Hand over responsibility
Fires endanger not only employees, but also the very existence of a company. Damage caused by fire can interrupt orders and in the worst case the company can even be threatened with insolvency. For this reason, occupational health and safety, building law and insurers place companies under obligation. In general, they prescribe a fire protection officer who is responsible for fire protection in the building and helps to prevent fires and keep consequential damage to a minimum. This can also be an external fire protection officer: They’ll be familiar with the regulations and have a neutral view on fire protection in your building. CWS can support you by assigning an expert to you.
Your advantages with a fire protection officer from CWS
Many years of experience
Our fire protection officers have already supported many customers. They negotiate safely with authorities, fire brigades and insurance companies day in and day out.
More personnel capacities
External fire protection officers take pressure off your employees and take responsibility for the protection of people and facilities.
View from outside
As company outsiders, our experts detect risks without “operational blindness” and advise the management team from a neutral outsider's perspective.
Time and cost savings
With CWS, you save the time and effort required that you would usually spend carrying out regular training and further education with your internal representatives.
We ensure that the site inspection takes place at least once per month and is professionally documented.
Consultation, coordination with authorities and partners or monitoring on site: A wide range of tasks, which you receive from us all from a single source.
When should you enlist the help of an external fire protection officer?
The legislator prescribes these experts, for example, for industrial buildings with more than 5,000 m2 of floor space, meeting places and clinics. Depending on the state building regulations, high-rise buildings and other special buildings also require a fire protection officer. Information can be found in the fire protection concept or in the building permit for the building.
In addition, particularly fire-prone environments such as production, warehouses, kitchens and workshops require commissioners. The Technical Rules for Workplaces (ASR) require this as an additional fire protection measure (ASR A2.2, fire prevention measures). As well as this, the Occupational Health and Safety Act makes companies responsible. It may prescribe experts as part of a preventive fire protection measure. There are also requirements imposed by the employers’ liability insurance associations as well as statutory accident insurance.
Sometimes property insurers also require you to have a fire protection expert. In line with this, they only grant full insurance cover if the company hires an internal or external fire protection officer.
Always up to date
Revised guidelines and new obligations – the regulatory framework is complex. Professionals must be able to navigate through the minefield of legislation and be aware of any changes. The CWS Fire Safety Team constantly monitors compliance with current rules and regulations, because the safety of your company is an absolute priority for us too. With this in mind, our experts regularly undergo further training. We’re also happy to pass on our expertise to your employees within the framework of further training courses.
One fire protection officer – many activities
External fire protection officers carry out a number of various tasks:
- they advise the management team in all aspects of preventive and protective fire protection, because they know legal regulations inside out.
- They help you to implement the requirements laid down by authorities and property insurers.
- They provide assistance in the acceptance of fire protection systems by experts and are also available as contacts for conversions and new buildings.
- During operation, for example, they instruct people on hot work, identify fire and explosion hazards and monitor escape and rescue routes.
- They’re also responsible for the annual training of employees in accordance with the DGUV, the German Social Accident Insurance scheme.
- They also provide training to employees as fire protection and evacuation assistants.
By having external fire protection officers provide the necessary training, the companies save internal costs. And the range is even broader than this: Directive 12-09/01:2014 of the Vereinigung zur Förderung des deutschen Brandschutzes e.V. (vfdb), or Association for the Promotion of German Fire Protection, describes a total of 25 tasks.
External fire protection officers report directly to the company management team. In principle, they should check the fire protection equipment in the building at least once per month. They regularly submit a record to the management team, which documents defects and recommends appropriate measures. However, they can only make recommendations, the management team decides whether to implement these.
Is it compulsory to have a fire protection officer?
A fire protection officer is always recommended, but not every company needs to have one. As a rule of thumb: for facilities and workplaces with a particularly high fire risk and a high number of potentially endangered persons, it is compulsory to have a fire protection officer. Information is provided on building regulations, state building regulations, fire protection concepts, risk assessments and building permits. Insurance companies also often require you to have a fire protection officer. On top of this, occupational health and safety guidelines must also be observed.
It’s mostly the following types of workplaces that require specialists:
- Industrial buildings with a floor area of more than 5,000 m2
- Sales outlets with a floor area of more than 2,000 m2
- Office and administration buildings with more than 3,000 m2 of floor space
- Special buildings (e.g. high-rise buildings, clinics, hotels, retirement homes)
How many fire protection officers are necessary?
Some companies need more than just one fire protection officer. You can check how many you need in the stipulations of the state building regulation, the fire protection concept, the risk assessment or the property insurer
How are fire protection officers different from fire safety assistants?
A fire protection officer completes more comprehensive training according to the vfdb guidelines and takes on more tasks in the field of preventive fire protection. Only they can provide comprehensive advice to the person responsible for fire protection – i.e. employer or facility manager. Fire safety assistants, on the other hand, are supposed to initiate initial measures in the event of a fire, such as instructing the fire brigade. They also take part in a training course, but mainly possess basic knowledge. Often the fire protection officer trains the operational assistants. These fire protection training courses are also part of CWS’ service.
Is an internal or external officer best?
You have to weigh up what makes the most sense for your company. We’d be very happy to support you in this. Not every company has the capacity to employ a fire protection officer in its own staff. Employees can be responsible for occupational health and safety and fire protection at the same time, but cannot act as fire protection officers. Assigning this responsibility-intensive task to your own staff adds a lot of work for them. External experts can relieve such a burden on the workforce.
By the way, if guidelines require several experts, a combination of internal and external officers can also work. Our experts coordinate with all parties involved within your company and work hand in hand with them
How often does a fire protection officer work?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The larger the task area of an officer, the more frequently they are called into action. However, their work also depends on the building itself as well as building law guidelines. In principle, the officer should visit the place of work at least once per month in order to check fire protection measures.
What advantages does the CWS service offer?
Our customers benefit from customised fire protection solutions and comprehensive services. Our complete service keeps the amount of effort as low as possible for you. In addition to an external fire protection officer, we can also provide you with an expert. You also need not worry about any defects that are discovered. We’d be more than happy to solve the problem for you.