PAS 9980

Lots of people are asking what the new PAS 9980 code of practice is all about.

I wanted to summarise what the code is and how it will apply to you as the responsible person for a block of flats.

PAS 9980 is a new documented code of practice which has been commissioned by the Government.  The actual title is ‘PAS 9980:2022, Fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of existing blocks of flats – Code of practice’.

PAS 9980 provides a unique methodology for a competent assessor to complete and then record a fire risk appraisal of external walls (FRAEW).

The idea is to introduce a risk based, proportionate response to the external wall construction with a view to protecting the occupants of the building.

It replaces a whole range of consolidated advice notes that the Government had previously introduced.

PAS 9980 went live on the 31st January 2022.

The Fire Safety Act makes it a legal requirement for any building containing two or more sets of domestic premises to have a fire risk assessment that takes into account:

The structure of external walls, including any attachments (for example, balconies, doors and windows within walls, communal areas and all doors between flats and communal areas).


Therefore, it is crucial that external walls are assessed and considered as part of the fire risk assessment for a building.  Cladding and other elements of an external wall such as insulation can play a huge part in the spread and development of fire along external walls.


PAS 9980 is purely focused on life safety for a building and does not address (as a method) a way of proving compliance with building regulations, nor any risk to a property through fire damage.  An EWS1 form is for valuation purposes, not risk based.

Not all buildings will require a PAS 9980 risk assessment. 

PAS 9980 applies to multistorey blocks of flats, as well as student accommodation, sheltered housing and some specialised housing.

Using a risk matrix involving fire performance, façade configuration and fire strategy, PAS 9980 introduces a risk-based approach to give a low, medium or high-risk rating.    This is based on a whole range of factors such as the cladding material, building height and evacuation strategy as well as many more.

What I like about the PAS 9980 code of practice is that it introduces this risk-based approach that has been missing from fire risk assessments in the last few years.  We can consider an overall approach and take into account all of the fire safety measures in the building and the life safety risk to occupants as a whole, rather than a one size fits all approach.

Whale Fire can help you with these assessments and save you money with our pragmatic and common sense approach to our work.

Please contact Whale Fire on 0800 772 0738 or via our enquiry page here:

Freeholder fire risk assessment

A freeholder fire risk assessment is fundamentally a fire risk assessment that is required for the communal areas of a block of flats (converted or purpose-built) which is required to satisfy the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Act 2005.  If you are the freeholder that is responsible for a flat or for the maintenance of the whole building, then it will be your responsibility to obtain a fire risk assessment.

It is sometimes a grey area, confirming who is responsible for a fire risk assessment.  If there are say six flats off a communal areas with 6 separate freeholders then you are all jointly responsible for ensuring a fire risk assessment is completed for the communal areas.

It is effectively no different to a Landlord fire risk assessment.  The most important thing is that a fire risk assessment is completed for the communal areas rather than arguing about who is responsible and not having one completed.

We specialise in carrying out freeholder and landlord fire risk assessments and can carry these out at short notice if required.

To find our more about our residential fire risk assessments please click here:


If you are asking ‘Do I need a Fire Risk Assessment to sell my flat, then please see this article here:


For all London Fire Risk Assessments please click on our Fire Risk Assessments London page here:

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