At a Health and Safety EXPO back in June, two of our staff sat in on a CPD talk on Fire Risk Assessors. The talk was informative and gave an insight into the overhaul of the standards of several contractors or individuals within the Fire Sector.
Currently there is no real stipulations surrounding fire risk-assessors, contractors, installers or designers who work on High Risk Residential Buildings over 18m.
As such, a plan has been drafted by the industry in response the industry- government joint venture targeting the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster to increase the standard and skills of those who work on such buildings. The interim document- aptly named Raising the Bar- was produced and compiled by the CSG who represent a number of Construction sector organisations. It specifically asks for:
“The Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council (FRACC) should develop and introduce an enhanced level of competence for fire risk assessors undertaking work on HRRBs”.
The idea is to create a rise in standards across all areas of the industry, as well as schemes passing three technical design ‘gateways’ that will be overviewed by a Safety Regulator for new buildings. This regulator in theory will then hold a register of individuals or firms who pass a particular standard, to act as principal designers, contractors and building safety co-ordinators. The raised expectations will also extend to other professionals such as site supervisors and fire engineers among many.
The report responds directly to issues and questions raised from Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations in Building a Safer Future, particularly regarding the methodology that should be used, and noting that whilst their interim is predominantly focused on HRRBs, it should be extended “with or without statutory mandate” in order to adequately assess buildings for fire and life safety.
Should the standard be raised across the board? This venture has the potential to raise the professional standards in building and design aspects too and could lead the way for other categories of buildings, with note to those blocks used for vulnerable people such as hospitals, schools and assisted living.
When a residential block in South West London burnt down in September this year, it carried a stark reminder that the mandate for all buildings may need to be reviewed. Provisions need to be made to ensure that fire safety in are blocks or buildings are kept within the scope of these proposals.
With this in mind, and talks of our fellow professionals, fire risk-assessors, among many others, may well need to up their skill set through further education and qualification in the Fire sector, in order to be deemed confident for the task and eligible for the register.
If you are unsure on where you stand with any upcoming changes related to your fire safety, feel free to contact us on 01394 389683 or firstname.lastname@example.org.