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DEALING WITH AN UNDERPERFORMING FIRE STOPPING CONTRACTOR


Fire safety is paramount on any construction site. It’s not just about meeting regulatory requirements; more importantly it’s about protecting lives and property.

Assessing Performance and Identifying Deficiencies

When a fire stopping contractor isn’t performing as required, it’s crucial to identify and address the issue(s) promptly and effectively. Unfortunately, there is still evidence of some third-party approved fire stopping contractors consistently underperforming with regard to quality and programming.

Implementing Corrective Measures and Ensuring Compliance

So what do you do if your fire stopping contractor is not delivering to the required standards? Here’s some suggestions that might help you manage the situation:

  • Before taking any action, evaluate the contractor’s performance objectively. Do they consistently miss deadlines? Are issues with the quality of their work? Document specific instances where the contractor has failed to meet expectations.
  • Open communication is key. Schedule a meeting with the contractor to discuss your concerns. Be specific about the areas where their performance is lacking and provide examples. Additionally, listen to their perspective to ascertain if there are any underlying issues that could be the cause of the problems. Competent fire stopping contractors will react to news of their poor performance positively and proactively, and you should expect their senior management to attend site promptly to review their processes and procedures so a solution can be found and measures put in place to prevent the issues recurring.
  • Review the terms of the contract with the contractor. Highlight relevant clauses related to performance standards, deadlines, and consequences for underperformance. Remind them of their contractual obligations and the implications if they are not met. Contracts are in place to protect all parties against poor performance.
  • Clarify your expectations moving forward. Outline the desired outcomes, deadlines, and quality standards in writing. Make sure the contractor understands what is required of them and the consequences of not meeting these expectations. Insist on a written reply, which will confirm the fire stopping contractor’s understanding of the situation and provide reassurance that their delivery will improve.
  • Sometimes factors outside the contractor’s control can inadvertently affect their performance. Examples might be; apetures built to the wrong size; service pipework installed too close together, or to close to the edge of the aperture. An experienced and competent fire stopping contractor will notify you of these issues ahead of time. We would suggest that you consider offering support and resources to assist in overcoming any challenges, which could include assistance from other subcontractors and/or regular programme reviews with your site management.
  • After addressing the issue(s), agree to check-in regularly to monitor the promised improvements and confirm agreed milestones in the programme are reached. In cases of poor workmanship, insist that senior managers are actively involved in the remediation. Document all your findings including improvements and any shortcomings.

Conclusion: Ensuring Fire Safety Through Diligent Management

In conclusion, prioritising fire safety on construction sites is paramount to safeguarding lives and property. When faced with underperforming fire stopping contractors, a systematic approach is crucial. Begin by objectively assessing their performance and documenting specific deficiencies. Engage in open communication with the contractor, emphasising contractual obligations and expectations. Provide necessary support to address any underlying challenges affecting performance. Regular monitoring and documentation of improvements and shortcomings are essential for ensuring compliance and mitigating risks. By implementing these measures diligently, construction projects can uphold the highest standards of fire safety, protecting both workers and assets.