Fire Risk Assessments - FAQs
Not sure what to expect in a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA)? Read on to find out the basics!
A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) is an inspection of one of our buildings with an internal shared/communal area. The purpose of a FRA is to
- Assess the risk of a fire occurring
- Assess the likelihood of the occupants being able to respond to a fire
- Assess the consequences of a fire occurring in the building.
It is a legal requirement that we undertake a FRA in every building that has an internal shared/ communal area. We are committing to making our business more transparent, so have begun publishing our FRAs on our website. We have published all FRA for buildings over 6 storeys, and our sheltered and supported housing buildings. We will continue publishing more FRAs, which will be available on our new resident portal later next year.
We employ experienced, qualified, independent specialist assessors from Savills to carry out the assessments. As part of this task the assessor may speak to those on site. They then produce a report (the FRA) with all the information they have gathered and record any recommendations and/or actions for us to address. We then put in place a plan to carry out the recommendations to ensure the building and your home are as safe as reasonably practical.
To find the Fire Risk Assessment for your block, following these steps:
- Select 'Your block documents (FRAs)' from the option below or go straight to 'Your block documents (FRAs)' here.
- On the block documents page, you'll see a search box.
- In the 'Search Term' box, type any part of your address, e.g. the first line of your address or postcode.
- In the 'Filter category' box select the type of document you're looking for which will be 'Your home - Fire Risk Assessment'. Then select the 'Search' button.
- You will see the Fire Risk Assessment appear in the list below for the block address you searched for. If there is no document listed, then we do not have a Fire Risk Assessment published on the website at this moment for the address you are looking for.
Network Homes are working hard to complete the recommendations made in the FRA. We have over 1,800 FRAs which are reviewed at different intervals over a three-year cycle.
On occasion it is not possible for us to meet the desired target dates for actions set out in the assessment. Our dedicated Fire Safety Team and Savills constantly review the target dates set out in the FRA and programmes of works planned to see if the extended target date can be met and or they need to be extended.
The FRAs published on our website are a copy of the assessment at the time it is handed over to Network Homes. If you need to know the exact position of the recommendations identified, please get in touch with our fire safety team who can arrange to send you the latest version of the document. You can do this at email@example.com.
There are number of reasons why an FRA may be reviewed sooner than initially planned. Most commonly, when there is a significant change of use, occupancy or construction queries to the premises.
In early 2020 new Government published guidance urging building owners to investigate buildings with the external wall system such as rendered insulation, cladding, timber, balconies etc, concentrating on buildings over 18m. This is to ensure the buildings have been constructed in accordance to the design specifications. These inspections are intrusive and can sometime identify problems not previously identified. It has been widely reported that there is a national shortage of the qualified fire engineers who can do these types of investigation and there is high demand across the industry for these individuals to carry out building safety investigations, which are separate to our usual fire risk assessments. Network Homes are proud to say that it has assessed all its buildings over 18m and are working to resolve any problems which have been identified.
Draft legislation has been published on investigations and we expect formal publication imminently (was due in October 2020). This advises owners to extend these investigations to all buildings – regardless of height. Network Homes will continue to carry out investigations into all its buildings with external wall systems. We are working with our Fire engineers and Savills to develop a programme to complete all other buildings needing this investigation. If you need to know when your building is due to be investigated, please contact our dedicated Building Safety Team.
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