Why is 3rd party accreditation so important for mist sprinklers?
It seems I am being asked on a regular basis the question of what certification or proof of competence our company or product has with reference to the installation of Mist Sprinklers.
There are two main areas of certification that a potential client should always be aware of.
- Third party Fire testing of the product they are looking to install.
- This certificate can only be produced and issued by a UKAS testing facility i.e., Warrington Fire or the FPA.
This ensures that the product has met the stringent testing criteria of BS:8458 and can be used by a suitably certified installer.
- Third party accreditation of the Installer.
- The installer should hold a UKAS accreditation to prove that they are competent, professional and hold all of the required certification and insurances (including Professional Indemnity) for the design, installation and maintenance of a Mist system.
If the installer cannot produce all of the above, they should not be considered for the project.
I am aware that there are a number of companies in the market that are producing certificates from the likes of the LABSS or the LABC in lieu of the above UKAS certificates.
Neither of these organisations have the testing facilities or require the auditing of the business or the product in the detail that FIRAS and the IFC require. If they installer cannot produce a UKAS third-party certificate this should certainly raise alarm bells.
In addition to the above, the client should be able to check on the competency of the installer by checking if they are members of credible trade associations.
However, it is important to understand which trade associations should be accepted. Many organisations simply require an annual fee and no checks are made on the competency of the business or the products used.
This is why the first port of call should be to BAFSA (The largest and most trusted sprinkler trade association in the UK), who require members to provide all of their credentials, 3rd party accreditation, ISO 9001 and insurance cover etc.
If the installer is not a member and does not have these credentials, why not?
All of the above shows that when choosing a product and installer it is a very simple process for the prospective client. Ask for two UKAS certificates!
If they hold different certification/accreditation that they claim “are the same as “simply walk away, it’s not worth the risk.
I will leave you with two examples of what I mean. Older readers will remember the TV advert for cars that started with the salesman slamming the door and saying to the customer “see, it sounds like a VW” …
And last but not least would you let a Gas Engineer who has a certificate that’s “similar” to a Gassafe certificate fit your boiler?
For more information please review NPHS accreditations.