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Does any industry body regulate fire risk assessors?

Martin B

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As a leaseholder in purpose-built block, I'm in the frustrating situation of fighting a deficient and disproportionate fire risk assessment that was carried out on behalf of the managing agent last summer. The solution offered was for leaseholders to commission a new FRA. This was done in November, which thankfully did negate the original recommendations BUT added a crazy new recommendation to replace ALL seven fire doors despite the visual inspection of the doors being quite satisfactory.

The assessor said he was recommending replacement because while he accepts they pass a visual inspection, there is no documentary evidence that these are FD30 doors and because they don't have intumescent smoke seals. His argument for replacement is an enforcement notice for a Happy Shopper convenience store in Brixton that states "upgrading existing doorsets to achieve FD30 is not recommended they should instead be replaced." He says that upgrading is only possible if doors are tested at great expense.

The block was built in 1984 and there's nothing to suggest that the doors were not compliant with the building regs at the time. I also haven't found any legislation that says smoke seals need to be retrospectively applied. Everything I've read says that fire doors in existing buildings that pass a visual inspection can be considered "notional fire doors".

So we now seem to have not 1 but 2 deficient FRAs!

Honestly after 4 months of this I'm getting a bit sick of it all and can't see a way forward. Is there any industry body that I can leverage or is the only recourse legal action against the assessor for false advice? Is that even an option?

many thanks

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The Responsible Person (RP) makes the final decision he/she takes the fire risk assessor's advice and decides to accept it or not. It is the RP who choses the FR accessor and should be very careful to ensure the person is satisfactory. Check out A Guide to Choosing a Competent Fire Risk Assessor.

Because the FSO is based on risk assessment and is not prescriptive then there is going to be problems like this.

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