For the attention of Mr Nick Hurd MP 06/07/17
Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service
We have read with interest about your recent appointment as Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service. The tragic fire at Grenfell Tower has served to highlight for us all in the fire industry the need to re-evaluate and strengthen the competence of all involved in the protection of lives and property.
BAFE is the independent, not for profit, registration body for fire protection companies that have achieved third party certification for their quality and competence. We develop schemes, based on British and European standards; in consultation with the entire sector and deliver them through a range of UKAS accredited certification bodies. These are currently in a number of areas of active fire protection including the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire alarms and emergency lighting, maintenance of portable fire extinguishers and, most importantly, the provision of competent fire risk assessments. There are over 1200 companies ranging from SME’s to global corporate organisations registered to our schemes across the whole of the UK.
We are active members of the Fire Sector Federation and of course, a former BAFE Chairman, Sir Ken Knight, is leading your expert panel. You may be aware that there have been two recent initiatives in Scotland regarding fire protection and policy, in which BAFE has been involved including the Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals research to analyse the causes of false alarms and the Regulatory Reform Group that has been considering the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
The Fire Safety Guidance documents (section 8) available on the Government website fully endorse the value of using third party certificated providers and they independently have endorsed the value of the work that BAFE does.
We are currently reviewing other areas of fire protection where we can offer independent third party certificated schemes, including the verification of automatic fire alarm system quality to ensure validity of response to avoid wasted call outs by the Fire and Rescue Services and the design, installation and maintenance of kitchen fire suppression systems. If there are any areas of support for the ‘responsible person’ that you feel would be of value then we would welcome any discussions with your team.