Are our Fire Risk Assessors impartial?


All our 30+ years ex-fire service fire safety consultants/ fully qualified IFE life safety fire risk assessors take pride in their work. It is an offence to either under-recommend or over-recommend fire products. By doing so, it can be seen as either incompetence or, using legal documentation for the purposes of selling equipment - We ensure all our fire risk assessors are fully appraised of the need to provide accurate advice & guidance to the law, whatever the needs of the client.

Please also note:

Many fire risk assessment companies are expressing that they do not install or sell equipment and insisting this makes them impartial or unbiased - Far from it - In-fact;

We have observed many assessors whom are independent and do not sell or install equipment. In-turn, this has shown us that they are less experienced in matters relating to providing suitable and sufficient guidance within their report pertaining to the most basic fire equipment products through to more specialist fire equipment products. This has been noted by both lack of the requirements of the British Standards or simply, a lack of fire products and awareness of fire product solutions.

Example 1: A. N. Other Company

One 25 year fire risk assessor was adamant their client was 'silly & stupid' in just asking if there was anything they could do to protect their fire documents & keep them safe from fire. The fire risk assessor thought 'no' and published an defamatory statement on their facebook page ridiculing their client.

We soon put them strait on that one (privately), as indeed there are many products that can achieve document protection. We know fire products.

Example 2: A. N. Other Company

Another experienced fire risk assessor was recommending to their clients that they search ebay for fire extinguishers. An client came to us after having purchased cheap extinguishers from ebay - unbeknownst to them, they were so cheap because they were nearly 5 years old and due extended service or replacing almost immediately.

Our guidance saved them thousands of pounds and we implemented suitable service & management procedures.

Example 3: A. N. Other Company

We were called-out to an residential property (PBF), because the tenants were concerned their current fire risk assessments were not good enough?

As it turned-out, they were right to source us as our findings indicated the wrong type of fire alarm system and that the communal areas smoke ventilation systems were not being serviced suitably.

So much so, that the smoke vents did not even open on our FRA inspection. It was later reported by an alternative qualified AOV service company that the system had seized (likely due to lack of operation) and that no lubricants had even been noted on the mechanisms (likely due to lack of suitable service).

This saved our client thousands of pounds in fire equipment service costs due to equipment 'not required' via our knowledge in the legal requirements and products installed within the property + our legal life safety FRA guidance reporting documentation. NB: Client savings are continued yearly.

Example 4: A. N. Other Company

Alternatively, we witnessed one fire alarm company that had installed the fire alarm system and emergency lighting system within the multi-storey residential property, whilst also conducting & providing their own fire risk assessment for the client and approving all their works conducted.

Please note:

We were only alerted as the bank had refused finance for mortgaging the residential property based on the A. N. Other Companies Fire Risk Assessment being deemed 'not suitable' by the bank risk analysis department. We were then contacted by the owners/ landlords for an professional & detailed FRA (quote approved FRA service after bank risk analysis approval).

FYI: On our inspection, we found that had a fire started, it could have cost the lives of ALL the tenants within the multi-storey HMO property due to the fire alarm system and evacuation routes not meeting the regulatory requirements.

Our fire risk assessment report findings were acted upon and the financial institution released the funds to our client to invest in another project shortly thereafter.

It MUST be noted, the original FRA inspecting company SHOULD have been prosecuted by the Local Authority Fire & Rescue Services for RRFSO 2005 reporting failures & breaches and can still be found GUILTY of LIFE SAFETY failings in a Court of Law, up to 6-10 years later from initial breach occurrence.

Fire Risk Assessment Guidance:

Whilst we can sell some products and advise on suitable third party recommended online sales companies to liaise with, in our 30+ years of experience, we have found those Qualified & Experienced Fire Risk Assessors with a grasp on fire products and fire product installation experience, are better placed to advise you further from the fire risk assessment report findings.

As discussed above, we take any guidance provided as an legally binding statement, therefore, you can be best assured that our fire risk assessors have ALL the necessary legal qualifications & years of experience to not only liaise, inspect & write up your report, but are better equipped to go that extra mile in assisting you with the findings of the report.

Whether it means we provide added equipment or not, you will be advised accordingly by-the-law, no matter what.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
Average cost: £ 500.00 (Small Office, Shop or 2-Storey Flats Communal)

The cost for a fire risk assessment report can range from £ 500.00 to £ 1500.00 + costs can increase with multiple premises &/or the number & complexity of each premises requiring to be assessed.

Why Does An FRA Cost what it does?
Fire Risk Assessment Report - Detailed Info & Procedures

1. An fire risk assessor takes on legal life safety responsibilities.
2. An suitable report can be used as an review (as per FRA guides).
3. We provide life safety & property protection (guidance reports).
4. We provide solicitor, insurance, banks & RRFSO 2005 compliance.
5. Our reports reflect PASS - FINANCE APPROVED - PROPERTY SOLD..!

Fire Risk Assessors: Complexity & Competency

Fire risk assessments are complex and many issues are required to be discussed within any FRA report along with their inter-relationships in terms of completing an suitable & sufficient fire risk assessment whilst addressing the premises fire risks.
That is to say, we also have to be mindful of what has been put in place to help mitigate those risks?

1. The occupancy of the building
2. The vulnerability of the occupants
3. The height of the building
4. The layout of the building & escape routes
5. How the building was built & what it was built with
6. Materials stored within or around the building
7. Hazardous materials and processes within the building
8. Fire-fighting provisions within the building
9. Suppression systems within the building
10. Smoke ventilation & control systems in the building
11. Early warning & detection systems within the building
12. Emergency lighting systems within the building
13. Compartmentation
14. Management control
15. Inspection & maintenance
16. Evacuation strategy

The role of a fire risk assessor is not necessarily as straight forward as may first appear, there is guidance to enable fire risk assessments to be conducted, but that guidance is only prescriptive and many premises do not necessarily fit the prescription or, represent the prescriptive guidance.
In-addition, the solutions needed may not be readily available or clearly defined where deviation from prescriptive guidance is usually required.

This is where further training and specialist guidance documents are required to be implemented & qualified experience & guidance via professional documented FRA reports will always assist.

In addition to our qualified & experienced fire risk assessors, our reports can also help save you money in areas you may not have realised, such as;

Cost savings - Example 1:

A.N. Other large & accredited company provided a fire risk assessment for a purpose built block of flats and advised a fire door survey per block and that all flat entrance doors and communal areas riser cupboard doors shall meet ADBv2: 2019 requirements.

As there were 10 blocks, the cost for a survey for each flat entrance door-set per block (being quoted), was going to cost thousands of pounds. This does not even consider the thousands of pounds that would have been required per block for the flat doors to meet ADBv2: 2019.

Note: We were then called-out to conduct a new fire risk assessment. Our report cost more but - Our guidance (backed-up) by government documentation and standards, as well as our experience, meant we were able to provide the responsible persons with more relevant & site specific information for a purpose built block of flats of the sizes & building age in question. In-short;

We ended up saving the client many thousands of pounds in unnecessary surveys & works, whilst both increasing the fire safety knowledge of the responsible persons and the residents alike on the site, but also by providing suitable policies & procedures for resident fire door checks and legal requirements for the responsible person. We also assisted greatly in several other areas that were going to cost thousands of pounds in unnecessary works too, whilst providing further guidance on areas that had not been identified and actually did legally require works to be conducted.

