By Peter McMullan
10th Feb 2020
CPC are delighted to announce the launch of our brand-new, EU compliant, Fire Alarms, Detection and Suppression Systems framework. The framework went live on Monday 3rd February 2020. This is the first framework of its type in the UK, specifically focused on Fire Safety Systems and whilst it has been centred around the needs of the education sector, it is also available to the wider public sector via Tenet Procurement Services.
There have been several high-profile fires within educational establishments in recent years which can have a devastating impact for staff, students and parents alike. Aside from the potential for injury and loss of life, short and long-term impacts include lost work, disruption to learning and examinations, possible relocation of the premises, closures, loss of jobs, effects on local businesses, etc. It is therefore imperative that fire safety systems within institutions are fit for purpose and effective. A recent investigation by Schools Week found that just 3% of institutions that had fires in the last 5 years had sprinklers installed, the National Fire Chiefs Council has backed calls to make sprinklers mandatory in new and refurbished schools.
The framework will serve as a route to market for any members with a supply and install, repair, servicing or maintenance requirement for the following types of fire safety systems (please note this list is not exhaustive):
All contractors appointed to the framework have been accredited to carry out fire safety system works by BAFE, an independent registration body (accredited by the government body UKAS) for third party certified fire protection companies across the UK. BAFE develops schemes to support quality standards for fire protection companies to achieve and become third party accredited. This independently acknowledges their competency to provide specific fire protection services. The framework contractors are also fully compliant with all relevant UK fire legislation and standards.
The framework will allow members to engage quickly with competent, capable and committed contractors and will remove many of the obstacles that members may face when using traditional tendering methods or other frameworks. Through this framework, members will be able to engage the services of contractors with a wide range of in-house specialisms and expertise. Through a single contractor relationship to deliver all works, members will create efficiencies and synergies in terms of time, quality and cost.
The framework has been broken down into 12 regional lots which will allow members to engage with local contractors, ensuring your projects deliver benefits to the local economy such as investment in skills and training, minimising the impact of the works on the environment, creating work opportunities for local people and supporting local businesses. A local supplier will also offer benefits in terms of project control, flexibility and responsiveness.
Members interested in utilising this framework are advised of the importance of ensuring you allow sufficient time to conduct a further competition. Due to the potential for works to disrupt day-to-day activities within an institution, the vast majority of users will want works to take place during holiday periods when students aren’t onsite, leading to sizeable peaks and troughs in demand. The framework suppliers have advised that members should allow at least 4 weeks for further competitions and should be mindful that the supplier’s engineers workplans are commonly scheduled months in advance of the works being delivered. Members with a fire safety requirement to be delivered in the summer of 2020, are therefore advised to commence their process as soon as possible to ensure the availability of contractors during this peak period.
You can find out more by visiting the Fire Alarms, Detection and Suppression Systems framework web page, on which you will find in-depth information about the framework, a framework user guide and further competition template.
We will also be launching a new framework for Fire Fighting Equipment (e.g. extinguishers, blankets, hoses and reels) this year. This framework is currently being tendered by our colleagues at the North-Eastern University Purchasing Consortium, further updates will be provided in due course once the framework has been awarded (anticipated start date February 2020).