Apr 14th, 2021
5 mins

Last July we published an article on things to look out for when completing a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA), this time around we intend to look at the fact that there are actually 4 levels of FRA that can be carried out on buildings of all types and how can they affect you.

The first two appertain to all areas of a building covered under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), so therefore any building where people will congregate or work.

The second two are more aligned to blocks of flats, where the common areas do come under the RRO and therefore a type 1 is acceptable, but the flats themselves do not.


A Type 1 Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) is non-destructive, and the most common. A Type 1 FRA assesses all the common parts of a building.

A Type 1 FRA has the purpose of ensuring that common parts of a building have the arrangements which allow people to escape if there was to be a fire – such as clear signage pointing to entry and exit points.

The results of a Type 1 FRA may reveal the requirement for further FRAs. If this is the case, the Type 1 FRA will list reasons why this would be required.

It should be borne in mind that with the introduction of the upcoming Fire Safety Bill, external walls will have a more prevalent role within RA’s

Type 2 Fire Risk Assessments are rare, and normally only recommended if a Type 1 FRA concluded that there may be serious structural flaws in a building which may increase the risk of fire spreading.

A Type 2 FRA includes destructive sampling such as if it is believed that compartment walls do not meet the required standard, ducting cannot be inspected, cavity barriers cannot be identified etc.

This increases the cost of this type of assessment because a contractor would be required.

A Type 3 Fire Risk Assessment is comprehensive – and covers more than the law requires. This type of assessment covers all common areas of a building – and individual dwellings (outside the RRO).

A Type 3 FRA considers all means of escapes (including those within individual dwellings), structures, and compartmentation between flats and any means of fire detection. A Type 3 FRA is non-destructive – and is usually only considered necessary if there are fire risks within individual dwellings.

Type 4 Fire Risk Assessments are similar to Type 2 FRAs, as they include a destructive sampling, but in both the common parts of a building and living areas – such as apartments. Type 4 FRAs are more comprehensive – and complicated to complete. This is because access to individual dwellings is required and destructive sampling can lead to a need for repairs.


If a building was built pre-2000 – then building owners must consider asbestos, before carrying out a Type 2 or Type 4 FRA, as they include destructive sampling.

In these cases, a Refurbishment and Demolition (R&D) survey is required. This identifies the risks of destructive sampling required for an FRA.


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