‘MOT’-style approval scheme for fire protection in commercial kitchens launched by NSI

Professional fire safety solution providers will soon have authority to issue their clients with National Security Inspectorate (NSI)/BAFE Certificates of Compliance much like an ‘MOT’ to show that all kitchen fire protection systems are fit for purpose.

Commercial kitchens are hazardous environments. Fire industry/insurance data reported by BAFE – the UK’s independent register of quality fire safety service providers – reveals that food and drink-related fires are statistically the third most likely cause of large fires, with restaurant and café fires specifically accounting for 42% of all fires within this sector.

For their part, insurers are particularly concerned about fires in commercial kitchens as the risk to life can be significant and the consequential losses substantial. Unextinguished fires can be devastating for business continuity, building integrity and peoples’ lives.

BAFE’s response is the Kitchen Fire Protection Systems Scheme (SP206) which provides those end users responsible for kitchen fire safety with a high level of assurance in the ongoing effectiveness of their fire protection systems. Certificates of Compliance will be issued by NSI ‘Approved Installers’ at the time of system maintenance as well as at initial installation. Certificates will be a valuable piece of documentation available to both insurers and relevant authorities as evidence of systems’ compliance and users’ obligations under national fire safety legislation.

‘Approved Installers’ will be required to demonstrate competency in the design, installation, commissioning, recharging and maintenance of their systems in regular NSI audits, in addition to being authorised by equipment manufacturers.

The first NSI approvals for the scheme are expected in the first quarter of 2019.

Richard Jenkins, CEO at the NSI, commented: “We’re delighted to be able to offer professional installers of kitchen fire protection systems independent verification of their competency. NSI ‘Approved Installers’ will now be authorised to issue clients with Certificates of Compliance much like an ‘MOT’ to show that installations are fit for purpose on an ongoing basis and evidenced to be maintaining standards through regular independent audit. At the NSI, we’re firmly committed to such a forward-thinking initiative which has the undoubted ability to significantly reduce risk and raise standards of fire safety in commercial catering.”

Stephen Adams, BAFE’s CEO, added: “Third party certification for kitchen fire suppression/extinguishing works is long overdue and we welcome independent assessment of competency for this skilled service by the NSI. BAFE SP206 has taken almost two years to develop. We’ve worked diligently to ensure that it sets a high level of quality and competency for installers on behalf of their end users.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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