This trade is unfortunately rife
with businesses (and in particular some of the less
scrupulous operators) that make claims that whilst sounding
impressive, are near to meaningless.
This document aims to enable you to spot the difference between the
near-meaningless claims and the good effective promises used by the trades
more responsible businesses.
The statement we make (click here
for details) is that:
We are BS EN ISO 9001:2008 certified by a UKAS-accredited
independent third party (BSI) for the provision
and sale of fire and safety goods and services specifically including:
- the provision, sale, installation, commissioning and maintenance
of portable fire extinguishers in accordance with
BS 5306 parts 3
and 8 and
and ST104 employing more than 20 service engineers across the whole
of the United Kingdom;
- the supply and installation of fire-safety signage in accordance
with BS 5499;
- training services; and
- and risk assessment services.
There are four key general parts to the parts of this statement:
- BS EN ISO 9001:2008. This is
internationally recognised standard for the requirements of a business’s
quality management system
- Independent 3rd party certification. This means
that this is not just a statement to be taken on trust, but that this is
This means that the body undertaking the certification has been deemed
competent and accredited to do so by
UKAS, the UK’s
sole national accreditation body recognised by the UK Government
- The scope of our BS EN ISO 9001:2008
certification covers all products and services we are likely to supply
(i.e. “the provision and sale of fire and safety goods and services”)
and specifically covers the key areas listed above.
All four general parts of this statement are essential if it is to have any
meaning. Additionally, in the case of fire extinguishers, it is essential
to ensure that the certification is also “in accordance with
and ST104 for the
‘provision, sale, installation, commissioning and maintenance
of portable fire extinguishers”. In the case of fire
extinguishers, this appropriately relates
it to this trade and further places the requirement for adherence to
BS 5306-3 and
Read more about our ISO 9001 certification
here, or refer to
our BS EN ISO 9001:2008
Certificate (requires Adobe® Acrobat® Reader).
We will now consider a couple of common examples of similar sounding
claims often used by the less scrupulous operators:
- “All work carried out to the British Standard”: This is
merely a claim made by the business - There is no independent
verification or certification of this claim.
- “All equipment supplied is Certified to the British Standard”:
Even assuming the certification is appropriate, this isn’t sufficient -
just because a car garage supplies good brake-pads, it doesn’t mean they
supply the correct ones and know how to fit them!
- “We are ISO 9000 approved”: ISO 9000 approved for what
exactly? Their “ISO 9000 approval” may cover anything. Also, there is no
statement that the ‘approval body’ is independent nor indeed
UKAS-accredited, and hence deemed
fit for such a purpose.
Additionally, even when competitors have what appears to be good
certification in place, the scope of their certification is more often
than not insufficient for them to carry out their typical works. For
example, it will exclude training, the sale of extinguishers, signage,
Parts of our group have been trading since 1947! That’s a genuine
length of experience of over 60 years! This is hard to beat.
However, some of the less scrupulous operators
quote their experience differently: “Well, there’s ten of us each with 2½
years ‘experience’, therefore 10×2½=25 years experience!” Does a
collection of inexperienced employees amount to a good collective
experience? We think not!
Further copy to follow