Published in January 2022 by the British Standards Institution (BSI), PAS 9980 is a code of practice for fire engineers and other building professionals who perform a Fire Risk Assessment on External Walls (FRAEW). It replaces the UK government’s 2020 Consolidated Advice Note (CAN) and adopts a proportionate approach to building safety.
The FRAEW process requires a building owner or management company PAS9980 Services to consult with a qualified fire engineer and arrange for a detailed inspection of the exterior of their building to check its cladding. The survey will identify any risks and offer recommendations that could be implemented to mitigate those risks.
During the assessment, the consultant will look at the wall build-up and construction materials used. They will also examine the building’s external cladding system to determine whether it is made from combustible material or not. The consultant will then compile a comprehensive report outlining the findings and the recommended next steps.
It is important to note that the FRAEW process isn’t a replacement for a fire risk assessment of an entire block of flats. Rather, it is a method to assess the flammability of cladding systems on existing blocks of flats. This allows the building owners to make informed decisions regarding remediation works.
While the FRAEW process isn’t an official requirement for high-rise blocks of flats, many lenders will not finance the purchase or sale of such buildings without a proper FRAEW. The EWS1 form developed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is designed to help valuers and mortgage brokers confirm that an FRAEW has been completed. PAS 9980 can be used to support an EWS1 form but is not intended to take precedence.
The new PAS is 183 pages long and includes a number of helpful resources such as fire incident case studies, a history of fire safety regulations and standards, and a glossary of terms. The document is well-researched and covers a range of key topics that need to be addressed in any cladding fire risk assessment.
Although PAS9980 will almost certainly create more work for fire risk assessors and chartered engineers, it will hopefully alleviate some of the burden placed on building owners by the need to repair cladding systems that are deemed to be unsafe. With the right training and guidance, consultants can use the PAS to deliver a more efficient and accurate service while reducing their clients’ costs. This will ultimately benefit everyone involved in the building industry. To learn more about this new standard, contact the experts at Fire Protection Services Ltd. We will be more than happy to assist you. Our team of qualified and experienced specialists will provide a full-service that is tailored to meet your individual requirements. Our goal is to ensure that you have the highest level of fire protection for your business. We offer a wide range of services to meet your needs, including fire risk assessments, fire alarm installation and maintenance, and acoustic testing.