 2010/11. These included retail outlets, restaurants, cafes and industrial premises.  These fires resulted in nineteen fatalities and 1200 injuries.  Anyone who is responsible for premises that come within the scope of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England & Wales, and the equivalent legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, is required by law, to carry out a fire risk assessment.

Stephen Adams, General Manager, BAFE, commented
“I am very pleased to hear that NSI has been granted UKAS accreditation to deliver our SP205 Scheme for Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment. NSI has been involved with the Scheme from the start, sitting on the Industry Working Group responsible for the Scheme’s development. Their expertise and knowledge they brought to the table during the development stage was invaluable and they are well placed to offer Fire Risk Assessment organisations with a credible auditing solution”.

The ‘Duty Holder’ or ‘Responsible Person’ for the building must ensure that a fire risk assessment is completed, so that the building is ‘safe enough’ for the escape of anyone who is lawfully allowed on the premises, or within the immediate vicinity of the building, should a fire occur.  Up until now, there has been no adequate means to ensure the competence and reliability of a company commissioned to carry out fire risk assessments, hence the introduction of the SP205 Scheme by the British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE).

Who is the scheme For?

(SP205) The BAFE SP205 Scheme is aimed at those organisations who are involved with Life Safety Risk Assessment only. It is not concerned with companies who provide risk assessment for the purposes of property protection or business continuity and is not a modular scheme The Scheme will permit organisations involved with Fire Risk Assessment to become third party certificated and as such be deemed competent to undertake their scope of work. Organisations of varying sizes may apply e.g. sole traders as well as corporate bodies.  They must have a documented management system, but not necessarily a certificated quality management system.

Terry O’Neill, Managing Director of Trenton Fire Ltd said “I would strongly recommend NSI to others who are considering acquiring BAFE SP205 certification. The NSI team were extremely professional during the audit process giving good practical advice on how to improve the quality of our service.  Each step was clearly defined and well documented throughout the procedure.

Gareth Collier, Proprietor of Lancashire Fire Protection said “From start to finish, the NSI auditor took ownership of the process and we found him highly professional and extremely courteous. Overall a very straight forward process managed well by NSI and I would therefore not hesitate to recommend them to any company seeking to gain approval to BAFE scheme SP205-1”

How does it work?

The BAFE SP205 Scheme requires Fire Risk Assessment organisations to implement a documented management system (DMS).  This may be written to meet the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001 or it can be written in a less formal way, as long as it satisfies the requirements of the Scheme. In recognition of this, NSI offers certification to SP205 at two levels.  The NSI Gold Scheme requires a full BS EN ISO 9001 Quality Management System.  The NSI Silver Scheme requires a less formal DMS.  In both cases there is an obligation to implement a robust process of internal audit to ensure that the fire risk assessors employed by the certificated organisation continue to meet the necessary competency requirements.

View our Video…

Now we are UKAS approved for the Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment Scheme we caught up with Stephen Adams, BAFE General Manager to discuss what the Scheme had to offer…