There is always a risk that a fire will break out. Because of this ever present risk it is important to protect life and property with an effective and reliable fire detection and alarm system.
As technology has developed, fire detection products and systems have become more sophisticated and complex. Thus the choice of a competent installer to ensure satisfactory installation and maintenance has become all the more important.
There are currently NO legal minimum qualification or training requirements for people who want to set up themselves up as ‘fire alarm designers’! That’s why it’s particularly important to ensure that the consultant or company you appoint is accredited by a professional body.
What is accreditation?
To ensure proven credibility the certification body offering accreditation needs to have been validated by UKAS – the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.
The above accreditations are your assurance that the person you’re trusting with peoples’ lives really is an expert and they will ensure the alarm design suits your premises and the activities employed. They will also make sure it meets the technical standards demanded by the British Standards Institution (the UK’s national body on standards) or suitable equivalent.
What is Third Party Certification?
There are clear advantages to using a company that has been independently audited and found to meet the required standards, though Third Party Certification (TPC) is a complex subject. Luckily it has been clearly explained by the Fire Industry Association in this link. (PDF here…)
A number of TPC schemes cover fire alarms.
Key Third Party Certifications are:
- Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB)’s Loss Prevention Standards (LPS) are now widely recognised and applied in fire and security sectors around the world. LPCB offers third-party certification confirming that products and services have met and will continue to meet these standards.
- LPS 1014 is a standard against which the LPCB assesses the ability of a company to design, install, commission and service fire detection and alarm systems. By specifying a firm which is certificated to LPS 1014, you can be confident that your fire detection and alarm system will be installed competently to the codes of practice that you specify (eg. BS5839: Part 1), and that they can provide the necessary maintenance service required to maintain a valid certificate.
- It is recommended that you only use a design and installation specialist who operates these schemes. This scheme recognises the importance of providing compliant fire detection and alarm systems and therefore assist in minimising false alarms.
Another quality hallmark is professional membership, check that they are a member of trade organisations.
Here are just a few examples of good organisations:
- British Security Industry Association (BSIA)
- Electrical Contractors Association (ECA)
- The Fire Industry Association (FIA)
- Fire Protection Association (FPA)
For the best results we recommend sourcing a local service provider.
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