The current guidance recognised by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) ‘Fire Safety in Purpose Built Blocks of Flats’, issued by the Local Government Association in 2012, categorises 4 types of Fire Risk Assessments; some of which are destructive and need justification as to why they are required.
Type 1 is the most basic level of FRA that is required to comply with the fire safety order (FSO). This level of FRA is a non-destructive assessment of the communal areas of the building but does not including the private dwellings within the property. Generally, access to the areas is not required unless there is a sufficient reason to believe there may be substantial health and safety issues inside.
A Type 2 FRA is similar to type 1 in the sense that it is also only limited to the communal areas of the property however, this type of FRA requires an amount of destructive sampling during which a contractor needs to be present to make the necessary repairs following the assessment. This level of FRA is rarely carried out unless there is reason to believe that there are serious structural flaws that need to be investigated.
Type 3 FRA’s extend beyond the requirements set out by the law by taking into consideration the private areas of the property as well as communal areas. This type includes looking into areas such as means of escape and fire detection as well as compartmentation between flats. A type 3 FRA is usually carried out in vacant flats
A type 4 assessment is again similar to a Type 2 but includes the destructive element within the private dwellings as well as communal area, this level of assessment is typically very rare and not carried out routinely unless there is strong justification that there are substantial issues usually uncovered during a type 1 or 3 FRA.
Type 1 is the most common type of fire risk assessment as this is the level required to meet the fire safety order (FSO).
While a responsible person is able to carry out the fire risk assessment themselves they must be fully competent and have ample knowledge of current legislations and standards, to hold up in court should an incident occur your competencies will be assessed. At solent we recommend using a third party qualified fire risk assessor to carry out the FRA on your behalf as they keep up to date with changes in legislation and are able to produce inclusive reports documenting their findings in line with the regulatory reform (fire safety) order 2005 and current building regulations whilst also providing guidance on hazard prevention.