Why Do You Need Both Final Fire and Annual Fire Safety Certificates?

If you're building a new commercial property or renovating an old one, then you have to ensure that you have incorporated the right fire safety measures in the structure.

You have legal obligations to undertake certain checks and to provide formal reports here. For example, you might need to create both a final fire safety certificate and subsequent annual fire safety statements. What's the difference between the two and why are they important?

What Is a Final Fire Safety Certificate?

During your design and planning process, you will have been asked to provide details of the building's fire safety schedule. This schedule lays out everything you'll do or install in the building to meet fire safety compliance regulations.

Once your plans are approved, you are expected to ensure that your building's fire safety systems and works meet this schedule. However, you can't just say that you have done this work. At the end of the build, you have to commission a survey to check that you have met your obligations at the required standards. If everything is okay, you then get a final fire safety certificate.

This certification isn't just important in safety terms. If you don't submit it, then you might not get the final building certification you need to use the building.

What Is an Annual Fire Safety Statement?

You don't have any guarantees that your building will continue to have adequate fire safety protection forever even if you have final fire safety certification. Systems and equipment can fail or break down over time.

For example, fire doors and extinguishers might get damaged or break over the years. People might accidentally block fire exits with furniture or boxes of office supplies without realising what they are doing. If your fire safety measures start to fail, then you don't have complete protection if you do have a fire in the building.

To keep things safe on an ongoing basis, you have a legal requirement to check your essential fire safety measures every year. This is where an annual fire safety statement comes in. If all is well, your statement proves that you have made essential checks and met relevant standards.

However, if you find a problem during your annual check, then you will have to fix it before you get certification. Your annual check helps you keep your people and your building as safe as possible.

To find out more about initial final fire safety certificates and to get help meeting your annual fire safety statement obligations in the future, contact professional fire safety compliance services.

For more information on an annual fire safety statement, contact a professional near you.