You’ve probably read something about the latest draft for fire risk assessment. What is the PAS9980 Fire Risk Assessment? It covers the fire risk evaluation and assessment of exterior wall construction and cladding of existing blocks.
The draft comprises 183 pages. This is quite a long document. This guide by FR Consulting aims at helping you understand the principal points of this document and what it will mean in future fire assessments.
Draft Overview: Why Is PAS9980 So Important?
Although the document is long, it is crucial because of its serious topic. The draft also includes case studies on fire incidents and the history of fire safety standards. It also has a glossary that is extremely useful to anyone working in the field.
Many residents have been eagerly awaiting PAS9980, especially those with multi-occupancy residences. They want to know if the external walls they own pose a low or manageable risk and if they need to be remedied.
The standard is not just intended to verify external walls’ compliance with the Building Regulations and other laws and standards. Many may not have realised that the standard does not replace the EWS1 type. The hope is that mortgage providers won’t ask for EWS1 forms to be completed for buildings with walls outside that are assessed by a PAS9980 fire risk assessment.
Main Objectives- What Is The PAS 9980 Risk Evaluation?
PAS 9980 has the following objectives:
- To provide a standard method that can be used consistently to assess fire spread risk for all external wall assessments.
- To help those who have received the assessments understand the findings and potential risks.
The standard also includes an assessment of fire risk and an assessment of external walls (FRAEW). This contributes to the assessment required under the Fire Safety Order. It may also be used in future safety cases for taller buildings. You must understand that the standard applies to all multi-occupancy residential structures, not just those larger than 18m. It can also be applied to smaller buildings such as student accommodation, specialised housing, and others. Facade Consultants can help you achieve these objectives.
How Does PAS 980 Define Risk?
PAS9980 defines risk as an interaction of the likelihood and severity of external fire spread, secondary fires, and tenable escape options. The risk levels will be divided into low to medium and high. Although a moderate level of risk may be acceptable, they may still need to be addressed or added fire safety measures. High-risk buildings will need further analysis. This will likely include a fire engineer analysis.
What Types Of Buildings Are Covered By PAS9980?
It is essential to understand the types and locations that PAS 9980 covers. PAS9980 covers multi-storey blocks and other building types. These buildings can be considered similar to a purpose-built block, provided they meet the requirements of general fire strategy and escape design. PAS may also include student accommodation or sheltered and/or specialised housing.
Wall Construction – PAS 9980
PAS9980 addresses the possibility of fire spreading through the exterior walls of multi-story blocks of flats. PAS applies to situations in which one or more wall types are used. It also addresses partially and completely clad buildings using combustibles.
Wall build-ups within PAS include external walls incorporating rain-screen, regardless of whether it has insulation in any associated cavity. It also includes external thermal composite systems (ETICS), notably those with rendered insulation. PAS walls can also be built with an insulated core and glazed facades, including infill/spread panel and curtain walling.
Who Is PAS9980 For? What Is The Fire Risk Assessment For PAS 9980?
The PAS9980 fire-risk assessment is intended mainly for use by firefighters and any additional building professionals that need to assess the fire risk of the external wall construction of flats.
This is intended for other professionals who work in the building, such as those whose appraisals are being done and those making decisions based solely on the FRAEWs. This could include but not be limited to:
- Building surveyors
- Facade engineers
- Cladding contractors
- Project managers
- Property owners/landlords
- Local housing authorities
- Managers and agents
- Fire and rescue services