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BAFE, the independent register of quality fire safety service providers, announce their latest Scheme currently in the final stages of development. BAFE SP207 covers the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation alert systems. These systems are used by fire and rescue services in buildings containing flats (including single-storey flats and maisonettes) across the UK. The scheme has been developed with the support and cooperation of a number of industry stakeholders.
The new BAFE Scheme observes best practice and the recent standard developed by BSI, BS 8629 (Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in buildings containing flats), published in November 2019.
BAFE today (03/08/2020) have made the BAFE SP207 Evacuation Alert Systems Scheme Document available to view and launch a four week consultation period requesting comment from the fire safety industry, Fire and Rescue Services and the wider safety industry for comment.
To download the BAFE SP207 Scheme Document and for information on how to comment:
BSI comment the BS 8629 Standard “exists to help ensure that systems are fit for purpose and to encourage uniformity. If systems look and function the same way in every building firefighters won’t waste any time understanding how they work.”
In May 2020 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published a document: Government Response: Sprinklers and Other Fire Safety Measures in New High-Rise Blocks of Flats. In this it revealed that 92% of respondents believe that Approved Document B “should include a requirement for an emergency evacuation [alert] system, which could support fire and rescue services operational response by alerting residents if they need to escape.”
Government responded that “there was also strong support in the consultation responses for the inclusion of guidance on an evacuation alert system for high-rise blocks of flats, although many respondents also raised concerns about the use of this new technology.” It was always part of BAFE’s judgement to develop a Scheme to support the industry with a robust method of providing evidence of competency to work with these systems. BAFE strongly believes these systems in more buildings, when implemented correctly, will aid Fire and Rescue Services across the UK in saving lives.
The BAFE SP207 Evacuation Alert Systems Scheme consultation runs from 03/08/2020 to 31/08/2020 (closing at 11:45pm). Upon official publication, Third Party Certification for this Scheme will be available via NSI. Please contact NSI directly to register your interest via [email protected]
Update 10/08/2020: To clarify, the BAFE SP207 Scheme (For the Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance of Evacuation Alert Systems) is open to all UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies to become licensed to deliver this (please contact the BAFE Office for further information). Any Certification Bodies who become licensed to deliver BAFE SP207 Scheme assessment will be published to register interest.
BAFE advise all interested Certification Bodies to review the draft document available and provide comment to express their views regarding the criteria of the developed scheme. An extension to the consultation period can be permitted via Chris Auger, Head of Schemes, on request.