A Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW) assess the risk to life posed by the external walls of a property and must be undertaken in accordance with PAS 9980:2022.

PAS9980 provides a methodology for assessing the external wall construction and cladding of existing multi-storey and multi-occupied residential buildings.


Who is PAS 9980:2022 for?

PAS9980 is intended for use by competent fire engineers and other competent building professionals (building surveyors, fa├žade engineers) tasked with advising on the fire risk of external wall construction of existing blocks of flats. However, it is expected that the key outputs of this appraisal will also be useful to those for whom such appraisals are carried out and those who make decisions based upon the outcome of the FRAEWs, such as Block Managers, Building Control Bodies, Insurers, Contractors.


Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW)

Is an FRAEW a substitute for an EWS1?

No. A FRAEW is not a substitute for an EWS1, and the two must not be confused. An FRAEW assess the risk to life posed by the external wall structure; the report will support the building’s fire risk assessment and will allow the building managers to manage the safety of the occupants.

An EWS1 is for valuation purposes only, and assess the risk of cladding materials and informs a mortgage provider if the building is likely to require remedial work. Historically, the cost of any remedial work was typically passed onto the leaseholders which posed a risk for the mortgage lenders.

Do I need a FRAEW?

Practically every apartment building requires a Fire Risk Assessment. Following recent changes in legislation, a fire risk assessment must include a review of the external walls of the property. Where the fire risk assessment identifies any cladding or combustible material on the external wall of a property, and the assessor cannot accurately determine the risk posed by the materials, they will recommend an FRAEW is carried out.


How is an FRAEW completed?

Following the recommendation for an FRAEW in the fire risk assessment, the person responsible for managing the building will instruct a competent professional to undertake an FRAEW. The first duty of the competent professional is to review the information provided to them, and assess if an FRAEW is required or if the risk posed is significantly low enough that one is not required.

If the competent professional confirms an FRAEW is required, they will review all relevant documentation provided to them (such as the fire risk assessment, any previous external wall reports, the fire strategy for the building, the construction drawings etc). If they are not satisfied with the information provided, the assessor may require an intrusive inspection of the external walls. The intrusive investigation will allow the assessor to inspect parts of the external wall that influence the spread of fire across the building; this will likely include inspecting the floor compartments, around the window and door openings and at the head of the wall.

Following completion of the intrusive investigation, or if one was not required, the assessor will produce a report explaining the risk posed to the occupants by the external wall construction. If the risk posed is high, the report will include remedial advice which the building managers must act upon. If the risk posed is low, the report should advise that no remedial work is required.

How much does an FRAEW cost?

The cost of an FRAEW depends on several factors including the height of the building, the number of apartment blocks, the extent of the cladding and combustible materials and the amount of detail provided in the documentation.

Each site will need to be assessed on its own merits and we estimate a cost averaging between £1,500-£12,000 per block.

If you require any further information or would like a quote for a PAS9980 FRAEW, please contact us via email at or using the contact from below.

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Case Studies

Cladding remediation for high-rise residential apartment block

Cladding remediation for a high-rise residential apartment block

Cladding remediation to high-rise residential apartment block


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