Risk of major fire tragedy remains, claims ECA

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The ECA has outlined several recommendations to prevent further residential fire tragedies in its response to the Raising the Bar consultation.

The Raising the Bar consultation, prepared by the Competence Steering Group, follows the Dame Judith Hackitt Review into the Grenfell Tower fire.

Within its response, ECA supports five recommendations regarding the competence of installers:

  • There should be accredited third-party certification of all enterprises
  • All individuals must have Level 2 or 3 Ofqual-regulated and competence-based qualifications. ECA strongly advocates technical apprenticeships for new entrants
  • The electrotechnical sector should use the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS)
  • CPD should ensure workers are up-to-date with the latest regulations and other developments
  • All installers should have core, relevant knowledge of fire safety in buildings, with standardised and mandatory training.

Commenting on the ECA response, ECA director of CSR Paul Reeve said, “This week’s publication of the inquiry findings into the Grenfell tragedy underline the urgency and vital importance of ensuring that everyone who works in and on buildings, where there are vulnerable residents, must be sufficiently competent.

“We should all remember we are talking about ensuring residential fire safety. It’s time to stop messing around with low levels of electrical and fire safety competency, and in particular, it’s high time to say a final goodbye to so-called ‘five-week wonders’ – wrongly regarded by some as competent to design and install electrical work in residential and similar premises.

“ECA has mapped the way forward for our sector in our response – we need to avoid settling for lower competencies, which risks another major fire tragedy in the UK.”