We had a call from a customer saying that there was a desperate need for a Fire Risk Assessment to be carried out on a school in her portfolio. The reason for the desperation was the Fire Doors had been marked as in need of urgent replacement, all 18 of them at a cost of a £1000 each. She wanted a second opinion from an impartial expert that had no reason to over prescribe her need. Our assessor visited and we published the report within 5 days. She rang immediately concerned that we hadn’t brought the issues she had been told that were there into the assessment, worse than that we hadn’t even marked them on the accompanying plan as Fire Doors, she was very disappointed. We got the assessor on a call, and he explained, “as part of a life safety FRA, they are not required to be Fire Doors, in the whole building there is only a requirement for the two doors I have marked to be Fire Doors”. The entire building was oversubscribed. When we asked her who had recommended, she replace all the doors, “our Fire Door Company”, hardly an impartial assessment and an easy way to spend £18,000 of an already stretched budget.
The question really is, how many buildings and how many portfolios are being subjected to this form of exploitation, the answer is probably nearly all of them. So, what is driving the public sector to waste millions on oversubscription, maintaining and replacing equipment that they don’t even need.
An easy answer to that question is “FEAR” but that doesn’t tell the whole story. It seems the entire industry is built upon maximising the opportunity through ramping up that fear. It is sad that we see the evidence of that every day where our customers either contact us for help or have acted quickly to rectify a non-existent problem that was fabricated to line another’s pockets.
It’s that FUD that perpetuates the cycle – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
I was always told “be careful who’s advice you listen to and what makes them qualified to give that advice” the same in life goes for Fire Safety. Your Fire Door Company has a vested interest in getting you to have as many fire doors as possible and encourage you to maintain them. The same as your FFE supplier. It is the reason they exist.
How do we solve this problem? Impartiality.
If the people carrying out your Fire Risk Assessments has no reason to recommend supplementary services that line their pockets you can guarantee you will get advice you need. It’s one of the core compliance requirements you need and low hanging fruit for someone using it as a loss leader to open the door to greater riches.
We have seen Fire Door Companies and Alarm Companies and FFE Companies offering FRA’s for free or for incredibly low prices, simply to recommend a far greater spend.
Look at the example outlined above. It wouldn’t surprise you to learn that the Fire Door Company offered to complete a full FRA of a medium sized, complex secondary school for £100 to recommend a spend on Fire Doors of £18K.
We want to help stamp out this practice here at Riskmonitor. With our Assessment Plus (A+) product we can provide a full FRA to include a CAD Plan that shows what is a life safety Fire Door and what FFE is needed and what isn’t. We then follow up with a Fire Door Inspection on the only Fire Doors you need for Life Safety. You have all the information to hand in one report completed by impartial experts. No up sell, just advice that is good for you and not good for someone else.
To get in touch with one of the team to find out more, click here.