Cost savings - Example 2:

A management company asked us to conduct an FRA inspection on a few linked shops below a high rise residential block of flats. The extinguishers on-site far exceeded the legal requirements or indeed the needs of the shops and as many were due replacing, our guidance saved hundreds of pounds in unnecessary replacements and future service costs that were being advised by others.

Furthermore, following the fire alarm technician visit, we identified an area that legally required a smoke detector and another area that would benefit from an added smoke detector.
So, In-short, savings made from unnecessary fire extinguisher replacements enabled updates be made to the property protection, increasing the early warning and building purpose group fire safety in year 1 and with hundreds of pounds savings each year thereafter.

Our FRA reports assist our clients in PASSING:

1. Fire and Rescue Service - Inspections & Audits
2. Local Council Authority - License Application Approval
3. Local Accreditation Schemes - BSI 9001,  RICS, ROSPA, IOSH & CHAS
4. Local Authority Building Control - Planning & Application Approval
5. Solicitor, Insurance & Financial Institutions - Risk Analysis Approval

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
What is Cladding?

Cladding refers to the outer skin affixed to a building, and is usually fitted to increase the thermal energy efficiency or, to improve the aesthetic look to the buildings external wall system
i.e. The buildings facade.

What are the 4 main types of cladding?

1. Traditional brickwork
2. Rendered systems
3. Metallic rain screen systems
4. Curtain walls (made from glass)

Cladding system constructions comprise:

1. Voids
2. Cavity barriers or fire barriers (both pretty much do the same job)
3. Breather membranes

However, the 2 primary materials are:

A. The thermal insulation
B. The external wall systems facade panels


The thermal insulation is usually comprised from either a mineral (stone) wool or, a foam such as phenolic foam or PIR (Polyisocyanuarate) foam.


The facade/ external wall systems panels can be made from many different types of materials such as: Brick, wood or metal or other composite materials such as ACM or HPL.

Aluminium Composite Materials (ACM):

ACM external wall system panels are made up of two aluminium skins bonded to a non-aluminium core eg. (insultation) which can be highly combustible.

High Pressure Laminate (HPL):

HPL external wall systems panels are made by pressurising layers of wood or paper fibres into a resin and heat bonding them together.

ACM - Noted serious fires - Grenfell Tower, West London - 2017
HPL - Noted serious fires - University of Bolton - Accomm Block - 2019

Cladding & Building Regulations (In-Brief):

Whilst the Building Regulations have been amended, they MUST be diligently referenced along with all other relevant & appropriate guidelines to ensure your external wall systems meet with your:

1. Current building and (internal refurb or external wall system)?
2. Existing building and (relevant buildings change of use)?
3. New construction building (applications & building regulations)?

The regulations have been changing regularly since the Grenfell fire enquiry till now, and will be changing over the course of the next 3 years (expected). There are existing and new guidelines introduced to assist suitably qualified fire risk assessors (such as us), to assist clients to manage their current status quo in delivering fire risk assessment guidance for your external wall system.

An FRAEW = Fire Risk Appraisal External Wall.

We would need to conduct an initial Fire Risk Assessment prior to any quote for an 'FRAEW' for your premises in these areas legally.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
External Wall Systems & Cladding Systems - EWS1 Form:

These forms are being requested by many:

1. Estate Agents
2. Solicitors
3. Banks &
4. Insurance Companies

They are also asking for an Fire Risk Assessment to address & sign-off on the EWS-1 form?
More appropriately, designated managers are asking for these reports..?

Please Note:

An fire risk assessment will not be suitable or sufficient for an EWS-1 form.
Cladding inspections or other external wall systems will require much further inspections & engineered guidance.

That is to say: Cladding inspections shall comply to relevant standards such as:

1. BS 8414-1: 2020 &
2. BS 8414-2: 2020
3. ADBv1 + ADBv2: Fire Safety 2019 & BR 135


It is expected your building control engineer and project manager should be able to provide all the information required by-law, to sign the EWS-1 form as requested.
If not, then the JOB may well be compromised..?

Furthermore, the performance of the cladding materials tested will depend on the design, materials, workmanship & maintenance, as well as the O&M Manual.

If the above is in doubt, your property/ site may not be, compliant to the LAW.

MG Fire Safety Group Fire Safety Strategy Report or, BRE Group & Local Council Authority, Building Control & Local Fire & Rescue Services.

Update: January 2022:

A new code of practice (COP) has been developed to cover external wall systems in Jan 2022.
The steering group consists of experts in construction, fire, housing and safety.
It is for use by fire engineers & other competent building professionals when undertaking an appraisal of external walls, and expected outputs will benefit those to whom will benefit from said information such as; building owners, landlords, fire risk assessors, managing agents and premises managers.

According to BSI, PAS 9980 applies where the risk is known or suspected to arise from the form of construction used for the external wall build-up, such as the presence of combustible materials.

"The outcome of an FRAEW is intended to inform fire risk assessments of multi-storey, multi-occupied residential buildings and other types of building, including student accommodation, sheltered and other specialised housing and buildings converted into flats, where the evacuation strategy will be similar in nature to a purpose-built block of flats". Says BSI.

The code of practice also gives recommendations on the competency of professionals completing such appraisals.

Please note:

The Code of Practice does NOT alter the obligations placed on 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.

The standard is sponsored by:
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Home Office.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
Does the new Fire Safety Act 2022 apply to me?

In-short - It depends?

The Fire Safety Act clarifies the parts of the premises that apply under the Fire Safety Order (FSO).

The FSO applies to all non-domestic premises in England & Wales. These include multi-occupied residential buildings such as blocks of flats although individual flats are excluded.

Responsibility for complying with the FSO falls on the Responsible Person which may be the freeholder, management company or managing agent depending on local arrangements.

The new legislation clarifies that where a building contains 2 or more sets of domestic premises, the FSO applies to:

  • the building's structure and external walls (including windows, balconies, cladding, insulation & fixings) and any common parts

  • all doors between domestic premises and common parts such as flat entrance doors (or any other relevant door)
The Fire Safety Act came into force on 16 May 2022. The act clarifies the Fire Safety Order to make it clear that Responsible Persons must consider these parts when conducting fire risk assessments.

If you contract out this work, you must make sure that those engaged to complete the fire risk assessment include those elements detailed above, as you are responsible for complying with the FSO and liable for any necessary remediation.

As a Responsible Person you are responsible for overseeing the removal or reduction of fire hazards in your building and for implementing reasonable measures to ensure the safety of all residents, those employed to work in the building and visitors to the building.

Fire and rescue authorities can issue enforcement notices if they decide that Responsible Persons or Duty Holders have failed to comply with any provisions of the FSO. They can prosecute or serve alteration or prohibition notices if they identify that failing to comply with those provisions puts people at risk of death or injury from fire.

This guide has been issued under Article 50 of the Fire Safety Order.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
Information to Residents - Regulation 9

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will make it a legal requirement from 23 January 2023 for responsible persons of all multi-occupied residential buildings in England with two or more sets of domestic premises (and which have common parts), to provide residents with fire safety instructions.

Responsible persons should make sure that these instructions are shared with their residents in a form that residents can reasonably be expected to understand.

