With the Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau celebrating its 50th year of operation in 2020, it has several milestones worth highlighting.

Originally started by a group of short-term insurance companies in 1970, the organisation has long upheld the standards of fire sprinkler protection in South Africa. When it became a small, family owned, entrepreneurial business it continued to improve. From conducting inspections nation wide (and further afield in Africa occasionally), providing consulting for all things technical and writing (and updating) what is currently the best fit-for-purpose standard of fire sprinkler protection in South Africa, the company is an integral part of the fire, insurance and property industries.

Part of ASIB’s success is due to its training program which allows candidates to learn from the latest technology, theory and practical developments and apply them in their work. A rigorous exam is undertaken each year by a class, each member hoping to achieve the coveted 90% pass rate, allowing them to be deemed “as to have shown competency in the field of automatic sprinklers”. While the description might seem a bit tame in conveying the achievement, the qualification carries a lot of weight in the fire industry as there only just over 100 individuals who have managed to pass the exam to date. The exam is taxing and generally requires a full year of study, plus several years of experience in industry to pass. The qualification allows a greater reach of fire expertise in the country, as each candidate can then apply their knowledge in-house at the companies they operate in.

The competency qualification comes with further commitments to maintaining candidates’ knowledge, as every three years they must either write the current year’s exam or attend the Competency Refresher Course. The most recent Refresher Course took place from 17-20 February, 2020, where the new graduates were recognised and welcomed into the industry. As the current SANS/SABS standards have yet to be refreshed in over two decades, it is imperative that there is a company dedicated to providing the latest, proven standards and expertise in the fire industry.

At the conference there were also two noteworthy items announced:

  1. In its 50 years of operation, a building that carried a current ASIB clearance certificate has never been lost to fire. With the most recent fire statistics from 2017 capturing 135 fires a day on average, and ASIB conducting thousands of inspections each year, that is a remarkable track record.
  2. In its 50 years of operation, there has always been a member of the Goring family leading the way. When Natasha Goring took over the company from her husband John several years ago, she doubled down on expanding educational reach and developing relationships with other industries, traditionally kept at arms length, like insurance. It was announced at the Competency Refresher that Natasha Goring will step down from her current leadership role, effective from 1 March 2020.

Goring will hand over the reins to the current general manager, Nico Van Loggerenberg, who has been a core part of the ASIB team for the last two years. In his time there he has streamlined the reporting and inspection capabilities of the company, all the while ensuring the technical aspects of fire protection are upheld throughout the industry. As he stated at the announcement, his goal is “to wake up every day and make the industry better”.

CN&CO would like to congratulate Van Loggerenberg on his new position of office and wish him all the best for continuing the ASIB legacy.

For more information on ASIB take a look at our series on the company.

Natasha Goring announcing the change at the Refresher Course
Nico Van Loggerenberg as the new head of ASIB