Advice to help determine the fire risk posed by external wall systems in existing multi-storey residential buildings

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Scottish Government has published an Advice Note to assist in determining the fire risk posed by external wall systems in existing multi-storey residential buildings. Its purpose is to help ensure that people are not placed at undue risk of harm as a result of fire spread over or within a building’s external wall system.

It is divided into 2 sections:

  • general advice for those responsible for fire safety, such as building owners (including individual flat owners in privately owned/mixed tenure blocks of domestic flats), employers, building managers and others
  • technical advice for those who undertake fire safety risk assessments and appraisals – this means suitably qualified professionals with the right skills, qualifications, experience, knowledge and behaviours (only these individuals should perform these assessments)

This Advice Note applies to existing multi-storey residential premises of 2 or more storeys (including residential premises contained within ‘mixed use’ buildings). Examples include

  • blocks of domestic flats (including sheltered, extra-care and supported flats)
  • student accommodation (including halls of residence)
  • hospitals or other premises with overnight patient accommodation
  • care homes
  • hotels and hostels
  • prisons

The Advice Note is available to download as a 36-page PDF file (394.6 kB).

Am I eligible?

Anyone can use this service.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

Those responsible for fire safety in residential buildings, including building owners, managers and/or residents groups, and professionals who carry out fire safety risk assessments and appraisals.

How long does this take?

It will take around 1 hour to read the full document.

Important information

This Advice Note supplements existing risk-based fire safety guidance and must be considered in that context.

Determining the risk to life from the spread of fire on external wall systems is just one element of a fire safety risk assessment. The assessment is a wide-ranging exercise which involves thorough consideration of all fire hazards and risks which impact on life safety. Existing fire safety measures must be evaluated and a judgement made on whether they are adequate or if more needs to be done to ensure the safety of people from fire.

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information and to download the full advice.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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