Responsible persons will need to provide residents with instructions on:

  • How to report a fire
  • A reminder of what the evacuation strategy is for that building
  • Any other instruction that tells residents what they must do once a fire has occurred, based on the buildings evacuation strategy.
Responsible persons should display these instructions clearly in their buildings communal areas (such as the buildings lobby or any conspicuous part of the building) and share directly with residents when they move into the building.

This information will need to be re-provided in both the communal areas and to residents when a document is updated. This information must also be re-provided to residents on an annual basis.

A multi-occupied residential building is likely to have either a 'stay-put' or 'simultaneous' evacuation strategy.

Responsible persons should consider how best to provide these instructions in a way that their residents can understand. This consideration could be made alongside any existing or future resident engagement strategy, but the regulations do require responsible persons to provide fire safety instructions to their residents on, at least, an annual basis.

The regulations do not require these instructions into multiple languages , but a responsible person is welcome to use their own discretion should they wish to do so. Relevant fire safety information is already available in alternative languages from some fire and rescue services and can be downloaded from their websites.

Responsible persons should take steps to make sure instructions can be understood by all their residents and make reasonable steps to make sure this happens. Pictorial information could be used and face to face engagement undertaken to assist residents in understanding these instructions.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595

In-short - YES..!

We are getting asked more and more frequently technical questions regarding fire doors.
We must stress that answering many of these questions over the phone or, via email is not actually always possible. We can provide some generic advice and guidance in these forms, however, to answer the majority of your questions with the best kind of accuracy, we would either:

1. Need to have conducted your fire risk assessment inspection (FRA) or,
2. Be officially contracted to conduct your fire door inspection survey (FDIS)

Thus - we have provided clear guidance below PLUS in our online 'features page - link below'
Fire Door Inspection Survey (Report & Guidance)

So, to what extent and when do I need an 'Fire Door Inspection Survey'?

Fire Risk Assessment:

Many FRA companies are simply advising the client in their FRA reports that you need a fire door inspection survey as generic guidance. This can be for many 'poor' reasons such as:

1. Lack of experience & knowledge of fire doors and their associated fire systems?
2. Providing a cheap quote and expecting fire door survey business?
3. Providing a quick-in & quick-out fire risk assessment inspection service?
4. Not having asked to view a suitable sample of fire doors, so as to guide you suitably?

The above are all poor reasons for NOT providing you with good advice within your FRA report and just simply saying you need a 'fire door inspection survey'.

Here are some 'suitable' reasons for recommending a 'fire door inspection survey':

1. The premises is large or complex in layout, thus 'FDIS' is an separate service altogether
2. Many fire doors are poorly installed or maintained in your building premises
3. Your building may be listed or historic and further expert guidance is required
4. Your residents or committee did not allow access to inspect a sample of flat door-sets

An good example of how our FRA can save you money, whilst increasing FDIS knowledge..!

Example 1: A. N. Other Company:

A small block of flats fire risk assessment advised an individual 'fire door survey report' for each flat entrance door-set within the block of flats and provided that answer as an generic answer to all the blocks of flats entrance door-sets throughout each building assessed.

There were 4x flats over two floors. Access to sample flats per block was provided.
The flats were circa 1970's & purpose built (as all 10x blocks).
No other fire door information was provided within the fire risk assessment, except to advise an 'fire door survey' for each flat entrance door-set was required. e.g. 40x flat door surveys..!

Most companies quoting were either more than the FRA per block or, equal to the FRA per door-set. Thus, the cost was far exceeding the risk, or was it?

In this instance, it was NOT good advice and the fire risk assessor should have checked at the least, 1x sample flat entrance door-set (per block), on the day.

Following the inspection, they should have also provided more specific guidance & advice within the FRA. Following their FRA report, the landlords, leaseholders and managing agents were all at cross-hairs over who is responsible and what to do next?

We were then alerted as many flat owners were calling-us and asking for an 'fire door survey report' for their flat entrance door-sets. Whilst we could have charged and received £150.00 per flat entrance fire door inspection survey, we cordially advised that we should conduct an NEW & UPDATED Fire Risk Assessment - both legally & suitably.

Providing 40x flat entrance door-set inspection surveys was not practical or, client cost-effective. Answers below -

MG Fire Safety Group - Fire Risk Assessment Booked & Fire Door Guidance:

Our guidance - We were booked & conducted our fire risk assessment inspections.
Access was granted to 1x flat entrance door-set per block. Pre-arranged with residents.
We also surveyed the flat doors accessed for the 'legal standards' required to be met.

By doing so, we were able to provide both verbal guidance to the committee management residents on-the-day PLUS our fire risk assessment report also provided clear guidance on what was required for the sample flat entrance door-sets and was to be reflected uniformly throughout each of the 'blocks of flats' flat entrance door-sets.

This included 'immediate action' requirements for all door-sets, as well as 'further action' requirements for door-sets, that could be managed over the course of the next 2 - 3 years.

Our report also provided example committee management letters to email to residents/ leaseholders, as well as detailed guidance on what makes a fire door a fire door.

Providing the residents with valuable knowledge to enable them to action the fire door requirements themselves. Thus, no fire door survey was required (except from the residents).

Of-which, we provided the information to allow the residents to manage their fire door requirements both suitably & legally, saving residents money whilst also increasing their fire safety knowledge.

4x flats FDIS @ £125.00 ea. = £500.00 per block = 10x Blocks = £ 5,000.00
Our FRA inspections are charged @ £ 500.00 ea. (minimum per block).

We provided an FRA discount, removing fire door survey costs & legal issues via our fire risk assessment inspection report c/w fire door guidance & advice. Saving LIFE, TIME & STRESS!

Example 2: Residential Use in High Wycombe - Hotel c/w Council Homeless Tenants:

A Hotel owner had received an 'Fire Enforcement Action Notice' placed upon their premises.
He attempted to do what he thought was right but failed - (even as an property developer).
The notice was not understood by the owner or his fire alarm contractor. As a result -

We were then called-out to conduct an fire risk assessment for the Hotel premises.
We identified the enforcement notice requirements through terminologies used by the fire & rescue services, as well as the technical specifications detailed and as such, advised of the necessary measures to take & works required, to enable compliance & thus - enable the Hotel to - 'Remain Open'. All clearly detailed within our Fire Risk Assessment report.

The owner then asked us to remove several items from our provided & legal FRA report.
The owner reasons were 'why are you discussing certain subjects when the fire service have not even mentioned it'? We clearly advised, the fire service are not doing your fire risk assessment, they are expecting to see an suitable & sufficient FRA report provided.

In-short, the Hotel was a death trap for vulnerable persons and guests alike, fire spread through lack of fire door installation, maintenance & management was expected - The owner did not realise, we were actually keeping his Hotel open by providing such clear guidance in our fire risk assessment.

Otherwise, the Hotel would have been shut-down immediately via an 'Prohibition Notice'.
In this instance, an Fire Door Inspection Survey was most certainly required. WHY?

1. All fire doors were very poorly fitted & frames were non-compliant for doors in-place
2. Door hinges and other hardware to the fire doors were ALL incorrect type & poorly fitted
3. Smoke seals and intumescent strips where fitted, were poorly fitted & rating not confirmed
4. 1x fire door had been moved/ re-sited during the recent refurbishment
5. 1x fire door was also required to contain the 3-storey single stairway and fire escape route

While the owner was unhappy, we know if our report had not been filed to the Fire & Rescue Services, the premises would have been shut-down. As such, the Hotel was given time to work through the higher risks noted in the FRA report. A fire door survey would further ensure, any works conducted correctly this time around should SAVE LIFE & deliver Contingency.

