SSAIB is proud to announce that they have 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.

Providing evacuation systems

And 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. Discussing the SP207 scheme in the upcoming edition of SSAIB’s annual magazine The Standard, Keith revealed: “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.”

Existing SSAIB-registered SP203-1 firms will find it comparable to their own scheme"

However, despite it being a brand 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.”

Accredited certification body

BAFE announced the scheme in the final quarter of 2020 and Keith went on to reveal that the UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries 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.”

Latest industry developments

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.”

We are pleased to offer a route to achieving this important third-party certification"

With the work BAFE have 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.”

Third-party certification

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.”

The expanding portfolio of BAFE schemes represents the necessity of quality evidence of competency required for niche, but extremely important, areas of the industry. Third-party certification is going to be a key focus of attention for the built environment moving forward and BAFE need to position itself to offer schemes that are both needed and, reflect the current concerns of occupants, regulators, service providers and building owners/managers.”

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