As we approach the 13th anniversary of the introduction of the Fire Safety Order it is worth a minute to consider the issues that have come from it, some 650 prosecutions and over £500 000 in fines across England and Wales with 26 custodial sentences.
I am regularly accused of over egging issues when I speak to clients BUT, my sole concern is to protect them from prosecution and to ensure that they have as much information as possible in order that they can make an informed decision.
Now that the FRS is being audited on the number of enforcements and prosecutions they take into the court system we (the fire industry) can expect to see more bite to their activities into and beyond 2020.
Where the FRS issue notices of deficiencies these must be declared not only to the incumbent service partner(s) as well as their insurance provider.
Incumbent fire alarm contractors are to NOT immune from criticism or consequences from the FRS/HSE if the works they are servicing fall short of what the minimum requirements of the British Standards require.
Risk assessors are also at risk of a custodial sentence if their assessment is considered by the court to be insufficient or for fundamental and obvious issues to have been missed or not treated with the regard required.
Clients and building owners, fire alarm contractors and assessors have all got to look at what they provide and establish IF this is good enough, this before someone else does and considers it not to be the case and they end up under caution – by this time it will be too late.
If you are responsible for the fire risk assessment provision for your business or for properties that you manage, and you would like to discuss where Veritas, as a BAFE SP205 accredited provider, can help you then please feel free to get in touch
Steve Dilloway Principal GiFireE & IFSM