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E&OE. (c) CODRUS 2019


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CODRUS is a member of the Fire Protection Association, and the UK Fire Association. Our engineers are all CRB vetted and we have a Safeguarding Policy.

Proof of Competence (Fire Alarms)

Obviously, you wouldn't let someone work on your fire alarm unless they knew what they were doing. The new Fire Regulations (see New Fire Regs) require you to ensure that only a "Competent Person" works on your fire alarm. What exactly is a "Competent Person" and how do you ensure that someone who says they meet this requirement actually does?.

Remember, the new law expects you to prove that you checked (due diligence) that your contractor is good enough (i.e. saying that they told you they've been doing it for years, isn't enough). This means you want to see a copy of their certificates so if you are challenged, you have documentary evidence that you chose a Competent Person.

A Competent Person to service a fire alarm is said to be an individual or organisation that has sufficient training and experience (specifically in BS5839 and servicing fire alarms), and (importantly) has been certified by a third party (of sufficient standing) that this is the case.

You should therefore only permit someone who can provide you with the appropriate third party certificates, specifically in fire alarm servicing.

So what should you be looking for?.

In practise, there are currently three common ways to indicate competence:

(a) That a company has it's very own British Standard Kitemark for fire alarms, or....

(b) That a company has achieved sp203 approval, or.....

(c) That a company only employs experienced engineers who have passed FIA Exam Units 1&5, or the replacement "Advanced Maintainer" certificate.

All CODRUS service engineers are have passed the FIA Exam Units 1&5 and any CODRUS design engineer must also have passed FIA exam units 2&3. All CODRUS fire alarm engineers must take part in annual retraining from system manufacturers, to ensure their knowledge is up to date.

If your chosen service company does not have any of the above, we strongly recommend you do not let them work on your fire alarm until they can show you their certificate. Remember, as "Responsible Person" you are personally liable in the event of a problem and you want to make sure your paperwork can't be criticised.

Proof of Competence (Extinguishers and Emergency Lighting)

Like fire alarm servicing, you must ensure the contractor you allow to service your fire extinguishers and emergency lights is competent to do so.

For extinguishers, BS5306 requires an engineer to undertake at least four days training followed by an examination by an appropriate assessor. Refresher training and examination must be passed every three years.

For emergency lighting, you are looking for a specific certificate (rather than a general electrical qualification). A qualification such as the M1B Emergency Lighting Certificate, by the FPA & FSA, which is undertaken at the Fire Service College is a good indicator.