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BRE Trained Fire Door Inspectors at Checkmate FireAlan Oliver, Pat Murphy, Dave Woffendin and Lee Richardson have recently successfully completed the BRE and DHF Fire Door Education Programme and are now fully qualified Fire Door Inspectors.

FDIS Logo - Fire Door Inspection SchemeClive Reilly, compliance manager at Checkmate Fire has become the first person to meet the stringent requirements of the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) and become a Certificated Inspector.

To achieve his new status Clive initially passed the Diploma in Fire Doors. He then completed the online Transition Module, which provides in-depth information on a range of topics and helped to prepare him to undergo an independent assessment to determine whether his knowledge and expertise was sufficient to enable him to provide a professional service to his clients and be entitled to use the designation CertFDI.

Phil Sargent, at independent assessors Exova Warringtonfire undertook Clive’s assessment which took place at a Yorkshire health centre. He comments:

“I observed Clive checking fire door doorsets and grilled him thoroughly with more than 130 questions about what he was doing and why. He proved to have excellent, practical knowledge and answered over 97% of my questions correctly.”

Whilst Clive is pleased to have proved his competence, he expects this qualification to result in more business for Checkmate.

He says: “Fire doors are an increasingly important part of our business and there’s a distinct lack of knowledge and expertise out there. I anticipate that building owners and other responsible people will increasingly demand that recognised qualifications are a pre-requisite for commissioning people to help them with their RRO responsibilities and that the FDIS Certificated Inspector will become the de facto standard in this area.”

For further information:

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Nahfo logoCheckmate are pleased to be supporting the Annual NAHFO Conference for the third year running. For further details please visit the NAHFO (National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers) website or download the PDF below.


NAHFO 2012 Conference - (PDF) >

Achievement of First FDIS Diploma Improves Service to ClientsCheckmate Fire Compliance Manager Clive Reilly, seen being presented with his diploma by Gary Amer, Chief Executive of the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers, is the first industry professional to have successfully passed the FDIS Diploma in Fire Doors.

The Diploma is a key part of the recently launched scheme that aims to transform knowledge and understanding about the critical role of fire doors and is believed to be the first of its kind in Europe.

Says Clive:
“Since Checkmate introduced a service for the maintenance and management of fire doors we have been keen to have a qualification that proved our competence in this area. Taking the FDIS Diploma confirmed we knew a lot and also enabled us to rectify gaps in our knowledge, broadening our expertise, which will benefit our clients.”

08 July 2011

An external fire risk assessor and a hotel manager have both been jailed for eight months for fire safety offences.

David Liu, who runs The Dial Hotel and Market Inn, both in Mansfield, had previously pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, while John O’Rourke of Mansfield Fire Protection Services pleaded guilty to two offences under the legislation.

Sentencing the two defendants last Friday (8 July) at Nottingham Crown Court, the judge said that the time had come to send out a message to those who conduct fire risk assessments, and to hoteliers who are prepared to put profit before safety.

Officers from Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service visited both hotels as part of a routine inspection. They found that both premises were being used to provide sleeping accommodation on the upper floors and that fire precautions, which should have been provided to safeguard the occupants in the event of a fire, were inadequate.

Due to the serious risk to life, they issued prohibition notices preventing any further use of both premises for sleeping accommodation until suitable improvements had been made.

Mr O’Rourke was prosecuted because he had prepared fire risk assessments for both premises. However the fire risk assessments failed to identify a number of significant deficiencies, said the prosecution, which would have placed the occupants at serious risk in the event of a fire.

The offences common to both hotels to which Mr Liu, as the responsible person, pleaded guilty were:

  • A lack of a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment
  • A failure to ensure effective means of escape with doors leading onto corridors not being fire resisting or having self-closers fitted
  • A failure to ensure that emergency routes and exits were provided with emergency lighting
  • A failure to ensure the premises were equipped with appropriate firefighting equipment, detectors and alarms in that there was no fire detection within the bedrooms
  • A failure to ensure that equipment and devices provided were subject to a suitable system of maintenance in that the fire alarm system, emergency lighting system and firefighting equipment were not tested.

