Clearview South Feb 2013 - Issue 135 - Page 18

DOORS&WINDOWS FILLING THE GAPS ON FIRE SAFETY NEIL ASHDOWN is General Manager of the Fire Door Inspection Scheme. Here he provides more guidance on a major new initiative to enable door industry professionals in the UK to support property owners and responsible persons under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and equivalent legislation. The launch of the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) certification scheme for fire door inspectors makes essential information much more accessible. While there is a great deal of expertise in the UK concerning fire doors and their critical role in saving lives and protecting property, up to now there has been no formal recognition of this professionalism. This has made it difficult for those with obligations under the RRO to choose the most appropriate people to help them. And, worryingly, has left a gap in which less than competent professionals can tout their wares unchecked. There is too much unclear advice and inconsistent rulings on the RRO which can lead some building owners to believe they do not need to worry about the state of their fire doors if sprinklers or other measures are in place. We also have an ever-growing dossier of cases where fire doors are no longer compliant, have been badly damaged or simply never given any attention since they were first installed. This is why FDIS certificated fire door inspectors are so urgently needed. So the launch of the certification route for inspectors is probably the most exciting feature of the innovative scheme I was asked to manage last autumn. FDIS, which is Europe’s first fire door inspection scheme, now provides a systematic progression for fire door and safety professionals to launch their new career and service offering. Each candidate can now receive comprehensive online education, invigilated testing and independent assessment by Exova Warringtonfire. As people become qualified FDIS inspectors, their details will be added to a web-based searchable database to help anyone with legal responsibilities for fire safety to find a qualified person to ensure the safe functioning of all their fire doors. This will be followed by the introduction of a database of all FDIS inspector-led fire door installation inspections in the UK. In time this will become the most comprehensive and accurate source of information available to building owners, fire professionals, risk assessors and others. The opportunity to become a FDIS certificated fire door inspector is available to anyone who has passed the FDIS diploma and completed an online ‘transition module’. The module covers a range of topics to provide candidates with the knowledge and expertise they need to undertake their assessment and ultimately provide a professional service to their clients. It includes guidance on contracting with clients to establish appropriate obligations on both sides, on meeting legal and clients’ requirements to gain access to sites, and working with clients to agree what is required to undertake professional inspections. It also deals with all the necessary inspection and data recording processes and the FDIS Code of Conduct which sets out the principles of good practice. Each would-be inspector then submits their practical inspection skills to the scrutiny of independent assessors at Exova Warringtonfire. The assessment ensures that the candidate’s knowledge they gained from undergoing the diploma is being fully applied, that the candidate demonstrates an understanding of the importance of carrying out accurate inspections as well as providing clients with high quality feedback and professional reports. The unique FDIS system provides everything a person needs to establish themselves and to operate as an inspector, including access to the powerful FDIS database that will record and report on all aspects of inspection, template inspection reports and contracts, door labels, sales leads and advice, and discounted insurance deals. It’s a complete and compliant solution for fire door professionals and their clients. I am hugely proud of what the door industry is doing to demonstrate its skills, knowledge and professionalism. FDIS is a joint initiative developed by the BWF-CERTIFIRE Fire Door and Doorset Scheme and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers. In the first 10 months since it launched, we have created an online training programme, a diploma and now this certification scheme for fire door inspectors. More than 200 people have already signed up to be part of the scheme, and vRv&Rfv&W6ǒ&FrFR6W'f6W2bdD27V7F'2F'VFrvW'2f6ƗFW2vW'2BFW"W7FFW2vW'2F&VvWB#26Frf&RvF&W&ǒ6W'Ff6FVBf&RF'2BF'6WG22'6WFVǒW76VF'Bbf&R6fWGFW&R&R6'G2bVRWBFW&R6֖rF&RWW'G2'WB&VvVFvRbf&RF'227&VF&ǒ&Bf"6ƖVBF76W72v&6R6W6RVRF&VFvW"F266VR&fFW2&V6fFV6RFFR6ƖVB'67'WF6rFRvVFvRB&ƗFW2bf&RF"7V7F"wwrfF26VdT"#0F&VB&Rf6Bwwr6V'fWrV6Р