Fire Risk Assessors Demonstrate Competence

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Fire Risk Assessors Demonstrate Competence



The Fire Risk Assessment Quality Assurance Scheme (FRACS Company) certification has been awarded to BB7 Fire Safety Engineering, based at Chatham Dockyard, Kent.

The assessment by WCL - part of the Exova group - included on-site evaluation, audit of office processes, examination of employee competence and an appraisal of quality management systems.

Ben Bradford, BB7 Director, said: "The competency of fire risk assessors is important. A number of our clients had previously employed consultants but were left counting the cost of incompetency. I'm very proud of BB7's team for gaining this certification..

"We've demonstrated competence and we are committed to maintaining it. The FRACS scheme logo on our literature is further evidence of our expertise in this field and demonstrates to our customers and potential customers that we take quality seriously.

"This assessment also helped us to look at our own internal systems through an independent, approved body. Managers and owners of buildings need to plan their fire risk assessments effectively and if they can call on assessors who are certificated to schemes such as FRACS then it gives everyone more reassurance."

Simon Ince, manager, personnel certification schemes at WCL, emphasised how third party approval for fire risk assessors is becoming increasingly important.

He said: "By holding this certification, the approved company is demonstrating diligence and best practice and offering the responsible persons for buildings the transparency and reassurance they need.

"Too many fire risk assessors are operating at a poor standard and the responsible person has no easy way of identifying those who do have the technical expertise to complete a life safety fire risk assessment."

BB7 offers advice, practical expertise and training in all aspects of fire risk management and business continuity to those responsible for fire safety and risk management in buildings.

The call by WCL for a national competency scheme for fire risk assessors has received support from the Chief Fire Officers' Association, the Department for Communities and Local Government, The Institute of Fire Safety Managers and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

High profile cases demonstrate how costly the consequences of getting a fire risk assessment can be. A record fine of £400,000 for clothing retailer New Look following a fire at its Oxford Street premises in London when it was found to be negligent in failing to identify fire risk and also failing to ensure its employees had adequate safety training.

Major organisations such as Shell, Co op and Tesco have all been fined and many small and medium enterprises have been prosecuted also due to poor risk assessments and fire safety provision.

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