In addition at the Dial Hotel, officers found both staircases from upper levels terminating in the same ground floor area with no alternative escape routes or separation, a locked fire exit door, and exit routes obstructed by combustible materials.

The other offence at the Market Inn related to a missing fire door and a window not being fire resisting.

Mr Liu was also ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

John O’Rourke, as a person other than the responsible person who had some control of the premises, pleaded guilty to two counts (one for each hotel) of failing to provide a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment. He was ordered to pay costs of £5,860.

Article courtesy of

Steve Wiggins - University of Bradford Fire Safety Officer receives the prize of a bottle of Champagne from Clive Reilly of Checkmate FireSteve Wiggins - University of Bradford Fire Safety Officer receives the prize of a bottle of Champagne from Clive Reilly of Checkmate Fire.

Steve was one of a number of delegates who took the “Checkmate Challenge” at a recent meeting of University Fire Officers. The challenge involved systematically inspecting a sample fire door with a view to identifying the numerous defects built into the door by Checkmate. In Steve’s opinion, “Fire doors are the single most effective form of passive fire protection within a building and it is essential that they are both well fitted and adequately maintained”.

Steve also commented that "The “Checkmate Challenge” clearly demonstrates the complexities involved in carrying out the inspection of fire doors”. Along with a number of delegates, Steve felt that "FiredoorCheck was a valuable tool in ensuring that an organisation has a clear picture as to the condition of their fire doors and can develop a schedule of planned maintenance to ensure that they function effectively”.

Lewisham Council must improve safety at one of its tower blocks after the London Fire Brigade served it with an enforcement notice following a fatal fire.

Kunaliny Alagaratnam, 42, who lived in the block Marine Tower in Abinger Grove, Deptford, and Santhirapathy Tharmalingam, 59, visiting from Sri Lanka, both died in the fire at the beginning of last month..

The fire brigade served the notice on the arm’s-length management organisation Lewisham Homes, which manages the homes for the council, on 15 February after discovering the building did not comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

It found the fire risk assessment of the 16-floor block had not been reviewed, there was inadequate protection to the emergency route and inadequate maintenance of fire doors.

The 21 day deadline period for appeal has ended and Lewisham Council must now make the changes.

A spokesperson for the fire brigade said: ‘An audit of the building was carried out after a fire in a top floor flat on 4 February. The cause of the fire is under investigation by fire officers and police.’

Sandra Clarke, 49, of Marine Tower, Abinger Grove, was charged on 6 February with manslaughter, arson with intent to endanger life and arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered and is currently awaiting trial at crown court.

A Lewisham Homes spokesperson said: ‘We are in receipt of the enforcement notice issued by the London Fire Brigade, following the fire at Marine Tower in February. We are implementing all the required actions and will fully comply with the notice by the set deadline.’

The ALMO has until 15 August this year to comply with the order.

Article courtesy of Inside Housing Magazine - Visit website

A residential landlord has been found guilty of fire safety breaches, following a fire where his tenants were forced to flee for their lives.

Joseph Ernest Draper, then owner of 9 Hillsborough Terrace, in Ilfracombe, Devon, pleaded guilty to four offences under the Fire Safety Order 2005.

Appearing at Exeter Crown Court on 29 March, Mr Draper was ordered to pay a total of £135,000 in fines and £23,000 in costs.

It follows a fire at the four-storey building on 14 February 2008. The building had been subdivided into flats. The fire, which started on the ground floor, spread throughout the property and forced some of the 13 tenants to make their escape by clambering over the roof.

After the fire Devon and Somerset fire investigators carried out a safety audit of the premises.

They found that the door giving entrance to the ground floor flat was inappropriately constructed to resist fire, which would enable a fire in the flat to spread into the escape route. The offence carried a fine of £75,000.

The three other offences cost £20,000 each, for three doors that had no self closing device fitted. This would also have impacted on fire spread to the means of escape.

Devon and Somerset area manager Nick Manning, said: “Landlords and owners of properties used as flats should take notice of the outcome of this case - it has sent a clear message with the level of the fine awarded."

Article courtesy of Info4fire website - Visit website

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