That is what we do..! - Save LIFE & deliver business CONTINGENCY..!

Example 3: Residential Use in Reading - House In Multiple Occupation (HMO):

A new landlord was refurbishing her house to a change of use from private residential, to an house in multiple occupation aka. HMO. The landlord had been wise and applied to the council (LABC) for planning permission for the change of use.

The LABC provided good guidance as to what was expected, whilst not a full report, nevertheless, detailed enough for the landlord to contact us for an fire risk assessment.

As mentioned above, some companies just generically advise an 'FDIS'.
However, we assessed each new door and doors yet to be fitted and provided clear and detailed guidance on what was needed for new doors, where they were needed and changes to some of the current doors fitted as part of our fire risk assessment report.

Long story short -The LABC & the Local Council Authority approved the license based on our guidance & changes advised in our FRA report - The premises now operates as an HMO.
(with legal fire doors where required - all now fitted perfectly I might add)..!

Fire doors can be a difficult subject for some, as costs are invariably involved -but we as professional fire risk assessors will only tell you what is legally required by-law to HELP you.

We consider your cost implications as well as LIFE SAFETY - Thus, you know you are receiving the most current and up-to-date impartial Fire Safety Consultancy.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595

Blocks Of Flats: Purpose Built or Converted:

There is some confusion as to the correct protocols for persons with mobility issues to follow. The fire risk assessment, whilst covering the common areas, must also address the potential evacuation requirements for persons with mobility challenges.

This may involve addressing refuges, or places of relative safety, addressing fire door issues to enable any smoke vents positive pressure systems to allow disabled persons to be able to open their doors in an emergency or, whether fire-fighting lifts are able to be used or are shut-down in an emergency.

Furthermore, discussing and organising the provision of suitable emergency escape equipment, albeit an evac-chair or an evac-sledge, especially so if an stay-put policy has been deemed not practical, or limited in time, therefore:

An suitably trained & qualified + DBS Approved - Responsible person/s 'Building Manager ' or 'Legally Approved Family Member' to assist in an legal evacuation 'may be required'?

Remember, disabilities can affect anyone at anytime. Whether it be a mobility concern such as a wheelchair user, an injured person or old age person with limited mobility, someone with reduced vision, hearing impaired or psychiatric conditions (to name but a few), an PEEP or GEEP must therefore be introduced and implemented to protect the safety & welfare of ALL within the building.

We have heard quotes on several occasions stipulating, "We do not have any disabled people, so we are not going to put a PEEP in-place". Whilst that may be the case, the above list can show - that scenario can change 'overnight' therefore, it is imperative to plan for this event beforehand and be kept up-to-date by regularly reviewing the building safety requirements.

Example 1:

We assessed one high rise block of flats and found the building was adopting an 'stay-put policy'. However, on further investigation, we found the common areas had an fully functioning fire alarm system, indicating simultaneous evacuation. Furthermore, all flats were provided with gas mains supply - therefore, the PEEP required was not only required under a fire scenario, but also required for an gas leak scenario - was stay-put suitable in a gas leak - No it wasn't. There were many persons on-site with mental health conditions and as such are deemed as 'vulnerable persons'. An PEEP was most certainly required and eventually implemented after our comprehensive guidance and legally binding advice.

The same rules of courtesy and respect apply to disabled people and non-disabled people alike. Disabled people should not be treated as a health & safety problem, to be resolved.
See the person, not the disability.

The needs and preferences will vary between individuals. Disabled people should be meaningfully involved at all stages in the development and review of their PEEP.
Ask, don't assume, when determining what assistance he or she may need.

Individual Plan (IP) - Workplace PEEP
A plan for employees & regular users of a building such as;

Residents, Contractors or Students who require special provision to ensure their safety in the event of a fire - this is written by management on a case by case basis in-conjunction with the individuals concerned and is tailored to their individual needs and includes detailed information of their movements during an evacuation.
It may be necessary to provide a plan for each building or room that they visit. Once agreed, a copy shall be kept by the disabled person concerned, the duty holder & any other person who is legally required to know the content of the plan.


PEEP = Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan -

An PEEP is developed where disabilities 'are known' and aided by the business or committees individual plan for the premises such as;

Staff Workplaces, Residential Care Homes, Universities, Colleges & Schools, Social, Sports or Hobby Clubs & Residential Blocks Of Flats or HMO's (to name but a few).

GEEP = General Emergency Evacuation Plan -

An GEEP is developed where disabilities 'are not known' initially such as;

Hotels (that may manage & assist multiple disabilities), Shopping Centres, Cinemas, Nightclubs & Restaurants, Places of Worship or Blocks of Flats & other places with managed Residential Communal Areas (to name but a few).

With further regards to Blocks Of Flats & HMO's:

It would be deemed suitable for the Freeholders or Management Committee to implement an professional GEEP (general emergency evacuation plan) for the building. This guidance may assist in the specific site risks identified, enabling suitable management and monitoring.

In-turn, the GEEP might also advise an PEEP be developed where necessary by the individual person depending on the nature of vulnerability or disability. For example: The NHS or care managers may also be required to be consulted in terms of the content and capabilities of any person with disabilities in formulating an PEEP.

This information could be sensitive in nature and require discretion or legally binding statements put-in-place to enable the legally required provision of life safety & personal emergency evacuation plans & measures to be suitably implemented.

Who Should Provide ANY Emergency Escape Equipment Deemed Required?

Freeholder? Leaseholder? or Landlord? Tenant? NHS? Local Council?

We advise this is addressed on a case by case basis.
Remediation or mutual benefit may assist 'ALL' in deciding who foots the costs.

In many instances, financial HELP can be provided by the NHS or Local Council Authority.

It must be noted that provision to manage LIFE SAFETY in ANY building is required for ALL.
Providing an alarm but not providing escape equipment can be deemed discriminatory.

Example 2:

An flat owner in an residential block of flats, let-out the flat and became an landlord.
The tenant required hard-of-hearing devices and as such, an PEEP was required.

The PEEP determined added equipment was indeed required to be linked to the buildings
fire safety measures already in-place.

In this instance, the landlord is required to provide the added LIFE SAFETY provisions.
Costs may indeed be assisted by the NHS or Local Council Authority.
However, the landlord is required to provide an safe and secure premises.
As such, the landlord is initially responsible for the extra costs to meet these functions.

Example 3:

The freeholder/ management company had an fire risk assessment conducted on the communal areas of a block of flats. It was determined on inspection that an PEEP was indeed required and as such added equipment would also be required to address these individual plans (Person Centred Risk Assessments).

However, whilst it was deemed suitable for the freeholder/ management company to provide an GEEP, the PEEP was a matter for the persons affected as the freeholder had provided an safe premises in the form of communal areas. The PEEP was person centred and required much more detailed information that was personal to the resident leaseholder.

(A) Who should pay & provide the evac-chairs or vision impaired signage in this instance?

An person centred risk assessment will determine the level the freeholders have in this instance. It is likely in small cases the responsibility will be the leaseholder/ landlord.

In larger instances where the freeholder is benefiting from providing accommodations for persons with disabilities, then it is expected to be the freeholder that pays for and provides the life safety equipment as part of providing an safe home or safe escape route (as is required by law).

As also discussed, in many instances, committees funds may also cover the costs if it is deemed that it will benefit many by providing escape provisions for the block.

