Type 4 Fire Risk Assessments: Who, What & Why?

Fire risk assessments (FRAs) come in all shapes and sizes – much like the fires they’re built to protect your property and its inhabitants from! As a fire risk assessment business in London, our job is twofold. The first and obvious thing we do is to offer expert advice and guidance with regards to what you need to do (legally), along with what you should be doing (ethically), before next conducting fire prevention and fire stopping works to make sure you adhere to both. There are levels to fire risk assessments – type 4 being one of them.

Who needs a type 4 fire risk assessment?

There are a few reasons a type 4 FRA may be required, but the most common is simply when the history of a building is unknown. If we have no documentation for a building and its fire safety history, there’s no real understanding of what measures have – or have not – been taken in the past.

It’s often the case that a new landlord has taken ownership of a building and wants to be thorough in their approach; sometimes, there may be suspicious circumstances regarding an area of the property which requires further inspection. In any case, a type 4 fire risk assessment is necessary when it’s not clear what level of fire safety is present, if any, and there’s a perceived risk of fire from within the private dwellings or common areas.

At this point, it’s crucial that we get inside and do our work ASAP.

What is a type 4 fire risk assessment?

A type 4 is ultimately the most thorough version of an FRA. It involves the assessment of any common areas of the building, along with what we call a “destructive inspection” of both some common parts and inhabitable areas – i.e. the homes within your building themselves.

Sound scary? It doesn’t need to – a destructive inspection just means that we’re going to physically assess and test the fire resistance of certain aspects of the property, such as fire doors.

What does a type 4 fire risk assessment involve?

Because of the destructive aspect of a type 4 FRA there will need to be a contractor on-site, one with unhindered access to everything – including habitable areas (i.e. private homes). As a result of this, more often than not, type 4s are usually conducted in buildings which aren’t yet being lived in.

We’ll do a thorough inspection of the property’s current arrangements, including a sample of the common areas – hallways, corridors, landings etc – and living spaces too. This usually means going inside a current or proposed flat or apartment and testing the fire resistance capabilities within. A type 4 means an in-depth inspection of all aspects of the building – so that you, the landlord, have everything you need to put into place a solid plan for becoming a compliant, moreover safe place for renters to live.

What makes a type 4 fire risk assessment through Excel Fire different?

Even as the experts, we understand that fire safety can be overwhelming – particularly for new landlords. A type 4 FRA is as extensive as it gets, so we try to make it as easy and digestible as possible.

Whilst the in-depth report we deliver may be lengthy, it’ll be written by us personally – that means ensuring it’s as easy-to-read as can be, including photos to ensure there’s no miscommunication as to what we may be referring to. We use a simple but effective traffic light system which helps our clients instantly understand where they’re at – without having to delve into the often confusing, jargon-filled nitty gritty details (which we do include, nonetheless).

Overall, in an industry which should be regulated far more stringently than it is, working with Excel Fire means one thing – you’re partnering with one of the UK’s most highly-qualified fire risk assessors, with some of the country’s most prestigious certificates to our name.

We take pride in what we do. Service comes second only to safety in our books – and even then, it’s a close race. To learn more about type 4 fire risk assessments and other fire safety services in London and the home counties, get in touch with our brilliant team today.