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independently assessed to ensure that they can deliver that specific service competently. Specifying third party certification demonstrates that the end user has taken reasonably practicable steps in sourcing a competent provider to meet their obligations. Effective fire protection systems have been

available for a number of years, but what’s been missing is a recognised scheme covering their design, installation, commissioning, recharge and maintenance. Indeed, end users sometimes blame equipment suppliers for operational problems that occur, when the fault may lie instead with their maintenance provider. One practical example of this would be if suppression equipment nozzles are moved for practical working or convenience reasons – for example, to suit the kitchen chefs, or during cleaning procedures – and then not replaced properly. Using the SP206 scheme, each type of

system will be effectively restored to its original state and its optimal operational performance thereby maintained. Essentially, the kitchen fire protection system will be reset to its original parameters to ensure operational conformity, an analogy being a vehicle MOT. For end users, the scheme also provides reassurances akin to an insurance policy. Insurers do not approve of the use of insufficient or incorrect systems to protect kitchens against fire and they are equally concerned if an appropriate system has been specified but not installed or maintained properly. The SP206 scheme helps ensure that neither problem occurs, protecting not just the

kitchen itself but the whole building, including those working and living within it.

Competence criteria

Another important and innovative element of the scheme centres on uniformity of training, as part of service provider competence requirements. All those involved – equipment designers, system installers and maintenance providers – will have the same scope of training to ensure a similar level of competency. In practice, this will mean that technicians and engineers can make changes to fire protection systems which they know will not affect the equipment’s operational performance. SP206 certificated service providers will be expected to have undergone training by manufacturers in systems they wish to include on their scope of certification, with demonstrable evidence of their training to these manufacturers’ requirements and their authorisation. SP206 does not cover cleaning activities, but this important area is still detailed within the scheme document – certificated providers are required to remind end user customers of the need to maintain a clean environment. Additionally, on site surveillance assessments will be required at a minimum of 12 months, depending on risk, and at fewer intervals if it is judged appropriate to ensure an appropriate cleaning regime. Meanwhile, kitchen fire protection system installers must also appreciate the importance of linking the kitchen system



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