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National Security Inspectorate calls for third party certification in fire safety sector

28 July 2020

IN THIS year’s Parliamentary Review, the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) urges key policy decision-makers, legislators, politicians and senior business leaders to adopt third party certification in the fire sector and capitalise on learnings from the police-private sector alarms partnership.

Distributed to over 500,000 leading business executives, policy-makers and other relevant individuals, The Parliamentary Review (itself a non-partisan publication wholly independent of Parliament and Government) combines political commentary with sector-specific insight from Secretaries of State, Ministers and MPs. It has several editions, each of them focusing on an individual policy area with the strategic aim of raising standards by highlighting Best Practice.

Every year, the publication brings together leaders and policy-makers from across business, industry, education and the public sector to share insight and help organisations confront the challenges of an ever-changing political and economic landscape. The publication highlights significant developments, opportunities and concerns for business leaders up and down the country.

Lord Pickles, co-chairman of The Parliamentary Review, has praised the 2020 publication as one of the most comprehensive yet. As Britain looks to the future, he commented: “It’s essential that politicians have a firm understanding of the challenges with which British organisations must contend.”

Robust approvals regime

Writing in the 2020 Fire and Security edition, NSI CEO Richard Jenkins (pictured, right) underlines the necessity of a robust approvals regime in keeping people safe, with third-party certification bodies such as the NSI playing a key part in making that happen. In the security sector, a compelling example of certification making a positive difference is its long-standing alignment with the police service in terms of monitored intruder alarms. Founded on agreed standards, third party certification has been delivering substantial benefits here for over 30 years and, indeed, continues to do so.

Jenkins observed: “The ‘police alarms URN model’, if adopted into fire safety and with particular regard to critical infrastructure, could have significant effect. A similar approach can and should be adopted by the Fire and Rescue Service, whereby even greater benefits could be achieved in terms of saving lives and property, reducing false alarms and lowering attendant costs.”

He continued: “Third party certification can help embed standard practices through the robust ongoing audit and inspection of service providers and their installations. The infrastructure is ready to deploy in terms of all fire safety disciplines. The world is safer as a result of partnership between the police service and the private sector based on a standardised approach underpinned by third party certification.”

Third party certification

Jenkins’ article clearly sets out why and how third party certification would achieve these significant gains within the fire safety sector as a whole, thereby acting on behalf of the general public, fire alarm and detection system users and the Fire and Rescue Services charged with responding to alarm-generated incidents, as well as the service providers specifying, designing, installing and maintaining these systems.

*View the NSI’s article in The Parliamentary Review here