Third Party Certification:
What does it mean for the customer?
If you are a purchaser of goods and services, you probably want to be confident that the product or service you’re purchasing is fit for purpose. If it should fail and there are no safety or financial consequences, you’re probably not going to worry too much.
You may have, or about to, invest a substantial amount of money into a fire protection system to protect your property or personnel. How can you be sure that the final installation is compliant with national standards? Will it work when called upon to do so, and meet the requirements of your insurers, the fire department and your own objectives for the system?
Third Party Certification is evidence that an installation adheres to certain standards. An independent expert, the third party, has assessed the installation and certified that it complies with those standards. Third Party Certification can cover the technical qualities of what is being provided, but it can also relate to environmental, ethical or other qualities. This allows purchasers to be confident that what they are purchasing is ‘fit for purpose’ or that the designer and installer is capable doing the job.
This white paper is concerned with the Third-Party Certification of fire safety installations, showing technical competency in areas such as the design, installation and commissioning of systems.
Why third-party inspections?
You may rely on the services of a consultant or building services company to provide you with a fire protection installation. He may sub contract the design, installation and commissioning to others.
Alternatively, you may employ a fire contractor to provide a design and supply solution.
Your installation will then be reliant on split responsibilities or be reliant on a single organisation performing all aspects of the project.
Who is going to protect your interests?
There are many aspects of a fire protection installation to consider:
- Assessment of the client and insurer's requirements
- Design of the system to a recognised standard
- The supply of correct and approved products
- Cables and conduit fit for purpose
- Correct grade of pipe and fittings to match the designed pressure ratings
- Correct configuration of the system
- Competent personnel to carry out the various tasks
- Correct testing and commissioning procedures being used
- Correct and accurate documentation being handed over
- Staff training
- Will the final installation actually detect and suppress the fire?
Who protects you, the end user or purchaser?
The third-party organisations are independent, act on behalf of the client, they have no interests in designers, consultants, contractors or suppliers.
Third party inspectorates are experts in their respective fields and qualified to perform the work they perform.
The current third-party inspection organisations are recognised by fire departments and insurers alike.
THE THIRD-PARTY INSPECTOR PROTECTS YOUR INTERESTS!!
What schemes are available?
ASIB - Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau was formed by the insurance industry in 1970 and has become the ruling authority for the sprinkler industry.
ASIB produced the sprinkler rules that are adopted country wide.
ASIB conduct in excess of 6000 system inspections annually and provide a listing of competent installers, designers and suppliers of fire sprinkler systems.
ASIB protects the client by ensuring correctly designed and installed systems are in place in your building.
FSIB - Fire System Inspection Bureau is a third-party inspection organisation providing certification for fire detection and gas suppression systems. Early warning of fire from the fire detection system is critical to ensure safe evacuation of people from your building. Gas suppression systems introduce gas and pipe work pressurised up to 300bar into your building and if badly, or incorrectly, installed can lead to devastating consequences.
FSIB provide an auditing service of these systems to certify and give the building owner peace of mind that his building is properly protected.
Installing fire protection - How can you be sure?
Installing a fire protection system into your building is a costly business, who do you put your trust into.
Consultants: Ensure you select a professional register engineer with ECSA or a consultancy whose speciality is fire protection.
Designers: The person who takes responsibility of your installation is the designer. Ensure he is an authorised designer with SAQCC Fire or is a qualified designer with ASIB.
Contractors: Specialist contractors are registered with ASIB for water sprinkler installations or the FDIA for fire detection or gas suppression installations.
Third party inspection: On completion of the project call on the independent inspection authority to certify your installation. FSIB or ASIB
Ensuring you use competent suppliers and installers is a practical necessity and can ensure your specific needs are met. Fire protection installations are getting more complex with the advance of building techniques and every system has to be specifically designed to fit your building. Getting it wrong or taking the "cheap option" can be very costly through fines, legal costs, loss of property, loss of business or your insurer refusing to pay your fire damage. By seeking out competent designers and contractors and utilising the third-party inspection bureau your risk is substantially reduced.
THIRD PARTY INSPECTION SERVICES ARE THERE TO PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS
Can you afford not to use this service?
011 608 1249
011 642 1703
072 580 7318