A fire safety officer does not necessarily have to come from within the company. The tasks can also be performed by an external service provider. VdS has the right offer for both variants.
For more than 25 years, the VdS Training Center has been offering well-founded and practical courses for training fire safety officers, which focus on specific topics in addition to initial and further training. There are certainly good reasons for both an internal and an external fire safety officer. However, many small and medium-sized companies often do not have the capacity to second an employee and train them as fire safety officers.
In addition, there is the expense of further training, which usually has to be refreshed every two years for internal fire safety officers. In addition, the intensive occupation with the topic of fire protection by external fire protection officers leads to a corresponding technical expertise, which enables optimal solutions for object-specific questions. Another argument is cost transparency, as the fees incurred when employing external service providers remain clearly calculable. In the end, however, the management must carefully consider which form of fire safety officer best suits the company.
The external fire safety officer Plus (BSB+) from VdS can of course take over the tasks of a fire safety officer in full for you - and in addition, they provide an added value that comparable providers probably cannot offer in this form. The BSB+ experts have highly up-to-date knowledge that takes into account the latest developments, requirements and regulations for fire safety officers. An additional plus point is the extensive experience that BSB+ brings to the table in the area of risk assessment by property insurers.
This means that possible on-site inspections can be ideally prepared in advance. As a result, possible subsequent improvements are kept to a minimum, so that the insurers' claims can usually be implemented very quickly. The necessary documentation based on Themis software is also part of the BSB+'s work routine. Against this background, the BSB+ is an excellent partner when it comes to fulfilling the legal and insurance obligations for preventive fire protection in a cost-effective and competent manner.
Even though there is no uniform obligation to appoint a fire safety officer throughout Germany, the federal states can stipulate the implementation of a fire safety officer in their respective building laws or in the corresponding special building regulations. This applies, for example, to sales outlets that are larger than 2,000 square meters. Hospitals or larger industrial buildings must also usually provide a fire safety officer. Furthermore, special buildings can also be affected by this obligation if the responsible building authority makes corresponding demands in individual cases.
In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (ArbSchG, § 5) can be used to derive specifications for the appointment of a fire safety officer. Thus, employers are obliged to identify hazards, which naturally also include fire protection. If, for example, an increased fire risk is determined in the course of a risk assessment of a workplace, appropriate recommendations are then made. Fines are not imposed. In the event of a claim, however, difficult negotiations with the insurers are pending. Indications as to which companies are particularly affected are provided by the Technical Rules for Workplaces (ASR A2.2) of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
An important driver for the demand for a fire safety officer in the company is also the property insurers, who often require a fire safety officer in their specifications. Property insurers are primarily concerned with a valid risk assessment, which plays a central role in the underwriting process. Particularly in dialogue with property insurers, it is advisable to appoint an experienced fire protection officer and to prepare an on-site risk assessment in the best possible way. This also includes complete and relevant documentation, which can be implemented in a qualified manner using Themis software, for example. Themis is also available from the VdS publishing programme. The VdS training center offers corresponding training courses. And, of course, the external VdS fire protection officers also have the relevant Themis know-how.
Fire protection officers are the central contact persons for all fire protection issues in the company. They advise and support the employer in all questions of preventive, averting and organisational fire protection as well as in operational emergency management. We can take on the following tasks for you, either completely or in sub-projects:
- Creation/updating of the fire protection regulations
- Participation in fire hazard assessments at workplaces
- Advice on flammable working methods and on the use of flammable working materials
- Participation in the determination of fire and explosion hazards
- Participation in the preparation of operating instructions, insofar as they concern fire protection
- Participation in constructional, technical and organisational measures as far as they concern fire protection
- Participation in the implementation of official orders and in the requirements of the fire insurer, insofar as they concern fire protection
- Assisting in the compliance with fire protection regulations for new buildings, conversions and extensions, changes of use, rentals and procurements
- Advice on equipping workplaces with fire extinguishing equipment and selection of extinguishing agents
- Participation in the implementation of the fire protection concept
- Check that escape and rescue plans, fire brigade plans, alarm plans, etc. are up-to-date, arrange for updates if necessary and cooperate in this
- Planning, organising and carrying out evacuation exercises
- Participation in official fire inspections and carrying out internal fire protection inspections
- Report defects and propose measures to remedy them and monitor the remedial action
- Supporting the managers in the regular instruction of the employees in fire protection
- Training and further training of employees with special tasks in case of fire, e.g. in the handling of fire extinguishing equipment (fire protection assistants in accordance with ASR A2.23) [Link to courses BSH and BSHASR of the FC and company seminars].
- Checking the storage and/or the facilities for storing flammable liquids, gases, etc.