Hotels and Fire Safety

If you are in the hotel sector, you will be acutely aware of the challenges of managing all the elements of fire safety in often complex buildings, where people are sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings – but how sure are you that your fire doors are compliant and that you, your staff and your guests are safe?

Although they are classified as ‘passive’ fire safety equipment, fire doors probably need more attention and maintenance than any of the ‘active’ elements (fire alarms, sprinklers and extinguishers) because they are in continual use. Most places now have regular fire risk assessments and their fire alarms, sprinklers and extinguishers are annually serviced – but when was the last detailed survey of their fire doors by an accredited inspector carried out?

We know that many hotels have a maintenance team, but our experience – and the evidence of surveys carried out in the last 2/3 years – tells us that, despite these measures, most hotel fire doors do not comply with the regulations. Over 75% failed compliance checks due to insufficient maintenance, damage and inappropriate repairs – indicating a widespread lack of understanding of the regulatory standards that apply to fire doors and the problems that commonly arise with them.

The scrutiny of fire doors and their upkeep is becoming more intense and the demand to have them inspected and maintained by qualified inspectors & fitters – who properly fit the regulatory definition of ‘competent person’ – is growing. Indeed, when the expected regulatory changes are enacted certification and accreditation will be mandatory.

So what defines a ‘competent person’ and how can you prove that you – the ‘responsible person’ – have appointed one?

Although the legislation that defines these roles is different either side of the Scotland/England border, the definitions boil down to the same thing.

The Responsible Person (RP) is an employer, building owner/operator or anyone with control, to any extent, over a relevant building. They have a duty to take general fire safety precautions.

Specifically, they MUST:

· Implement a suitable maintenance regime to ensure relevant equipment is kept in an efficient state

· Appoint one or more competent persons to assist in undertaking preventive and protective measures

And there’s a definition of competence too –

· Someone with sufficient training and experience, qualifications and knowledge to be able to implement fire safety measures (some or all) in a building

So how do you demonstrate that you have appointed a ‘competent’ person?

The best and most widely accepted method is to appoint someone with independent, third party accreditation for the tasks in hand. Why?

· Because it provides an additional level of assurance of both the level and consistency of performance.

· It is an independent, technical process that evaluates & approves systems, activities or products (and in some cases, individuals).

· Its focus is on fitness for purpose. The certificate demonstrates that the relevant requirements set out in the criteria are met – not just once, but consistently

This means that, not only will your fire doors actually be properly maintained, but it is a clear demonstration that you have taken all reasonable steps to ensure you have complied with the law.

So how can Worksmart Fire Door Inspection help you meet those challenges?

• We provide a range of services from independent fire door inspections to complete turn-key maintenance contracts – freeing up your time and energy and guaranteeing that you are being duly diligent.

• Worksmart is affiliated to and certificated by two UKAS accredited bodies – the FDIS (Fire Door Inspection Scheme) and the BM Trada Q Mark Fire Door Maintenance & Installation Schemes – so you can be sure you have entrusted this safety critical work to properly competent people as defined by law.

• All our surveyors and tradespeople are specially trained in the specific requirements for these disciplines and we adhere to strict procedures, including spot checks and verification of methods and materials at key points of every project. We are also regularly audited to ensure our processes and work comply with the requirements of these schemes, but also, and most importantly, comply with the regulations and standards.

Worksmart have developed these services to provide peace of mind to people like you – with responsibility for fire safety – allowing you to focus on driving your business safe in the knowledge that you have done everything you can to ensure the safety of your staff and guests.