Fire Risk Assessments

Photo of a flame

What is a Fire Risk Assessment? (FRA)

A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) is an evaluation of a building's risk of fire on that day only. It identifies potential fire risks and makes recommendations to reduce the risk where practical.

All Swan buildings with a shared common area, have a regular FRA as required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

How are FRAs completed?

An assessor inspects the building to identify things that could start a fire (ignition sources) and things that will burn (fuel sources) to measure the likelihood of a fire occurring.

The assessor then assess how existing fire precautions would perform in a fire, to limit the fire spreading and reduce any potential for injury to occupants and damage to the building. The overall risk category is determined by multiplying the likelihood of a fire occurring by the severity, should it occur.

The assessor then makes recommendations to either reduce the likelihood of a fire, by removing or controlling ignition and fuel sources, or reducing the severity of a fire by installing additional fire precautions. The type of fire precautions recommended will depend on the age and height of the building, how it is constructed and who lives there.

Standards our assessors work to

Assessors follow national guidance from the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) and the Local Government Group (LGG) to determine what level of precautions are needed at each building. They hold relevant professional qualifications and memberships to fulfil current competency requirements for undertaking assessments across our buildings.

How often FRAs are completed?

We are required by law to carry out FRAs on all blocks of flats with communal areas. Risk assessments are reviewed annually for all buildings over seven storeys or 18 metres in height, extra care and specialised housing and community hall facilities. The review cycle for our other buildings is set by the assessor, based on the type of building, the level of management controls witnessed and their overall assessment of the risk.

We also review FRAs where we have completed works, a fire has occurred, there has been a change to statutory requirements or best practice, or a customer raises a fire safety concern with us.

Getting a copy of your building's FRA

Please email us at firesafety@swan.org.uk, if you would like to receive a copy of your buildings FRA. Please note some sections of the FRA may be required to be redacted to comply with data protection requirements.

What are significant findings?

When the assessor completes his assessment, they will identify any additional actions needed to remove a hazard (something with the potential to cause harm) or improve the current level of precautions within the building. These actions are referred to as significant findings or findings.

How does Swan prioritize actions for completion?

The assessor will prioritize actions for completion as high, medium or low.

High priority actions indicate where action is needed quickly to control or reduce a significant risk which could start a fire or harm someone. In some circumstances we may be unable to complete high risk actions immediately but will put in place a temporary measure to control the risk while we carry out a permanent solution.

Medium priority actions are needed to control the risk of a fire starting or control the severity of a fire if one occurs, to reduce the overall risk  to the building. Where actions such as removing rubbish to clear corridors or repairs to existing building parts (eg doors) are identified, we will seek to complete these actions as quickly as possible.

If additional fire precautions, or the upgrade or replacement of an existing precaution (e. lighting system or detection system) are needed, this will take us longer to organise as we will need to get statutory approval (ie planning, building control or listed building approvals) and consult with leaseholders.

Where possible, and if we're assured it will not expose residents to risk, we will package fire improvement works into planned building refurbishment works.

Low priority actions are minor matters which will have little effect on the buildings risk profile but are needed to meet statutory or best practice requirements (ie signage or upgrade of emergency lighting system). These will be either actioned as a repair or in conjunction with a planned fire improvement scheme (as detailed above).

Why have some actions not been completed yet?

Not all actions can be completed quickly, as explained above. If you have a specific concern and would like an update regarding planned works at your building, please contact us at firesafety@swan.org.uk

How to report a building or fire safety concern

If you're worried about fire safety or other building safety concerns, please contact us at firesafety@swan.org.uk