In 2006, the Scottish Fire Scotland Act was introduced and brought with it a duty on every employer to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment. The fire risk assessment should identify any risks to the safety of their employees in respect of harm caused by fire in the workplace (S53 2a Fire (Scotland) Act 2005). This also extends in S54 to anyone who is in control of relevant premises to also carry out fire risk assessments. Full guidance on what these requirements mean are published by the Scottish Government.
Part of this guidance says that you may choose to use someone competent to perform your fire risk assessment. Who defines who is competent and what does that mean?
The British Approvals for Fire Equipment or BAFE is the independent registration body for third party certificated fire safety service providers across the UK. This organisation provides independent verification that the company you choose is properly certified (competent) under its Fire Risk Assessment BAFE Scheme No. SP205. Realm Fire & Security is a BAFE-certified company for fire risk assessments, the only one currently (June 2021) in this region of Scotland.
This certification provides our customers with the reassurance they need – and the evidence they might require – that we are competent fire risk assessors. Our work is checked by others as a matter of course to ensure that it does meet the correct standards. Without this assurance, how can employers or building owners really be sure that their fire risk assessors have performed this statutory obligation to the appropriate standards? When you choose to work with a BAFE-certified fire risk assessment company, it’s a true reflection of your own credibility and integrity, and the culture and philosophy of your entire business.
With the changes employers have made – and are making – to the design and set up of their offices and other workplaces because of the pandemic, caused in part by the new impetus to mix working in-situ with working at home, many employers will find themselves obliged to conduct fresh fire risk assessments imminently, to ensure that they remain compliant.
We work with businesses of all shapes and sizes, in premises large and small. Many are on a retainer so we phone annually to make our appointments, go along to perform the fire risk assessment, and produce our report and any fresh recommendations – with support as required. This is the ideal situation for both our customers and as a provider because it provides certainty, confidence and also saves our customers time, hassle and sleepless nights worrying whether their business complies with the Scottish Fire Act.
After the horrific events of the Grenfell fire in June 2017, the risks and responsibilities building owners share has had much more publicity than it otherwise might have done before. If you’re unsure whether your building cladding complies, that is a question for Building Control at your local council, who will be able to advise you on what you should do next.
Alongside Realm Fire & Security operating as a BAFE-certified business, all our fire risk assessors are also accredited. It never ceases to shock and amaze me that there are people out there, providing fire risk assessment services, who are not qualified or certified to perform this critical element of health and safety. In every other aspect of your business, you would want to work with qualified people – for your accounts, for your legal advice, for your IT – so why would you leave your fire risk assessments in the hands of people who do not have any better qualifications than you do?
For peace of mind and to ensure you are meeting your statutory obligations, make sure your fire risk assessments are performed regularly by qualified fire risk assessors, working for a BAFE-certified business. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01224 710014.