How Capable is your Competent Person?
An important part of the Regulatory Reform Order is that measures are put in place to ensure that the risks of injury or fire are reduced as far as reasonably possible by ensuring that are installed and maintained properly.
This is expanded on in British Standard 5839-1:2017 (the guide published by the British Government on the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems) to strongly recommend that all work associated with the detection and alarm system be carried out by a competent person or organisation.
In reality, this means, is that the person or organisation that you appoint to look after your FD&A system is someone who has received the appropriate and current training and has experience in the systems that they are installing and maintaining. This should be combined with having all the necessary documentation and calibrated tools/equipment to ensure the task is carried out properly and safely.
Here at Sygma; we’ve put together a handy checklist of the top accreditation bodies and tell-tale signs that the company you’re dealing with is both competent and experienced:
- They'll have a BAFE approval in SP203-1
- They'll be signed up members to leading industry bodies such as the Fire Industry Association, British Fire Consortium and Fire Protection Association
- They'll take health and safety commitments seriously and will be able to prove it with memberships to SafeContractor, ConstructionLine and CHAS
Not being a member of these organisations shouldn't necessarily preclude them, but as a customer you should be aware of the importance of independent auditing of your suppliers. It will only ensure that you are getting the best and most qualified individuals onto your site and ensuring the safe and continued operation of your fire detection and alarm systems.