A flexible partner – day and night
“Fire Safety Services understood from day one that we needed a supplier who was reliable yet agile and responsive to the way we operate. They have surpassed our expectations and continue to provide the highest level of customer service.
“We have one main contact for all our needs, who is always on the end of the phone when we need him. This arrangement streamlines our admin and eliminates the potential for confusion. What’s more, their technicians are great communicators and are always happy to carry out servicing or bring in replacement equipment at short notice. I would recommend them to anyone who has concerns about their fire safety.”
Malcom Seeley – Transport Manager, Circle Express
Partnering with Circle Express
As a worldwide logistics and distribution company, Circle Express understands the need to deliver the highest levels of customer service. And so, when their parent company Rico Logistics recommended Fire Safety Services as a potential fire safety supplier – for precisely this reason – it was clearly a partnership worth exploring.
The dangers of DIY fire safety
We’d enjoyed a successful relationship with Rico Logistics for a few years when they referred us to Circle Express in 2015. At the time, Circle Express was relying on members of staff to take care of key aspects of its own fire safety. While this saved them money, they were concerned that it left them legally vulnerable if they were not meeting all the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Fire safety is all about protecting life and property. It is a legal requirement for the purchaser of fire safety services to ensure that the person or organisation carrying out the work is ‘competent’ (see below for more information on ‘competency’).
They were unclear if this was the case and decided the safest course of action was to outsource to experts in fire safety.
As it transpired, not only were we able to relieve them of this pressure, we also offered them highly competitive prices, which made the transition far easier to absorb.
What we do for Circle Express
Established over 30 years ago as a specialist air cargo distributor, Circle Express now offers a broad range of transport and logistics services. They operate from seven large warehouse sites across England and Scotland, conveniently located near major UK airports at Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Exeter, Bradford, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
One of the company’s key selling points is their ‘one stop shop’ for the movement of dangerous goods, such as flammable liquids, radioactive and explosive materials. This is one of the reasons a highly competent fire safety supplier was essential.
Since we started working with Circle Express, we have carried out all their fire extinguisher servicing and PAT testing in all buildings across the seven warehouse sites. In addition, they maintain a fleet of 110 vehicles ranging from 18 tonne to 44 tonne articulated lorries. As these lorries are carrying hazardous materials, by law they must also carry fire extinguishers and we are responsible for their servicing and maintenance. *
Another service we provide is our fire safety training at their Heathrow site. Fire Safety Services’ training courses are run by our own experienced trainers and are designed to be informative and to encourage discussion within the group.
A personal certificate of attendance is awarded to all delegates on completion of the course.
A flexible partner – day and night
When it comes to the servicing of the fire extinguishers which are carried on board their HGV fleet, Circle Express made it clear to us that this wouldn’t be a job we could neatly schedule at times that were convenient to us. They run a 24/7 operation and the lorries are on the road for most of the week. Trying to organise them all to be in the depot at the same time was going to be impossible.
At Fire Safety Services, we are used to dealing with unusual requests; so, we have organised a system for Circle Express, which lets us service all the fire extinguishers on schedule, but on a rolling basis.
We keep a pool of fully-serviced 2kg and 6kg dry powder extinguishers in the warehouse depots; when a lorry which is due for a fire extinguisher service returns to the depot, the driver simply swaps the extinguisher on board for one that is serviced, ready and waiting. This guarantees the vehicles are never without adequate fire protection.
We visit the depots on a regular basis to update the service records of the extinguishers the drivers have left behind and ensure that any condemned equipment is removed from their stock altogether.
The arrangement works well for both sides and provides reassurance to Circle Express that their fire safety is fully compliant with UK legislation.
*The law governing transport of hazardous materials
ADR (formally, the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) is a 1957 United Nations treaty that governs transnational transport of hazardous materials.
This article states that with the exception of certain exceptionally dangerous materials, hazardous materials may in general be transported internationally in wheeled vehicles, provided that a number of conditions are met. Part of these conditions relates to fire extinguishers. See chart below for the requirements set out by the ADR.
Fire Extinguisher requirements
ADR paragraph 8.1.4 concerns fire extinguishers. The table below sets out a summary of the minimum requirements. Note that dry powder extinguishers are specified because it is known that they are suitable for tackling fires of class A (solids such as wood, paper etc), class B (fires involving liquids) and class C (fires involving gases).
For more information visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/cdg/manual/crew.htm#adr
How to select a competent service provider to inspect and maintain your fire extinguishers
When selecting a service provider to inspect and maintain your fire extinguishers it is essential to ensure the competence of the company and / or individual being employed to carry out inspection and maintenance; as it is the responsibility of the ‘responsible person’ to ensure the service provider is competent to carry out the work.
The Health and Safety at Work Regulations require a competent person to carry out the inspection and maintenance of extinguishers. The definition of a “competent person”; is detailed in BS5306 part 3, exerts from this document are below:
“A competent person is one who has undergone an initial programme of training which includes “on the job” experience and attendance of a training course, followed by the successful completion of an examination administered by an independent examination body.”
“To maintain competency, on-going professional development is considered essential and is covered by the provision of refresher training at 3 year intervals together with an examination”
How to ensure competency with third-party accreditation
Fire Safety Services is a third-party accredited Company. Third-party certification involves an independent assessment declaring that specified requirements pertaining to a product, person, process or management system have been met. Fire Safety Services is accredited by UKAS.
The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the national accreditation body for the United Kingdom. UKAS is recognised by government, to assess the certification bodies that provide certification against internationally agreed standards for testing, inspection and calibration services.
An organisation accredited by UKAS can demonstrate competence, impartiality and reliability in its ability to deliver results. Accreditation ensures that everyone from specifiers, purchasers, and suppliers to consumers can have confidence in the quality of goods and in the provision of services throughout the supply chain.
For more information on understanding third-party certification visit: http://www.firesafetyservices.co.uk/understanding-third-party-accreditation/
Covering: East Anglia & South East
Covering: East Midlands, North East & Scotland
Covering: West Midlands, South West, North West & Scotland
Covering: South & London