PAS9980 Fire Risk Assessment: Keeping Buildings Fire Safe

You may have heard about the new draft of fire risk assessments if you’re reading this. What is a Fire Risk Assessment? The British Standards Institute published this draft. It addresses the fire risk assessment and assessment of external wall construction, as well as cladding existing flat blocks.

This draft is 183 pages long. This guide will help you understand the key points and how they will affect future fire assessments.

Why Is PAS 9980 So Important?

Although the document is very long, it is necessary due to the serious nature of the matter. This draft contains fire incident case studies and a history of fire safety standards and regulations. The glossary of definitions is very useful for those working in the industry.

So many people have been waiting for PAS9980, particularly those who live in multi-occupancy residential buildings. This will allow them to determine if their exterior walls present a low or acceptable risk and if they will require remediation.

What’s An EWS1 Certificate?

EWS1 certificates, as mentioned above, are external wall system fire inspection certificates. This certificate is required when a leaseholder buys, sells, or remortgages an apartment in a multi-storey residential building.

EWS1 is neither a legal requirement nor a safety certificate. It serves as a mortgage valuation tool. Mortgage lenders and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors developed EWS1. It was launched in December 2019. It is designed to evaluate the safety of exterior walls in buildings above 18 metres high. EWS1 allows you to decide whether or not to mortgage an apartment in multi-story, multi-occupied residential properties. For more information on it, consult FR Consulting.

Main Objectives – What’s A PAS9980 Risk Assessment?

The following are the objectives of PAS 9980:

  • This standard methodology evaluates the risk of spreading fire for all external wall assessments.
  • To allow those who receive the assessments to understand the results and potential risks.

This standard introduces an assessment and fire risk appraisal of external walls (FRAEW). This feeds into the Fire Safety Order assessment and possibly the future safety case for taller buildings. The standard applies to multi-occupancy residential buildings of all sizes, not just those above 18m. It can also be applied to smaller buildings, such as student accommodation or specialised housing.

What Does PAS 9980 Mean By Risk?

PAS 9980 defines risk as the probability of external fire spreading, secondary fires, and tenable escape conditions. This standard also includes effective fire service intervention. There will be three levels of risk: low, medium, and high. A medium risk could be tolerable but may need some remediation or additional fire safety precautions. Additional analysis will be required for buildings that pose a high risk. This analysis will likely include a fire engineering analysis. If this happens, remediate some external walls. Facade Consultants can help you understand risk assessment.

What Types Of Buildings Are Covered By PAS 9980?

To answer the question “What is a PAS9980 fire risk assessment?” we must consider what types of buildings PAS covers. PAS 9980 includes multi-storey blocks of flats but also other types of buildings. The buildings must be similar to purpose-built blocks of flats regarding fire strategy and escape design. PAS also includes student accommodation, sheltered housing, and buildings converted into flats.

Who Is PAS 9980 Designed For?

The PAS9980 Fire Risk Assessment is intended for use by fire engineers and other building professionals who need advice on the fire danger of exterior wall construction in existing flat blocks.

It is intended to be used by other building industry professionals, including those performing appraisals and those making decisions based on the FRAEWs. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Building surveyors
  • Architects
  • facade engineers
  • Cladding contractors
  • Project managers
  • Building owners/landlords
  • Local housing authorities
  • Agents or facility managers can be managed
  • Fire and rescue authorities

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