When Avene Furness-Monks, Director of Chute Fire Certification UK arrived at the site of the 100th chute she has refurbished this year, she was disappointed and angered to see yet another serious fire risk to the people that lived and worked in the building.
The manual shut-off plate had been rigged with metal wires and weights, and the fusible link was broken. Years of accumulated dirt also meant that the door was not able to operate as designed. Not only was this a danger to Maintenance staff during bin changeover, but without a fusible link, the blades would have not shut off automatically in the case of a fire.
But what angered Furness-Monks the most was the fact that only 6 months earlier, the chute had been certified as fire safe.
“Unfortunately, this is a situation we see time and time again. It really concerns me that unscrupulous contractors can walk into a building and sign off a chute without adhering to British Standards or following the correct procedures” adds Furness-Monks.
Chute Fire Certification UK ensure that all chutes they inspect are signed off by Certified Fire Technicians and refurbished by Qualified Engineers. For their 100th chute refurbishment, they replaced the bottom of the chute systems with a bespoke Chute Safe Protection System that also enables the safe changeover of bins, as well as complying with all relevant legislation.
Furness-Monks has a message for all building owners and their procurement departments. “Please check that the person inspecting and certifying your chute is a Certified Fire Technician. And make sure they give you a written report and photographic record of their work; as well as evidence of their qualifications before you sign off the job. Because if the worst happens, the final legal responsibility is yours.”