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Fire Strategy/ FRA


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Hi there, i hope you don't mind me posting this quick question.  I'm after some clarity in respect of the difference between a Fire Risk Assessment and a Fire Strategy document. 

What are the differences between the two and is a fire strategy required before a building is built?

Also, who would prepare one?  Is this more of a building control thing or do Fire Risk Assessors prepare them?

Many thanks for your help.


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A fire strategy is usually created at the design stage of a building - it demonstrates how the design will comply with the Building Regulations and is particularly important if the architect plans a building where a departure from the 'standard' guidance of Approved Document B is required to allow the design to be viable as it will detail the engineered solution used to meet Building Regulations functional requirements. It then accompanies the building through it's life so the various building owners/users are aware of what has been done in order to correctly maintain it and ensure any limits set are not exceeded. The strategy evolves with the building too, being updated as alterations and refurbishments occur.

The Fire Risk Assessment is required for all existing premises other than inside private dwellings under specific fire legislation other than building regulations and is intended to reduce the risks to relevant persons on the premises (which is essentially anyone other than firefighters on site if the premises is on fire) by preventing fire through eliminating or controlling the presence of combustibles and ignition sources, mitigating the effects of fire by containing it via fire resisting structure and doors or extinguishing/controlling it with fixed or portable fire fighting systems and by ensuring persons can escape via fire detection & warning systems, sufficient escape routes with adequate protection and lighting and that there are suitable procedures, training and nominated persons to ensure the right thing is done.

The risk assessment would refer to the fire strategy (if there is one) as part of the assessment process.

Design fire strategies, unless straightforward, are usually beyond the skills of the architect and so Chartered Fire Engineers usually prepare them. Building Control or the Approved Inspector are the ones checking that the Building Regulations are broadly being met and would vet the strategy not write it.

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