Ashton Fire’s suitably qualified and competent Fire Engineers and Fire Safety Consultants have been providing EWS1 forms through undertaking reviews and surveys of external walls of buildings containing flats since they were first introduced in December 2019. The EWS1 forms, produced by RICS and recognised and requested by mortgage lenders were originally intended for application to buildings containing flats and with a top habitable floor height greater than 18m above the lowest ground level – however these are now applied to buildings containing flats of all heights.

We have provided hundreds of EWS1 forms for both high- and low-rise residential buildings with vastly varying complexity of external walls/specified attachments (such as balconies) and with available design data ranging from highly comprehensive to non-existent.

Our Fire Engineers and Fire Safety Consultants apply a pragmatic approach to determining the risk to life associated with findings from a review of available design data, assessment of the building use, complexity and height, location and review of the current fire risk assessment.

We have extensive experienced in undertaking invasive external wall surveys and providing clear reporting of our findings. Prior to any survey being undertaken, we would review any documentation that is available to establish expectations. A preliminary site inspection may also be required. To ensure a detailed understanding of the external wall construction is achieved with minimal disruption, so far as is possible, a considered survey plan will be developed. Determination of the materials used in the construction of the wall along with fixings, provision of cavity parries and suitable sealing of penetrations will be undertaken.

Such invasive surveys can be complex and access and surveying is usually carried out working in tandem with an access contractor whereby the work of access, opening up and making good is carried out by a specialist contractor working alongside the Fire Engineer/ Fire Safety Consultant undertaking the survey.

The findings of the survey will be clearly reported alongside any recommendations for remediation. Where required, we are able to advise on testing of materials that cannot be readily identified. Our external wall surveys take into consideration the MHCLG consolidated guidance `Advice for Building Owners of Multi-storey, Multi-occupied Residential Buildings´ published in January 2020.

The EWS1 forms will be provided along with supporting documentation providing details of the external wall construction and materials used along with any risk assessment of specified attachments.

It may be identified through the fire risk assessment, or other process that a residential building may have external wall construction with unknown properties and/or including cladding which may pose a risk of fire spread via the façade and further investigation is recommended. We have suitably qualified and competent Fire Engineers and Fire Safety Consultants who are experienced in undertaking invasive external wall surveys and reporting. Our approach to external wall surveys is based on understanding the complexity and dimensions of the building and applying a pragmatic approach to surveying.

Prior to the survey being undertaken, we would review any documentation that is available to establish expectations. A preliminary site inspection may also be required. To ensure a detailed understanding of the external wall construction is achieved with minimal disruption, so far as is possible, a considered survey plan will be developed. Determination of the materials used in the construction of the wall along with fixings, provision of cavity parries and suitable sealing of penetrations will be undertaken.

Such invasive surveys can be complex and access and surveying is usually carried out working in tandem with an access contractor whereby the work of access, opening up and making good is normally carried out by a specialist contractor working alongside the Fire Engineer/ Fire Safety Consultant undertaking the survey.

The findings of the survey will be clearly reported alongside with recommendations for and remediation and, where required, we are able to advise on testing of materials that cannot be readily identified.

Our external wall assessments take into consideration the MHCLG consolidated guidance `Advice for Building Owners of Multi-storey, Multi-occupied Residential Buildings´ published in January 2020. We have tailored our approach such that it will align with the guidance provided in the code of practice PAS 9980 when published.

Our suitably qualified and competent Fire Engineers and Fire Safety Consultants are well placed to provide ad-hoc advice on external walls. This may in relation to the suitability of materials used, through to the installation of cavity barriers or an opinion/comparison of compliance at the time of design/build and now.

If you are looking for expert advice on a specific issue, please get in touch with us today. Please call 020 3995 6600 or email enquiries@ashtonfire.com

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