In June this year BAFE launched a campaign encouraging businesses to make sure that when awarding contracts to fire protection firms to verify that they are third party certified like ourselves at MCL Fire. 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.
Third-Party Certificated fire safety service provider is a responsible action to help meet your fire safety obligations. Before awarding any contract however, it is just as important to verify their Third-Party Certification is appropriate for the work you require. This verification is extremely important, as BAFE Registration or any Third Party Certification does not determine evidence of competency for all fire safety services. End users (e.g. premises management) must be vigilant to ensure they exercise due diligence.
This is why BAFE launched the don’t specify, verify campaign so when sourcing help, make sure you specify competent fire safety providers and verify their Third-Party Certification is appropriate and valid for the work required. Third-Party Certification is always for a specific service, this in most instances will never cover all services a provider may offer. Providers may have Third-Party Certification for multiple services, but each service offered will have had to undergo an independent assessment to provide evidence of their competency for that specific area.
These specific areas could include
- Fire extinguisher systems
- Alarms and detection systems
- Fixed Gaseous Fire Suppression
- Emergency Lighting Systems
- Fire Risk Assessment
But what is third party accreditation?
It is important to understand also what is meant by third party accreditation within the fire safety sector. In essence, The Fire Industry Association describes it as the consumer protection scheme. It enables you, the supplier and certificated company, to provide proof that the fire protection company is competent. TPC means that an independent expert, (the third party), has assessed the fire protection agencies’ business and found that it has met certain standards. These standards usually relate to technical aspects of the business activities, but may also relate to other aspects of the business such as ethical and environmental qualities, in relation to the work the company is doing within the fire industry.
You can check if the fire protection agency you work with is on the BAFE Fire Safety Register here https://www.bafe.org.uk/advanced-search/