Alternatively, if the added escape equipment would only be deemed safe in the residents premises, such as sprinklers or escape chair, then the person centred risk assessment would be able to guide on this in more detail (with NHS or other care provider assistance).


Saving LIFE is paramount in ANY fire risk assessment and LIFE SAFETY affects us ALL.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595

The RRFSO 2005 - Article 9:- Fire Risk Assessment:

Fire safety law and guidance documents for business is available & addresses:

The responsible person (RP), must make suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the measures they need to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on them by the Order.

The nature of the assessment will vary according to the type and use of the premises, the persons who use or may use the premises, and the risks associated with that use.

A fire risk assessment should be reviewed regularly by the responsible person to keep it up to date, valid and to reflect any significant changes that may have taken place.

Fire risk assessments are legal documents & will be used in a court of law:

1. Are you fire risk assessment & fire safety qualified?
2. Are you fire risk assessment & fire safety experienced?
3. Can you interpret fire safety law & apply it to residential or workplaces?
4. Can you interpret the building regulations and equally apply it?
5. Do you know what other codes & standards are required for your premises?
6. Do you know how many people can legally occupy your premises?
7. Is your fire escape route protected or unprotected?
8. Is the fire safety strategy suitable for your building environment?
9. Are active fire protection systems installed as required by the law?
10. Are passive fire protection systems assessed and addressed?

In-answer, YES & NO
It all depends on your knowledge & the type & size of premises to be assessed.

Can employees be held accountable for failures under article 23 of the Order?

Employees can only be held to account by way of legal proceedings for an offence under article 32(2)(a). Employees avoid being issued with an Enforcement Notice because the Notice must be served on a responsible person (or article 5(3) duty holder). The duties associated with these persons specifically exclude matters relating to article 23. Instead, poor employee behaviour must be addressed through other articles.

Who is the responsible person (RP)?

Meaning of "responsible person"

Under the RRFSO 2005 (3) "responsible person" means_

(a) in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control:

(b) in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a)--

(i) the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or

(ii) the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in the connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking.

The responsible person concept is established, as a hierarchy at article 3.
The hierarchy consists of three elements with the first being the employer (where there is one), being given this responsibility to bring the Order into compliance with European Directives.

The other responsible persons (in descending order) are, where there is no employer, the person in control of the premises (in connection with a trade, business or other undertaking whether for profit or not) and finally the owner.

The inclusion of the second responsible person on the hierarchy is to increase the scope of fire law to include many more premises than had previously been included, such as voluntary sectors, places of religious worship, self-employed persons, residential management committee members etc.

The employer is held by strict liability under the Order & will always be held to be the "responsible person" where the workplace is to any extent under his control.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
Article 8 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire) (Safety) Order 2005

Imposes on the responsible person the duty to implement the preventive and protective measures which have been evaluated in the risk assessment.

By virtue of this article, the responsible person is under a duty to ensure that general fire precautions are in place to ensure the safety of any of his or her employees or, of any relevant persons who are not his or her employees.

Fire risk assessments are required to be reviewed annually by law at a minimum.
Fire risk assessments are also required to be reviewed when:

1. Any material alteration has taken place to the building
2. Any significant changes in operations to the business are implemented
3. Any change of use or occupation to the building
4. Any change of directors or fire safety management to the building
5. Any intervals required by law and other codes of practice

The above list is not exhaustive and an suitable & sufficient fire risk assessment should guide your workplace or, residential premises in the required frequencies.

What is an Fire Risk Assessment Review?

Basically, it is a fire risk assessment.
It is called a review if you have had a previous fire risk assessment and the company visiting again are only providing brief guidance, termed as an review.

It could also be the company that conducted the original report are not returning and the client wishes to conduct their own internal inspection (review).

If the original report was thorough, then it may well be possible for the clients to conduct their own internal review if they are confidant and able to do so, utilising the original report findings and guidance, but only if certain areas have not changed, or, it is suspected that an full inspection is required by law, as briefly indicated in numbers 1-5 above or, your suitable fire risk assessment.

The majority of experienced and qualified fire risk assessors should basically conduct an full fire risk assessment inspection and provide you with a new and updated full report. This may be because a few simple things could have changed but were not advised to the assessor, affecting the original report and requiring further legal guidance, or simply because the premises requires an full inspection for insurance and life safety purposes each year, or if the premises are complex or the general public are permitted on-site.

Ultimately, the fire risk assessor takes all the legal responsibility for the contents of the report, so for an assessor to not conduct an full fire risk assessment report each year would require exceptional circumstances.

Such as, when an residential property fire risk assessment review of the communal areas can be conducted by the resident management company. An example would be the initial inspection was conducted and the remedial life safety and passive fire safety works were all completed. The following year, the visiting company confirmed this and provided an second full report reflecting these works and that your communal areas were now low risk.

It is now, the resident management company, with suitable procedures and guidance, can conduct their own internal communal areas fire risk assessment review. However, it is advised and appropriate, for another full fire risk assessment to be carried-out again by an external company every 3 years to maintain your insurance and of-course, peace of mind. Again, unless any of the numbers 1-5 above are conducted or your FRA report advises as legally appropriate e.g. stay put procedures or evacuation procedures updates and remediation required etc. to name but a few.

How much should a Fire Risk Assessment or FRA Review Cost?

An experienced & qualified assessor providing an suitable & sufficient fire risk assessment to HELP you pass local authority fire & rescue service audit or local authority building control audit or, an solicitor or bank audit, should cost as much as it costs to reflect the type, size & required information for your premises to pass such audits.

The overall cost may also reflect the knowledge & experience the qualified fire risk assessor may be willing to work for i.e. Time, knowledge & assistance provided varies for everyone. Some companies charge extra consulting fees to just discuss their reports, others do it as part of their service.

Please note:

Our reports are legally compliant, suitable & sufficient & have passed both fire service, local authority council, local authority building control, solicitor, insurance, bank & financial institutions assessor audits in ALL years (0 report failures/ all reports passed since start of trading in 2005).
Our charges may well increase exponentially.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
Fire Extinguisher Guidance: Purpose Built Blocks Of Flats:

The provision of fire extinguishers and other forms of fire-fighting equipment in common parts for use by residents is problematic. It is not expected that residents should need to tackle a fire in their flats to make their escape.

Indeed, to obtain a fire extinguisher located in the common parts for this purpose would involve the person leaving their flat in the first place.

This does not preclude residents from providing their own fire extinguishers and fire blankets. Indeed, it may be appropriate for landlords, and others responsible for the common parts, to encourage this as part of the process of engaging with, and educating residents on, fire safety.

We recommend that an suitable & sufficient fire risk assessment is conducted - In many instances, this can save you money in areas of fire protection equipment that is actually not required.

Please Note: An suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment should identify where fire extinguishers are required by law. In-turn, it should also indicate where fire extinguishers can potentially affect life safety.

Alternatively; we have clients that want fire extinguishers in the flat communal areas, in-which case, we have provided the necessary guidance for them to remain legal in this application whilst deviating from local authorities guidance.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services: LACoRS

YES - However, the number and location of these fire extinguishers will depend on several factors. The council will have their own legal requirements for your minimum provisions and a fire risk assessment will identify certain factors.

This is relevant whether your premises require a licence or not.

An suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment should guide you appropriately as to the number and location, or indeed, if they are required or, whether practical or not, for the individual/ specific type of HMO to be assessed (not all are the same).

Again, several factors will need to be assessed competently. We recommend you have a fire risk assessment conducted. It can actually save lives & save you money in unnecessary fire protection systems that may, or may not be required.

Please Note: Some local authority inspectors have advised multi-purpose fire extinguishers (dry powder), for the communal areas of an HMO in-writing, to help save money for the HMO applicants licence. This is incorrect/ wrong.

Dry Powder: can cause visibility problems and breathing problems once discharged - especially with asthma sufferers, which can cause an asthma attack.
Basically, dry powder can kill if installed. Dry powder is also not suitable for use indoors due to the above and several more reasons that our suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment may identify/ address suitably for you.

Therefore; it may be that your premises requires a mixture of water & Co2 for each floor of the common areas, as well as covering the kitchen hazards.

In-turn, it may also be unsuitable for this - As we say - An suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment will discuss these reasons why, whilst providing appropriate reasoning & guidance pertaining to each individual HMO premises fire safety.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
Can I use an ALL class liquid or powder based fire extinguisher to cover ALL fire hazards within my workplace? This is an popular question asked by many due to some 35 kV ratings applied.

The most prominent being - Can I use a water fire extinguisher on my electrical equipment that claims to put-out all classes of fire (as it has an 35 kV fire rating)?

In-short, NO you can't..!

Whilst the extinguisher products, if suitably tested 'can do' what they say on the tin, there are many H&S implications that are not clearly identified by many professionals & can lead to further life safety risks if not identified or, fire risk assessed suitably.

Firstly, what does 35 kV mean?

When testing fire extinguishers for suitability, they are given classes and fire ratings to denote the type of fire they are capable of extinguishing & the size of test fire they can actually extinguish, if used in the hands of a trained person.

For example: An 6 litre foam fire extinguisher can extinguish a type (class B fire involving flammable liquids such as petrol, oil, adhesives & spirits etc) and can extinguish the class B fire to the size of 113 B - This means the foam fire extinguisher has extinguished a test fire of 113 litres of flammable liquid materials to the required British Standard test requirements, thus, the extinguisher earns an impressive '113 B - Fire Rating Classification'.

However, an approved fire extinguisher carrying the 35 kV test for electrical fires has a few more stipulations in its use, such as - the test is conducted via an extinguisher sited 1 meter away from the steel electrical plate to ascertain if an lethal charge of electricity runs back through the extinguisher.

Note: if the electric charge is 'below the required amount' then the extinguisher is given 35 kV status.

This basically translates:

The 35 kV tested fire extinguisher is only certified safe so long as - if used directly onto an electrical appliance of less than 35 kV & the user stands 1m away from the appliance on fire, then you should not be electrocuted? This occurs via de-ionised water - However, there is no evidence the water or other solution cannot become ionised when in contact with ANY other combustible materials.

In real life - fire extinguisher USER fire safety terms, translate:

An extinguisher with an 'added 35 kV rating', is best used for the class of fire it was intended for; Such as an water fire extinguisher with an class A fire rating is intended for (flammable solids like paper, wood & plastics etc).
However, it may also carry an added 35 kV rating - So the benefits of the 35 kV fire rating would only be beneficial -

"if whilst tackling an class A fire, the fire extinguishing medium (water), is inadvertently applied to or, passed over an electrical appliance by the user, (computer, socket, battery charger etc) that is less than 35,000 volts -
Then the user would be safe from electrocution in that specific environment & application of trained use of the operator provided accidental application over electrical appliances or, albeit 1m away and any other safety data sheet requirements for each individual product for 35 kV suitability was adhered to strictly".


1. May be suitable for complex premises such as large fuel depots
2. May be suitable for many households & standard private kitchens in homes
3. Ideal for the fire & rescue service for quick reaction & trained operational use


1. Staff training can become convoluted for many extinguishers in workplaces
2. Fire risk assessments will have to verify if suitable for each premises
3. Extinguisher use, damage, parts & replacement costs will increase
4. If fire extinguisher is used incorrectly, electrocution of staff occurs
5. Workplace insurance lawsuit against company for staff injury/ loss of life

One point missed by many professionals in the application & use of the 35 kV status is that - the fire extinguisher user/ operative MUST BE trained & the unit/ extinguisher MUST BE used at the 1m discharge/ use position - Otherwise, the user is (at risk) from ELECTROCUTION - not the equipment technician, supplier or distributor, but the users life is at risk..!

An suitable & sufficient fire risk assessment should guide your workplace or, residential premises in the extinguishers required and deemed safe for use in the environment in-which they are to be used.

MG Fire Safety Group have advised many on the above, we choose to provide this information online to educate more and promote life safety over sales.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
Simultaneous Evacuation Strategy Guides:

We would urge those interested and with questions to fully read the new edition of the guidance and refer to the FAQ’s listed below. Whilst the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) is not responsible for the design, build, sign off or maintenance of buildings, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) is committed to ensure the communities we serve are safe and believe this guidance helps us ensure consistent direction and understanding for those responsible for implementing it.

It is important to note that it is the Responsible Person along with their competent person in conjunction with the fire risk assessment that makes the decision to change strategy, not the FRS.

Q. What is Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance for and when should it be used?

A. If a building has been identified as high risk because of an unsuitable external wall system or other fire safety measures, interim fire safety arrangements can be adopted for the temporary, short-term management and mitigation from the risk of a fire and the risk to life if a fire occurs. These arrangements can range from simple steps to remove potential ignition sources that might give rise to a fire, through to a change in the evacuation strategy for a building, moving from Stay Put to Simultaneous Evacuation supported by the installation of a common fire alarm and/or a waking watch.

The aim of a waking watch is to ensure there is sufficient warning in the event of fire to support the evacuation strategy and has been utilised in buildings before the Grenfell Tower fire. It is intended for very short periods of time whilst the increased risk is being urgently addressed through either remediation or the installation of a common fire alarm system.

Q. Why was there a need for the guidance in the first place - surely residents should have been rehomed?

A: It was identified following the tragic Grenfell Tower Fire that there were many more buildings with similar cladding. The level of risk to life, as a result of a fire involving these external wall systems, could not be ignored. In some cases, the only alternative housing options would place people into even worse living conditions, and potentially leave others without accommodation. To enable people to continue to live in relative safety in their own homes, interim solutions were needed to mitigate the risk.

Although waking watch had been used in buildings before Grenfell it became clear following the Grenfell Tower fire that no central guidance existed on how to consistently implement these arrangements. This needed to be rectified urgently given the emerging scale of the problem and the need to support Responsible Persons to implement measures effectively and consistently.

In response to this need, NFCC convened a group of industry professionals to produce a technical guide on arrangements to support a temporary change to the evacuation strategy. In the absence of a common fire alarm, the central premise of this guidance is how to ensure that all residents can be alerted by the waking watch and an evacuation commenced within 10-15 minutes, with due regard to the number of flats on each floor, the height of building, travel distances, time taken to raise the alarm and the needs and vulnerabilities of all residents. In producing the guide, the group sought to ensure the safety of residents, and prevent removing people from their homes, whilst fully accepting that the principle way to reduce risk was to urgently remediate the non-compliant external wall systems.

