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FRA old buildings complying with new regs.


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Hello all, We have had a fire risk assessment completed by a new company, who are gladly more stricter than past companies.

My question is, that our main buildings were built in 1958. Some of the pick up points were concerning risks which are due to the building being built before such regs, whilst we complete as many pick points as we can. Some like the pvc windows and panels for example were fitted before such rules came into place. And the due to the cost of replacing these which would be enormous. 


So how do we stand in such matters, what reply do I give, If the cost is simply not practicable due to the age of the premises?

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Cost is no justification if the level of risk involved is intolerable. There are however potentially other solutions that may enhance safety that are more achievable instead that can mitigate the original issue, depending on what it is.

PVC windows are not a 1958 thing so someone may already have made matters worse than the original build in the past already so you can't use the 'original spec' reasoning.

Current legislation removed the statutory bar that older legislation contained so just because something complied in the past doesn't mean it does now. The risk assessor should look at the legacy precautions, compare them to the current approach and then determine if the difference in protection between the two is such as to present an unacceptable risk. Some old approaches & technologies are indeed still acceptable, but others have been disproven over the years as dangerously ineffective compared with current knowledge.

It is wrong to automatically expect a legacy building to have to fully meet the standard and specification of somewhere built today just as much as it is wrong to say just because it met spec originally (which could be 20, 40, 60 or more years ago) it's automatically OK now.

I'd need to know a lot more before I can give you options, but they may be out there (there are however some issues for which there are none).


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