The UK Fire Association has over 75 members that provide fire protection services who work to an agreed Code of Practice to ensure that their customers get a high standard of service and that should things go wrong there is a process to get fair resolution.
As we see it, a member’s job is ultimately about helping you to ensure compliance with your insurance company and with fire regulations. You should be able to rely on them to remind you when work is becoming due and with your permission to then get on with it causing you and your organisation minimum disruption.
Our members have to be adequately trained, refreshed and insured; some have already gained construction industry accreditations like SafeContractor, Chas, CSCS, and Constructionline. They work with all sizes of organisations involved in most aspects of construction; demolition, scaffolding, steel fabricators, utilities contractors, along with decorating, plumbing, electrical, IT and HVAC contractors.
Most of our members specialise in servicing fire extinguishers, many also service fire alarms, several specialise with dry/wet riser and sprinklers installation/servicing, and a few undertake fire risk assessments, fire plans and fire training. All are passionate about doing a great job at a reasonable price and with most, you are going to be looked after by a single point of contact, who gets to know you and your organisation’s particular requirements. A good example is Alan Brinton’s company, Safety First Fire Protection, services fire equipment country wide for several well known national builders and through working closely with them has developed a low cost wireless portable fire alarm and extinguisher fire point system designed to withstand the rigours of large construction sites. For finished buildings Ken Towner at Firecad produce high visibility fire plans that clearly identify designated fire escape routes, fire equipment locations and utility isolation points.
Ian Emmonds Company Firecrest UK Ltd does over £300,000 worth of business every year with Balfour Beatty alone. This includes the supply of fire extinguishers, fire alarms, emergency lighting, PAT testing, fire training, fire risk assessments and signage. Tony Steward, Balfour Beatty’s Depot Managersaid; “As a Manager responsible for over £1M worth of assets and 13 different sites I needed a company that was reactive, proactive, reliable, approachable and knowledgeable. FIRECREST UK LTD rectified over 90% of the problems that my managers identified within 24 hours or were planned and completed within 48hrs.”
Large contractors often have problems with managing vast extinguisher stocks. Just throwing them into a container and closing the door is not ideal and potentially dangerous!
A UK Fire Association member has recently worked with the client to put in place a simple to run system where an employee was nominated at each building site to inspect fire equipment every day to see that it is still correctly placed, identified, unobstructed and free from damage. At each of the regional yards another person was appointed to be responsible for managing a reformed system for inspection and allocation of extinguishers based around a central store of extinguishers.
The store is divided into four separate easy to manage sections;
- New stock – already commissioned ready for use.
- Used stock – serviced and ready to be reallocated.
- Returned stock to be assessed/serviced/scrapped by the extinguisher technician.
- Scrap – deliberately ‘spiked’ by the technician to prevent it’s re-use.
The members service technician visits site three times a year to ensure that the client always has sufficient stock of safe, working extinguishers. By working together to implement this system the UK Fire Association member ensured that the client complies with fire regulations and has reduced their costs.
What would be the repercussions to your organisation if one of your company employees causes a fire and cannot extinguish it because the extinguisher didn’t work? It is alleged that contractors are the second biggest cause of fires – second only to arson! There have been many high profile fires caused this way and it certainly won’t help your business reputation or future insurance premiums!