Last reviewed 26 January 2022

The British Standards Institution (BSI), in its role as the UK National Standards Body, has published a code of practice for the fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of existing multi-storey and multi-occupied residential buildings.

This has primarily been developed to support the upcoming changes to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order which will confirm that the fire performance of external cladding systems is a material consideration.

Produced by a steering group of experts in the fields of construction, fire, housing and safety, “PAS 9980:2022, Fire Risk Appraisal of External Wall Construction and Cladding of Existing Blocks of Flats — Code of Practice” can be found here.

It is for use by fire engineers and other competent building professionals when undertaking a fire risk appraisal of external walls (FRAEW).

Using a five-step risk assessment process to assist in the identification of risk factors influencing the overall risk rating of a building, as well as mitigation steps that might improve the risk rating, the standard sets out a methodology to conduct and record fire risk appraisals of external walls, which can be scaled up or down depending upon the complexity of individual buildings.

It also gives recommendations for the competence of professionals completing such appraisals.

The standard aims to assist with the ongoing effort to increase the number of competent professionals, by providing the knowledge on fire risk arising from various aspects of external wall construction.

It is sponsored by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Home Office.

The BSI emphasises that it does not alter the obligations placed upon those carrying out building work on external wall construction, nor does it affect the compliance of past building work, whether measured against Building Regulations or contractual obligations.