Revisions to PAS 79 and the development of a new housing specific PAS are set to be published in December 2020.
PAS 79 was first published in 2005, was revised in 2007 and 2012, and lays out a specific methodology used for conducting a fire risk assessment. PAS 79 is developed and published by the BSI, however it should not be regarded as a BS, EN or ISO standard.
With the backdrop of the Grenfell Tower fire, the housing sector is looking for more guidance that is developed specifically for housing, and with a template for the informative annex. The intention of this new PAS publication is therefore to combine the much needed revision of the current PAS 79 (which will become PAS 79-1) with the development of a new housing-specific PAS (PAS 79-2), published simultaneously.
PAS 79-1 will give recommendations for undertaking and recording the significant findings of fire risk assessments in non-domestic premises for which fire risk assessments are required by legislation. The recommended approach is intended to determine the risk-proportionate fire precautions required to protect occupants of non-domestic premises including employees, contractors, visitors, members of the public and people in the immediate vicinity of the premises.
The methodology is not intended to address protection of property or the environment or to address protection of a business, process or activity against interruption. Premises with special or high risk hazards (such as chemical or nuclear) will be beyond the scope of this PAS.
This part of PAS 79 will give recommendations for undertaking and recording the significant findings of fire risk assessments in housing premises for which fire risk assessments are required by legislation. Recommendations will also be provided for fire risk assessments that are outside the scope of fire safety legislation, but are designed to protect residents of blocks of flats, sheltered housing and extra care housing in the event of a fire in their own flat.
PAS 79-2 will not apply to single-family private dwellings, or premises during construction before being used as housing. However, it is applicable to vacant premises where a fire risk assessment is required.
Public consultation is expected to take place between mid-April and mid-June this year, with the date of publication of the new PAS in December 2020.
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