Publication of the revised fire risk assessment standard

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Fire risk assessments

Teresa higgins

The UK national standards body BSI has published a revised version of a fire risk assessment standard which aims to reduce the risk of fire and improve the safety of non-domestic buildings and living quarters.

Revisions have been made to PAS 79, Fire Risk Assessment. Guidance and recommended methodology.

The standard was published in two parts:

PAS 79-1, Fire Risk Assessment – Part 1: Spaces Other Than Accommodation – Code of Practice

Fire Risk Assessment Updates-20PAS 79-1 gives recommendations and corresponding examples of documentation for undertaking and recording the significant results of fire risk assessments in non-domestic premises and parts of non-domestic premises for which fire risk assessments are required by law.

It applies to rental accommodation between peers and to premises used only for short-term rental of apartments (with rental periods ranging from one day to six months).

PAS 79-1 is intended for fire safety professionals familiar with the principles of fire safety, who are either responsible for evaluating the fire safety of a particular organization or working for consulting firms providing risk assessments. fire department as a service.

What’s new on PAS 79-1: 2020?

The full revision introduces the following main changes:

  • PAS 79-1 is a code of practice, while PAS 79: 2012 was a guide. PAS 79: 2012 was already written in the form of a code of practice – the change of status is simply to recognize this, noting that the guides are generally not of a nature to support a reliable claim of compliance.
  • The scope now excludes apartment buildings, sheltered housing, auxiliary housing, supported housing and certain multi-occupancy houses (c. 2020.
  • The technical content has been subject to modifications in the light of the experience gained in the use of PAS 79.
  • There is new guidance on the consideration to be given to the construction of exterior walls and siding.
  • There is recognition of the fire safety assessments of concern, a term now defined in this SAP, and clarification to avoid confusion between these assessments and the fire risk assessment to which this SAP refers.
  • There is even more emphasis on the competence of fire risk assessors and reference to future standards of competence. It is also noted that fire safety specialists with experience only in the design of new buildings might not have an appreciation of the standards against which older buildings were designed and the possible continued acceptability of those standards.
  • Changes and publication of various new UK standards have been taken into account.

PAS 79-2, Fire Risk Assessment – Part 2: Housing – Code of Practice

PAS 79-2 gives recommendations and corresponding examples of documentation for undertaking and recording the important conclusions of fire risk assessments in accommodation spaces and parts of accommodation spaces for which fire risk assessments are required by law.

Recommendations are also provided for fire risk assessments which fall outside the scope of fire safety legislation, but are designed to protect residents of apartment blocks, sheltered housing and residential housing. additional care in case of fire in their own apartment.

PAS 79-2 is also intended for fire safety professionals familiar with the principles of fire safety, who are either responsible for assessing the fire safety of a particular organization or working for consulting firms providing assessments of fire safety. fire hazards as a service.

What’s new on PAS 79-2: 2020?

This new part 2 of PAS 79 is based on PAS 79: 2012, but introduces the following main changes:

  • PAS 79-2 is a code of practice, while PAS 79: 2012 was a guide. PAS 79: 2012 was already written in the form of a code of practice, and the change of status is simply to recognize this, noting that the guides are generally not of a nature to support a reliable claim of compliance.
  • The scope of this new part 2 of PAS 79 includes apartment buildings, sheltered housing, supplementary care housing, supported housing and certain houses with multiple occupancy (i.e. those entering within the scope of the fire safety legislation). The fire risk assessment for other non-residential premises is now dealt with in a new part 1 of SAP 79.
  • Guidance, published in England by the Local Government Association, on fire safety in purpose-built apartment buildings has been considered, as well as equivalent guidance for high-rise buildings issued in Scotland by the Scottish Government .
  • The guidelines produced by the National Fire Chiefs Council on fire safety in specialized accommodation have been taken into account, as well as the equivalent guidelines issued in Scotland by the Scottish Government.
  • For apartment blocks, sheltered housing and supplementary care housing, recommendations are provided for fire risk assessments of types 2, 3 and 4, as defined in the guidelines of the Local Government Association and the National Fire Chiefs Council guidelines. However, for such accommodation spaces this SAP is primarily concerned with the type 1 fire risk assessment required to comply with relevant fire safety legislation in England and Wales.
  • The technical content has been subject to modifications in the light of the experience gained in the use of PAS 79: 2012.
  • There is new guidance on the consideration to be given to the construction of exterior walls and siding.
  • There is recognition of the fire safety assessments of concern, a term now defined in this SAP, and clarification to avoid confusion between these assessments and the fire risk assessment to which this SAP refers.
  • There is even more emphasis on the competence of fire risk assessors and reference to future standards of competence. It is also noted that fire safety specialists with experience only in the design of new buildings might not have an appreciation of the standards against which older buildings were designed and the possible continued acceptability of those standards.
  • There is a new, more detailed discussion of the “stay put” strategy normally adopted in apartment buildings and maisonettes, and this term, along with the reverse simultaneous evacuation strategy, is now defined in this SAP.
  • A warning is included regarding the potential risk to residents if a “stay put” strategy is inappropriately abandoned.
  • Reference is made to evacuation warning systems for use by fire and rescue services in apartment buildings and maisonettes, which are the subject of BS 8629.
  • Reference is made to person-centered fire risk assessments in specialized accommodation, although specific recommendations relating to such fire risk assessments are outside the scope of this SAP.
  • Changes and publication of various other new UK standards have been taken into account.

The standards are available from BSI, here:

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