The campaign “Don’t just Specify, Verify!” points out the important second, and sometimes overlooked, verification stage when specifying and sourcing a competent third party certificated provider to help comply with fire safety legislation.
Stephen Adams, Chief Executive of BAFE said: “As noted in Government guidance, specifying third party certification is a robust method of sourcing a competent provider to help fulfil fire safety obligations. However, there is still an onus on the premises management (Responsible Person/Duty Holder) to check that their chosen providers are appropriately third party certificated and competent for the work required. If you specify a third party certificated provider, but don’t verify this before awarding a contract, this could result in insufficient fire safety in your building and makes you accountable under current legislation. It is easy and quick to check, which helps towards a safer building and, in the event of a fire, stronger defence having acted with due diligence.”
UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification within the fire industry at present is completely voluntary. This means that any provider who holds this has taken intentional steps to gain independently assessed certification, demonstrating their competency for a specific service.
BAFE believes that the culture of chasing the lowest quote for fire safety work must end, focusing instead on sourcing evidentially competent, independently assessed providers to get the job done right. As with most things, quality comes at a cost, but the cost of a fire with poor fire safety management could be far more disastrous.