Q. Who are the ‘experts’ involved in writing this guidance?

A. The NFCC have worked with experts from the following organisations and government departments to produce this edition of the guidance:

The Government’s Independent Expert Advisory Panel; Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; Fire Industry Association; Institution of Fire Engineers; Fire Brigades Union; Optivo; Association of Residential Managing Agents; London Councils; Local Government Association; Home Office, and London Fire Brigade.

Q: Why are we now on edition 3 of this guidance?

A. Guidance needs continually reviewing to ensure it is fit for purpose. Having liaised with leaseholders we recognise that temporary measures that were only ever expected to be in place for a short period of time, remain in place and are costly to leaseholders. Therefore, there was the need for remediation to make things more practical for leaseholders.

The stakeholder group are deeply conscious of the impacts arising from the delays in remediating buildings and consequent extended use of interim measures have on residents and leaseholders. The same residents and leaseholders who are being protected from the risk of rapid fire spread, are instead experiencing other significant consequences through no fault of their own. These include the ongoing high costs of waking watches and insurance products, an inability to sell or re-mortgage their properties, financial stress and unacceptable impacts on mental health and wellbeing.

In some cases, freeholders and developers have not stepped up to the expectations placed upon them to fund remediation or interim measures. NFCC, and others, have advocated for government funding for remediation, and on 11 March 2020 the Government announced £1 billion would be available for owners to apply for the removal of non-ACM combustible cladding, in addition to the £600 million for unsafe ACM.

Whilst these steps have been taken, it seems that in some cases, barriers to remediation may remain for some time and therefore the need to make clear what short term should look like in the guidance was imperative.

Q: What are the key changes to this edition?

A. The key changes are as follows:

  • Advice to consult with residents and leaseholders to explore cost/benefit options, with emphasis placed on the need to fully and properly consider the installation of common fire alarms where measures are now, or are likely in the future to be in place for the longer term.

  • Clear distinction between waking watch and evacuation management as separate roles.

Definitions for the terms:

  • Short-term – the time required to formulate a longer-term remediation plan, as soon as practically possible and no longer than 12 months; and

  • Temporary – non-permanent measures implemented to mitigate an unacceptable risk in a building, as an interim measure, adopted for the safety of residents while works to rectify the identified fire safety failings are carried out.

Q: What does this guidance mean for me?

A: This updated guidance means that all Responsible Persons for affected buildings should review their fire risk assessment to ensure the fire safety arrangements including the interim measures in place are appropriate, informed by this guidance and the advice of a competent person.

Q: What about buildings where remediation can’t happen in the short term – how are the leaseholders meant to afford the ongoing costs of interim solutions such as waking watches?

A: We have ensured the guidance clearly underscores the stakeholder group and NFCC’s firm and long held expectation that building owners should move to install common fire alarms as quickly as possible to reduce or remove the dependence on waking watches. This is the clear expectation for buildings where remediation cannot be undertaken in the ‘short term’. This approach should, in almost all circumstances, reduce the financial burden on residents where they are funding the waking watches.

Q: How do I ensure if a Waking Watch is provided to my building, they are fully competent to carry out this important role?

A: It is the duty of the Responsible Person for the building to ensure that the waking watch are competent to carry out the role. The updated guidance now includes appendices to advise Responsible Persons of the management considerations to take into account when specifying a waking watch and also outlines the person specifications to be considered for roles as part of the waking watch and evacuation management.

The role of the waking watch is specific to the individual building, and therefore the training needs to be building specific.

Companies providing waking watch services have their own duties as employers for the safety of their staff working in these buildings and to ensure they are competent and fully trained to carry out the role.

FYI: Waking Watch Relief Fund - Guidance - See link below...
Waking Watch Relief Fund - Guidance (Update September 2021)

Source: NFCC - National Fire Chiefs Council: 

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595
PU Foam - We often see on our fire risk assessment inspections, PU foam, filling all and sundry holes/ gaps/ and also providing seals for wood or plasterboard fixtures, as well as plastic pipe fixtures, amongst many other illegal attempts at fire stopping.

It is understood knowledge is lacking in many areas of passive fire protection, this is why we are providing FREE guidance here to encourage ALL with an interest to learn more and ensure when you pay money, you get exactly what you are paying for - that is - property protection & life safety.

Other than what we report in our fire risk assessment findings, we often get asked separately by many - can we use fire rated foam to fill the gaps or holes located in walls, corridors or through service pipe penetrations or, on cable trays separating rooms?

First of all - what is PU foam?
PU stands for Polyurethane and the foam itself comes sold as an 4 hour fire rated product. It is usually discharged with a pink colour to identify the fact it is a fire rated foam product. Some colours vary, such as Blue 60, for fire door architraves.

So, the PU fire rated foam - Is it fire rated?

YES, however, you MUST realise the use in-which the foam is to be installed.
For example, to achieve the 4 hour fire rating, the foam would need to be applied within dimensions not exceeding 10 mm width x 50 mm depth.

To confirm this, you would need to provide an fire strategy identifying the width and depth by both written evidence & pictorial evidence, prior to application.

By doing this, you would confirm for fire risk assessment, local authority fire safety inspecting officers, local authority building control officers & your insurers, that the fire rating claimed, is indeed that to which you have confirmed legally in both writing & pictorial evidence. Thus ensuring, any legal implications can be managed suitably.

It pays to be diligent!

So, if you applied the same product to an area of 50 mm width x 10 mm depth, the fire rating would be reduced dramatically by an massive 3 hours 49 minutes drop time - Thus only achieving 11 minutes of fire resistance. Not the 4 hours stipulated on the tin..!

Therefore, the 4 hour fire rating only applies in the most exceptional circumstance, where dimensions for its use are met and measured accurately.
Thus, it is very likely, most PU foam fire rating seals provided throughout the UK, will not be achieving the desired or expected fire rating that is required.
Furthermore, fire rated foam alone, is almost always not suitable.


10 mm width x 50 mm depth = Application = 280 minutes fire rating.
50 mm width x 10 mm depth = Application = 11 minutes fire rating.

Installation techniques can have an major effect on the fire resistance of PU fire rated foam - In subsequent tests, the PU foam 'time to failure' in cable tray applications was in 9 mins & 7 mins, under laboratory test conditions. Not the 4 hours claimed by the installation engineers..!

Remember this?

Don't just let anyone conduct your fire stopping or passive fire protection installations. Check they know what they are doing. Check they are qualified passive fire protection installers & finally, check they have third party accreditation for passive fire protection products & installations, as this is the fabric of your building and if the job is not done correctly, it could well cost you your property, your business, your livelihood and worst case scenario - a LIFE..!

We conduct fire risk assessments on commercial and residential properties throughout London, for private landlords, commercial landlords/ letting agents, estate agents & all commercial businesses. We are helping many to identify failings in passive fire protection and remedy areas that could have cost a fortune or, a LIFE.

The key is to identify, then you can manage the risks suitably as your budget dictates (as per), your fire safety management policy & procedures may indicate or, an suitable Fire Safety Strategy.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595

Fire alarm systems are provided within commercial & residential properties as both an legal requirement or, as an engineered method to ensure:

1. Early warning of fire & smoke provision plus+
2. Provide enough time for persons to escape to an final place of safety

Many organisations can become confused over the requirements of the fire alarm system fitted, required and/ or managed within their premises.

Such as - Commercial Office Blocks or, Blocks of Flats or, HMO Properties.

This can be because either multiple occupancy shared premises are used or, separate management companies are organising the fire risk assessment and fire alarm services.

