How to choose a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner
Fire safety is never a one-size solution. Every commercial building (and home) is different from the last, which means a fire safety program should be site-specific. But beyond that, the competent fire safety practitioner you partner with should take a genuine interest in the safety of your people and property.
Here are 3 questions to ask fire safety practitioners before making a final choice.
· What fire safety services do you provide?
Fill your shortlist with companies who offer comprehensive services and ongoing support tailored to your requirements.
- Fire suppression system design
- Alert system installation
- Fire safety equipment installation
- Ongoing maintenance
- Staff training
- Emergency procedures
- Evacuation diagrams
- Emergency lighting
- Fire doors
- Annual Fire Safety Statements
- Testing and tagging
- Fire hydrants
- Fire safety project management
The best competent fire safety practitioners have these capabilities in-house and don’t contract out the work.They are licenced, experienced, and accredited to provide end-to-end fire safety services.
Do “competent fire safety practitioner” and “accredited practitioner” mean the same thing?
In short, yes. Since 1 July 2020, legislative changes in NSW updated the requirements for accredited fire safety practitioners, previously known as competent fire safety practitioners (CFSPs).
· What is the company’s experience?
Building codes, Australian Standards and best practice methods evolve over time. Find out how long the company has been in businesshow long the individuals in charge have been in the industry.
As you walk the fire safety practitioner through your premises, ask about their experience with similar buildings. This can help identify risks you might not expect.
Search online and ask for client testimonials. What are current and previous clients saying about the performance standards and customer service? Are the testimonials recent or from years ago?
Associations with representative bodies are a good sign in the fire protection industry. Fire Safe ANZ is a longstanding member of all Australian and New Zealand peak bodies:
- Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA) gold member
- National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA)
- Fire Protection Association of New Zealand (FPANZ) bronze member
How do you maintain best practice?
Fire protection system costs vary widely depending on the building size, site-specific requirements, ongoing maintenance – the list goes on. We encourage you to shop around and compare quotes, to find a competent fire safety practitioner whose pricing structure is:
Ask about unscheduled charges for things like out-of-hours visits, replacement parts, customer service and equipment rental.
Fire safety includes a hefty compliance component. Your competent fire safety practitioner must keep a thorough, regularly updated record of equipment and inspections:
- Equipment inventory
- Failed or damaged equipment register
- Compliance certificates
- Logbooks and test reports
- Annual Fire Safety Statements
Find out what system they use, and deep-dive into record keeping to ensure the company is organised.
From the first interaction, you will get a sense of the company’s professionalism. But behind the people you meet is a whole team of Account Managers and office staff. Enquire into how their office works:
- Will you have a dedicated Account Manager?
- Can you access your own records 24/7 online?
- Who is responsible for reminding you of scheduled inspections?
- Is the process flexible and tailored?
Choosing a competent fire safety practitioner in Australia and New Zealand
Hopefully now you have more confidence going into discussions with fire safety practitioners. If Fire Safe ANZ isn’t on your shortlist already, then get in touch to find out why our comprehensive, tailored approach to fire safety should launch us to the top.