External Walls are now part of a Fire Risk Assessment

External Walls are now part of a Fire Risk Assessment

July 22, 2022

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will make it a legal requirement from 23 January 2023 for external walls to now form part of an FRA (Fire Risk Assessment).

The Act clarifies that responsible persons (RPs) for multi-occupied residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for the structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies and windows.

The Fire Safety Act 2021 has clarified where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises the fire risk assessment should include an assessment of that building’s external wall system.

For high-rise residential buildings Responsible Persons will be required to provide their local Fire and Rescue Service information about the design and materials of a high-rise building’s external wall system and of any material changes to these walls.

They will need to provide information in relation to the level of risk that the design and materials of the external wall structure gives rise to and any mitigating steps taken.

So what’s the difference between an EWS1 and PAS 9980?

An EWS1 certificate is an External Wall System Fire Review certificate. They are for when a leaseholder is buying or selling or re-mortgaging an apartment in a multi-storey multi-occupied residential building. It is not a building safety certificate or a legal requirement. It is a mortgage valuation tool.

PAS 9980 provides a methodology for the fire risk assessment of external wall construction and cladding of existing multistorey and multiple occupancy residential buildings.  PAS 9980 is not intended to replace or act as an alternative to EWS1.

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