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Competence to carry out residential fire risk assessments.

June 2022

Since the Grenfell Tower disaster there have been calls to ensure all those who carry out fire risk assessments are competent, and that only fire risk assessors who are on a national register should be permitted to carry them out.

This requirement has been ruled out for the time being, but there has always been and remains an implied requirement that anyone carrying out fire risk assessment is ‘competent’. There is no definition of competence within either the Fire Safety Order 2005 or the Fire Safety Act 2021. Within the health and safety profession, particularly in construction, the term competence is defined by having the necessary Skills, Knowledge, and Experience (SKE).

The skills, knowledge and experience required by a fire risk assessor to carry out the suitable and sufficient assessment of a residential building, whether or not it exceeds 7 storeys – or 18m, has been increased considerably by the Fire Safety Act 2021. It is no longer responsible for unqualified (lay) people to complete a fire risk assessment form for residential dwellings. Therefore, it is highly recommended that if you are responsible for a residential building, you engage a competent professional fire risk assessor to carry out any fire risk assessments.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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