The need for Third Party Accreditation in the Fire Protection Industry is now more important than ever.
Recent controversies in the health care sector continue to cast serious doubt on the accreditation and certification employed in this area and will inevitably lead to ever increasing scrutiny of the methods used to certify every aspect of the operation of health care facilities.
In an area where we all assume strict controls are in place not only on the recruitment and training of staff but also on the standards applied to the upkeep and safety of the buildings how sure can we be that our faith in the certification process is justified?
With over thirty years continuous involvement in the servicing and installation of fire alarm systems we regularly carry out audits on fire alarm systems which have been certified to comply with all aspects of IS3218 for an L1 system. We almost always encounter situations where certificates have been issued which do not reflect the reality on the ground. Detector coverage rarely complies fully with the requirements of the standard, sound levels which are totally inadequate are common. Detectors which were supposedly commissioned have been found with the installation covers still in place. We have encountered systems where large portions of the wiring was never in fact terminated.
Cables supported by non fireproof methods are very common as is totally illogical and non compliant zoning. On addressable systems the location descriptions sometimes bear no relationship to the actual locations. The standard of quarterly servicing is very variable and can be absolutely abysmal.
The level of third party accreditation is currently very low and huge numbers of people continue to install and service fire alarm systems without even a basic knowledge of the standard which must be met. Architects and Engineers continue to accept commissioning certificates which are issued by people with no formal qualifications whatsoever and worse still do not enquire on what basis the issuer feels they are justified in issuing the certificate.
The standards applied by different fire authorities in different parts of the country are very variable. Some authorities insist on very high levels of certification even requesting the calibration certificates for the sound level meters used in measuring compliance with the sound level requirements of the standard whilst others apply a more relaxed and trusting approach.
Comsec Protection Systems has traded for more than thirty years in the Fire Alarm Industry.
We were the first company in Ireland to obtain NSAI third party accreditation for the installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire alarm systems. Our managing director holds a Masters in Fire Engineering and supervises the ongoing training of our service and commissioning technicians to ensure they are fully up to date not only on the technical aspects of our business but also on the requirements of the standards.
We service fire alarm systems in industry, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes and residential complex’s.
If you are in any doubt about the current state of a fire alarm system which you are responsible for give us a call or send us an email. We would be delighted to hear from you.