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November 24, 2020

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Opinion

Delay in implementing Grenfell recommendations “abysmal”, says FPA

Commenting on the Lord’s amendment which requires Grenfell Inquiry recommendations to be implemented on the Fire Safety Bill, Jonathan O’Neill, Managing Director of the Fire Protection Association (FPA), said…

“While we welcome the Lord’s amendment, which includes the requirement for building owners and managers to share building information with fire services, it is abysmal that in over three and a half years since Grenfell this is the trailed as the blueprint for fire safety in the future, aimed at protecting life and buildings from fire, and simply does not go far enough.

“Whilst a register of fire assessments is important, we are very surprised that the mandatory third-party accreditation of risk assessors does not form part of this bill. A simple way of ensuring competence is by independent third-party certification; the Government has recognised this for many years in the regulation of gas; you know need to embrace it in fire.

“But don’t restrict it to risk assessment, extend it to those supplying life safety fire protection equipment and services as well. There is currently no consistent definition of what competency looks like for fire risk assessors, building managers, installers, or maintainers of active or passive fire protection systems. Third-party certification is the only way to guarantee the competence of installers and fire safety practitioners, and to ensure traceability and suitability of fire safety products, including fire doors, sprinkler and alarm systems.”

“While our hope is that regulation will force those responsible for buildings to act, they need the knowledge and tools to be able to do so effectively, and wider industry must play a major role here. The Fire Projection Association has launched a new educational campaign called Know Your Building, aimed at helping building owners and managers understand how their buildings are set up to protect against fire, and enabling them to make necessary changes to protect life and property. As part of our campaign we’ll be working closely with trade associations and other stakeholders to make a meaningful contribution to the fire safety of buildings in the UK.”

Find out more about FPA’s Know Your Building campaign.

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