BAFE SP207 Scheme: For the Design, Installation, Commissioning & Maintenance of Evacuation Alert Systems
22nd January 2021
British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the independent register of quality fire safety service providers has announced their latest Scheme, BAFE SP207.
The new BAFE Scheme approves best practice as documented within BSI, BS 8629 (Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in buildings containing flats) which was published in November 2019.
Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government published their outcome to the consultation on sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks in May 2020. Within this document an overwhelming 92% of respondents agreed that Approved Document B should include a requirement for an emergency evacuation system, which could support fire and rescue services operational response by alerting residents if they need to escape. The document added that “Several respondents noted that an evacuation alert system being in place would provide both clarity and reassurance to residents.”
Evacuation Alert Systems enable Fire & Rescue Services to prioritise evacuation from residential high rise buildings to people at risk e.g. particular floors, or parts of a floor in a building, can be safely evacuated. They provide an extra degree of assurance should evacuation be necessary and ensure the signal to leave can be effectively communicated to all within the building. They do not replace fire detection and alarm systems, but are an additional layer of safety designed to support evacuation of those at risk.
Evacuation Alert Systems installed by Boden Group an approved installer in line with the recognised industry standard - BAFE SP207 - are certificated with a NSI/BAFE ‘Certificate of Compliance’ for newly installed and serviced evacuation and alert systems. Scheduled service and maintenance visits are usually every six months.
This 'Certificate of Compliance' is evidence for enforcing authorities and insurers that systems are adequately installed, fit for purpose and properly maintained, such that if needed in earnest by the Fire & Rescue Service they can be relied on to function correctly.