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Kitchen fire protection approval scheme

Fire safety installers will soon have authority to issue clients with NSI-BAFE certificates of compliance, much like an ‘MoT’ to show kitchen fire protection systems are fit for purpose, jointly from the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and fire sector company register BAFE.

Commercial kitchens can be hazardous. Fire industry and insurance data reported by BAFE – the UK’s independent register of quality fire safety service providers – suggests food and drink-related fires are statistically the third most likely cause of large fires, with restaurant and café fires specifically accounting for 42pc of fires within this sector. Insurers are particularly concerned about fire in commercial kitchens as the risk to life can be significant and consequential losses substantial. Unextinguished fire can be devastating for business continuity, building integrity and peoples’ lives. BAFE’s response is the Kitchen Fire Protection Systems Scheme (SP206).

The scheme will provide end users responsible for kitchen fire safety with assurance in the effectiveness of fire protection systems. Certificates of compliance will be issued at the time of system maintenance as well as at initial installation by NSI-approved installers. Certificates will be documentation available to insurers and authorities as evidence of systems’ compliance and users’ obligations under national fire safety legislation.

Approved Installers will be required to show competency in the design, installation, commissioning, recharging and maintenance of their systems in regular NSI audits, besides being authorised by equipment manufacturers. The first NSI approvals for the scheme are expected in the first quarter of 2019.

Richard Jenkins, NSI Chief Executive says: “We are delighted to be able to offer professional installers of kitchen fire protection systems independent verification of competency. NSI Approved Installers will now be authorised to issue clients with Certificates of Compliance much like an ‘MOT’ to show installations are fit for purpose on an ongoing basis and are evidenced to be maintaining standards through regular independent audit.

“We at NSI are committed to such a forward thinking initiative which has the undoubted ability to significantly reduce risk and raise standards of fire safety in commercial catering.”

And Stephen Adams, BAFE Chief Executive said: “Third party certification for kitchen fire suppression/extinguishing works is long overdue and we welcome independent assessment of competency for this skilled service by NSI. BAFE SP206 has taken almost two years to develop, working diligently to ensure it sets a high level of quality and competency for installers.”

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