We partner with a diverse range of clients at CN&CO, from travel companies like Club Med to fintech companies like EasyEquities. Part of what makes our work interesting and dynamic for the team is the ability to work with clients in variety of different roles across different industries. As such, CN&CO would like to welcome the Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau to our current stable of partners.
Known as Asib for short, the organisation was started in the 1970s by a group of short-term insurance companies to set a standard for fixed fire protection applicable to buildings. Based on the standards followed insurance companies could then measure the risk of insuring those premises and manage their exposure. Over time the organisation evolved and was eventually privatised in 1995 by the Goring family. A family run business for the last 48 years, Asib continues to play a crucial role in the insurance and fire industries as regulator of information and best practice.
Under the leadership of John Goring the company grew its operations over the years and conducted 5500 inspections last year around the country. Combined with inspections and consulting on various projects, Asib runs educational courses specific to fire protection systems and evaluating their effectiveness, open to both insurance and fire professionals. Goring handed over stewardship of the company in late 2017 to his wife Natasha Goring who continues to run and expand the business.
Risk management (and linked to that, mitigation) is increasingly becoming an area of concern for brokers, insurers and reinsurers as recent losses have resulted in large insurance claims. Asib has long played a role in managing fixed fire protection for the insurance industry and advising on how to ensure that sprinkler systems installed in buildings meet the requirements for building codes and feedback that information to the relevant parties involved in the insurance industries. After a building has been inspected, if all the standards and regulations for the sprinkler system have been met, Asib will issue a clearance certificate for that building, which is in turn used by some insurance companies to determine whether they cover the building or not. To date, a building issued with an Asib clearance certificate has never been lost to fire in South Africa, which speaks to the quality of the inspections conducted.
With the many issues facing the fire and insurance industries at present (including a lack of water in the Western Cape), Asib remains committed to ensuring best practices are adopted and followed in installing sprinkler systems around the country. Not only do fires cause catastrophic damage to property and business operations, but when lives are lost it is often due to negligence. Investigations have shown that the majority of fires would have been contained if proper building codes and fire standards had been followed and that is Asib’s core reason for being: to ensure fire risk is properly managed and maintained to prevent loss of life and business interruption and insurance losses.
When a building is not properly protected with sprinkler systems it greatly increases the chances of losing the building to fire.