Primarily, it is because not enough 'helpful information' is provided to the client/ end-user to HELP ensure both training & knowledge of their premises fire alarm systems are maintained - Insofar as (all end-users) have an suitable fire alarm system working 'in-harmony' with their fire evacuation strategy & management policy procedure for their building occupancy.

The organisation may have regards the system or type of system installed, other than that indicated in an 'Certificate of Inspection'.

However, it may not know if its call points or other devices linked to the fire alarm panel are being serviced, maintained & checked to British Standards or indeed, if the systems in-place are actually legally required..?

As fire risk assessors, our job is to assess the building and building services provided related to life safety protection - an example includes services as:

1. Fire Alarm Systems - Commercial - BS 5839- Part 1
2. Fire Alarm Systems - Residential - BS 5839 - Part 6

We see many installations and reporting certificates of inspection relating to each individual type of premises. Right & Wrong..!

9x out of 10, most fire alarm certificates indicate one way or the other - (subject to an suitable fire risk assessment)..! In other words, an suitable fire risk assessment is required to approve or validate their certificate of inspection. Read into it what you will. It is clear an Fire Risk Assessment is required in almost ALL cases.

Fire Alarm System Classification: Commercial Premises:

Fire Alarm Systems - Commercial Properties: BS 5839 - Part 1

L1 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

L2 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

L3 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

L4 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

L5 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

P1 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

P2 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

Fire Alarm System Classification: Residential Premises:

Fire Alarm Systems - Residential Properties: BS 5839 - Part 6

LD1 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

LD2 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

LD3 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

PD1 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

PD2 - Fire Risk Assessment to discuss (if required)

Smoke & Heat Detection come/with Carbon Monoxide:

Carbon Monoxide: Multi-Use - Smoke, Heat & C0 Detection: Combination..?

Many smoke & heat detection units, come/ with C0 (carbon monoxide) detection, are the one-fits-all solution for fire & C0 detection - Incorrect.

Smoke/ Heat detectors that come/ with 'carbon monoxide' detection will STILL require an separate C0 detector alarm unit for your individual gas boiler unit.

We strongly advise ANY smoke or heat detection units provided with carbon monoxide cells, and as such, conform to the environment they are sited within.

We also suggest that ALL Carbon Monoxide (ALARMS), are assessed, installed & sited & fitted separately to ANY required fire & smoke detection units assessed/ fitted and/ or required for the building to BS 5839 parts 1 or 6.

This type of alarm (C0 - carbon monoxide), is intended to give an alarm signal at much higher carbon monoxide levels than any other type of combined carbon monoxide fire & smoke/ heat detectors, and as such, they (combined smoke/ heat & C0 units), are therefore 'NOT SUITABLE' as providing both, any  or, all to the required British Standards & more importantly, either being suitable, independent &/ or,  appropriate - Carbon Monoxide (C0) alarm detection for life safety.

Therefore, independent (carbon monoxide) C0 ALARM detection is ALWAYS required where gas boilers or, other gas burning equipment is installed such as fire places, gas boilers & other gas burning units/ equipment provided where sleeping occurs or, other life safety issues may arise.

Fire risk assess both suitably & legally.
We hope this assists you further.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595

Do I actually need an - Fire Safety Strategy?

Whilst the Building Regulations and the approved document B provide legal guidance that should adequately deliver a compliant building based on achieving the level of functional requirements as detailed in AD B1-B5 for both commercial &/or domestic buildings albeit for life safety, it does not necessarily provide an answer to your fire safety strategy requirements.

Architects. Building Construction & Building Control, should be made aware and clearly instructed at the 'earliest stages' of ANY NEW BUILD of the project requirements and expectations. Otherwise they will most likely build what you tell them to build. In some circumstances, approval in the end may well be refused as information was not managed accordingly by your architect or an LABC private company.

Therefore, you may well indeed require an 'Fire Safety Strategy'.
This may be to provide legal written information where your Architect could not provide in the earliest stages or, Building Control simply did not provide..?

That is to say:

Were the occupancy levels adequate for your premises?
Were open-plan areas and escape routes planned?
Are escape routes adequate for the future number of persons on-site (as well as the current) number of persons on-site - especially in high-rise office blocks where numbers and use or change of occupancy can occur overnight?

Many questions can & will be asked, especially by your local authority fire & rescue service - Whilst the LAFRS will look to life safety evacuation is established in the first instance, in the event your fire safety strategy only meets this, they may also only look to provide or establish 'Defensive Fire-fighting Operations' in the likelihood your building is going-to or, designed to burn-down.

This is where many other subjects become involved such as - YOUR OWN:

1. Fire risk assessment
2. Distance of travel
3. Type of fire compartmentation - fire doors
4. Type of fire compartmentation - fire escape corridors
5. Number and width of fire escape staircases
6. Width of final fire exit doors
7. Occupancy characteristics of building
8. Purpose group of building - Use or multi-use of the premises
9. Specific hazards associated to your premises
10. Specific vulnerable persons associated to your premises

The list goes-on and acts as an example of WHY an Fire Safety Strategy may well be requested by the Fire & Rescue Services to answer such questions.

As described above, they should have already been answered by Building Control. However, it is very often, Building Control simply pass this work over to Fire Risk Assessors to complete.
Usually at a very high cost to yourself - the Client/ End-User.

That is why we strongly advise in the first instance, architects & private building control companies are fully appraised and work closely with each other to ensure YOUR PROJECT both receives APPROVAL and that any further fire safety strategy is purely for management and business continuity purposes only, not legal building control or life safety escape issues.

Does the LAW require me to have an - Fire Safety Strategy?

Whilst the AD B1-B5 2019 (as amended) provides life safety guidance, further legal written guidance is also obtained via:

Regulation 6 - Management of premises (Building Fire & Safety Managers)
Regulation 7 - Additional requirements (Insurance Companies)
Regulation 38 - Provision of information (Building Construction & Contractors)

Whilst the Regulatory Reform (Fire) (Safety) Order 2005 - FSO

Article 8 - Responsible person 'must comply' requirements
Article 9 - Suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment
Article 11 - Fire safety arrangements to manage the risk of fire

However, it must be noted, none of the above actually require an Fire Safety Strategy..?

What should I do next - Fire Safety Strategy?

Does your compliance look at LIFE SAFETY?
Does your compliance look at both PASSIVE & ACTIVE FIRE PROTECTION?
Does your maintenance & management have CLEAR FIRE SAFETY ROLES?
Does your compliance look at BUSINESS CONTINUITY?
Are directors involved in their own buildings FIRE SAFETY MANAGEMENT?

So, if you are knowledgeable & suitably compliant - See below:

1. You ARE compliant with legislation & regulations - CHECK = YES
2. You ARE managing risks identified & understand these risks - CHECK = YES

Can you be certain if you have a FIRE, you can predict what the extent will be?
What in the business elements can you afford to lose and for how long?

If this is known, you can build a structure that protects your business to the level that corresponds to your abilities & availability to provide CONTINGENCY.

Ultimately, your Fire Safety Strategy should ensure that the FIRE you may have, will not cause damage beyond that which your business can sustain.

Professional & Legal Fire Risk Assessment - Inspection & Report?
Commercial Fire Risk Assessment & Residential Fire Risk Assessment

MG Fire Safety Group
Tel: 0800 999 8595