On Wednesday, September 30th, we hosted a Reception at the Scottish Parliament to highlight the continued efforts to improve quality in fire safety through third party certification.
Our thanks go out to Michael McMahon MSP for sponsoring the event who opened the event stressing the need to ensure the competence of fire risk assessors in commercial premises.
Catastrophic events such as the fire in 2004 at Rosepark Nursing Home in his constituency should never happen and by using competent, independently assessed fire protection companies trained to look for all potential risks any future events will be effectively reduced and controlled.
"Fire risk assessments should be carried out by properly qualified professionals and be able to demonstrate their competence, as they are a vital part of the process of fire risk management to keep people safe."
The reception was then addressed by Douglas Barnett, BAFE Chairman, who thanked Michael McMahon for his efforts in raising this matter with the debate in the Scottish Parliament in October 2014.
A video was then shown outlining the current fire safety situation and to discuss BAFE’s role in the industry and the strengths of using third party certified companies for fire protection services. Following this the STV report from the Rosepark Nursing Home inquiry was shown.
Douglas also described the role played by BAFE in the Scottish Regulatory Reform Group review to ensure fire safety legislation is continually developed to have the uppermost standard of fire safety possible.
Lewis Ramsay, Assistant Chief Officer for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, discussed the role of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and welcomed BAFE as an ‘important, capable and willing partner’ hailing them as a key part of the success of the SFRS to assist and educate Duty Holders with their responsibilities.
The Rosepark Nursing Home fire is still very much an active issue within the SFRS, highlighting the need for independently assessed, Third Party Certified fire risk assessors. Mr. Ramsay stated “There is an issue with the competence of fire risk assessors. There is an issue in the way in which we deploy people and expect them to deliver a very safe, sensible and competent assessment of what is indeed a complex ask.”
He looked forward to the outcome from the work of the Regulatory Reform Group to consider the development of competence requirements and also the Business Engagement Forum to bring together all stakeholders in the effort to improve fire safety. He referred to the recent Unwanted Fire Alarm Study project (which was facilitated by a number of stakeholders including BAFE) and its value to reduce false alarm callouts. This dramatically aids in the Scottish Fire and Rescue’s ability to attend and assist genuine callouts and other service duties, including fire prevention. He clearly stated, with the support of the Chief Fire Officer for Scotland, Alasdair Hay, that “there would never be a situation in Scotland where the Fire and Rescue Service would not deploy on receiving a fire alarm call, especially where there are at risk people present”.
Douglas Barnett then concluded by referring to the fact that it has been over 10 years since the tragic Rosepark Nursing Home fire in 2004 resulting in the deaths of 14 elderly residents.
Conclusions from Sherriff Lockhart’s inquiry stated that these deaths could have been prevented if there was a suitable fire safety plan in place. BAFE operates multiple fire safety schemes including Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment (SP205), which was developed to raise awareness of the Duty Holders responsibility to uphold fire safety legislation. A Fire Risk Assessment is mandatory by law and must be carried out to identify ‘any risks to the safety of relevant persons in respect of harm caused by fire in the relevant premises’.
For more information on the Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment (SP205) scheme click here
To find a third party certified BAFE registered Fire Risk Assessment company click here