If you are the responsible person, also known as a duty holder in Scotland, you are responsible for the effectiveness of your company’s fire risk assessment according to law, rather than the fire risk assessor. To ensure that you are using a competent fire risk assessment provider, you should use a British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE) registered company.
The British Approvals for Fire Equipment or BAFE are a third-party certification registration authority developing quality and competency schemes for fire protection. Fire protection businesses are certified against the schemes regarding their competency to offer fire protection services by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, also known as UKAS.
The BAFE schemes are established using active fire protection systems. An active fire protection or AFP system refers to fire detection and the associated alarm system, such as fire suppression devices to deal with flame, smoke or heat. The construction and maintenance of these fire protection systems are significant as they are the basis for all protection services. For fire protection services to be considered a competent fire risk assessment, the BAFE has a second scheme for companies offering the service.
The second scheme is the BAFE SP205 Life Safety Fire Risk scheme and was developed to help the company’s responsible person meets the criteria for fire risk assessments according to the Regulatory Reform Order 2005 for Fire Safety, the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, and the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
The BAFE SP205 Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment was established mid-2012 and was developed for companies acting as life safety fire risk assessment providers for other businesses. This scheme was created to provide assurance to companies commissioning the fire risk assessments, as well as provide confidence regarding the relevance and quality of services.
It is crucial that the risk assessor is a knowledgeable individual and provides a duty to the business on which the law states a need for fire risk assessment. However, the overall obligation pertaining to the adequate performance of a risk assessment, according to the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005, the Fire and Rescue Services Order in Northern Ireland 2006 and the Fire Act 2005 in Scotland, lies with the duty holder or responsible person instead of the fire risk assessor.
If the duty holder or responsible person has been deemed to have taken reasonable steps when appointing a fire risk assessor and the assessor is found to be incompetent, then legal action can be taken against the fire risk assessor. The scheme acknowledges the significance of providing competent fire risk assessments according to an acceptable set of regulations.
The Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment SP205 indicates that companies are required to have assessment management abilities with risk assessment employees to meet the appropriate standards. This scheme was created to meet the necessities of both small and large fire risk assessments acknowledging that there are numerous individuals operating as fire risk assessors.