Current Industry Issues
With the continued rise in the number of fire related incidents in high-rise and commercial construction across the UK, understanding the role that both passive and active fire protection should play in every new build and retro-fit has never been so important.
Not all contractors have the right knowledge and skillset to install passive fire protection products. Even if you have correctly specified the product, a poor installation will, at best, give limited results. At worst, it risks lives and a greater level of damage to the building.
There are various accreditation schemes in place for those seeking to install, but these schemes remain voluntary and their costs for inclusion are high. Due to this, it could be said that unqualified and unaccredited contractors today are installing passive fire protection products. Why? This can be for a number of reasons including the high costs of accreditation, lack of enforcement for voluntary schemes or an inability of the contractor to meet acceptance criteria.
Aside from this, the facts of the matter are a little simpler, a non-accredited contractor will endeavour to accept jobs with fire protection elements for fear of losing the whole contract, after all this is just business. For them they have no idea how much fire protection work they may come across from job to job, so to pay the high costs of accreditation for one or two smaller jobs isn’t cost effective.
On the other hand, many of the major construction clients are not willing to pay a representative amount for the works to be completed to a high standard. The value of the correct installation of passive fire products cannot be measured, but in a competitive market, prices are driven down which in turn devalues the importance.
The FireStop Contractor scheme is a cost effective way to demonstrate competence and receive a high level of technical support for the installation of passive fire protection products.