What are the 4 types of fire risk assessment for flats?

29 September 2022

The landlord of a block of flats is considered the Responsible Person, who in the event of a fire, has to ensure the safety of all the occupants of the block of flats. And while you may be aware that an up to date fire risk assessment is a legal requirement for this type of building, you might not be aware that there are actually four types of fire risk assessments that landlords need to consider. Here we take you through the four types of fire risk assessment and when and why you might need to implement each.

Type 1 Fire Risk Assessment 

Common parts only / non-destructive

A Type 1 Fire Risk Assessment is categorised as a non-destructive risk assessment and is one of the most common risk assessments. This type of FRA would be the minimum required to satisfy the Fire Safety Order. As the flats are not accessed on a Type 1 FRA, some crucial information can be missed from the FRA, that’s why at TFG we always advise a Type 3 FRA as below. 

Type 2 Fire Risk Assessment

Common parts only / destructive

A Type 2 Fire Risk Assessment is usually recommended if issues were found when conducting a Type 1 Fire Risk Assessment such as increased risks associated with the building’s structure in relation to the spreading of fire and smoke.  Type 2 assessments are called for when recommended in the report on a Type 1 assessment but must be justified and not considered an automatic necessity.

With this type of fire risk assessment, destructive sampling may be required, which means it will be more expensive and you may need the presence of a contractor. Due to the nature of this type of assessment it’s ideal to carry it out in a vacant property.

Type 3 Fire Risk Assessment

Common parts and flats / non-destructive

A Type 3 fire risk assessment requires the same work as in a Type 1 assessment but exceeds the scope of the FSO. Type 3 assessments may be necessary for rented flats if any serious risk of fire to residents is perceived in the case of fire in their flats. So as well as vetting common areas such as lobbies and hallways, a Type 3 Fire Risk Assessment also audits individual dwellings, structures, and compartmentation between flats. Fire detection type and coverage, means of escape and the fire resistance of doors leading to rooms should all be considered during a type 3 fire risk assessment.

Type 4 Fire Risk Assessment 

Common parts and flats / destructive

A Type 4 Fire Risk Assessment is similar to a Type 2 Fire Risk Assessment as it requires a destructive sampling aspect. However, the assessment covers both common parts of a building and living areas (flats) so it is comparable to a type 3 assessment in terms of scope.

You’ll need a contractor to be present to both open up any construction for inspection, and then to make repairs once the inspection and testing are completed. Due to the nature of the work, it is often necessary to carry out these tests and inspections in flats that are vacant.

Landlord fire risk assessments

At Total Fire Group, we work with landlords up and down the country, helping them with their fire risk assessments and their overall fire safety obligations. If you’re a landlord looking for help with any part of the fire safety cycle, we can make sure you’re fully compliant in a number of areas, including clarification on the classification of your premises, advice on landlord vs tenant responsibilities in terms of fire safety and auditing of existing fire policies.

If you’re a landlord looking for help with fire safety regulations on your properties, contact us to see how we can help.

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