SSAIB has announced it has achieved accreditation for BAFE’s SP207 scheme for emergency evacuation systems, which are used by Fire and Rescue services to prioritise evacuation from residential high rise buildings and ensure people at risk in endangered areas can be safely evacuated.
Supporting British Standard 8629 Evacuation Alert Systems for use by fire and rescue services in buildings containing flats, this new development from BAFE – the UK’s independent register of quality fire safety providers – covers the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of emergency evacuations systems that will help to provide quality evidence of competency to deliver these services.
SSAIB Fire Scheme Manager, Keith Strugnell, believes this new scheme has the potential to become an essential addition for organisations looking to provide evacuation systems. He said: “Developed in response to a recommendation from the Grenfell Tower Phase 1 inquiry report, it is likely to become a requirement that you will need to be third-party certified to work on emergency evacuation systems going forward.
“However, despite it being a new scheme, existing SSAIB-registered SP203-1 firms will find it comparable to their own scheme – as it utilises a similar format, albeit that the scheme document has been changed to make it more relevant to emergency evacuation systems. Therefore, in theory, you will satisfy the requirements for SP207 by default if you already have SP203-1.”
BAFE announced the scheme in the final quarter of 2020 and Keith went on to reveal that the SSAIB acted promptly to ensure that the organisation could add SP207 to its existing catalogue of BAFE fire schemes.
Keith continued: “With regards to SSAIB, we completed training with BS 8629:2019 for our auditors and scheduled several pilot audits for those initial companies to achieve certification for this latest scheme that we provide certification for to the fire industry. We then collated all of the necessary criteria that was needed for our information packs and then we were ready to go.
“Through doing all this, it has allowed us to successfully add to our list of fire schemes and ensure that our firms are able to keep up with the latest industry developments.”
BAFE’s Director of Schemes, Chris Auger, added: “The demand shown following the MHCLG consultation is unprecedented and represents a far greater awareness of systems and competency of their installers required following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower Fire.
“With the work BAFE has performed in conjunction with the industry and Fire and Rescue Service, we are pleased to offer a route to achieving this important third-party certification. Quality evidence of competency is going to have far greater scrutiny for everyone working in high-rise blocks in the very near future which can only be a good thing. This scheme will fill this crucial gap in providing confidence to specifiers knowing they are fulfilling their due diligence and continuing the ‘golden thread’ of accountability for the life safety of residents within the building.”