When a purpose built block of flats is nearing the build complete stage there is often pressure on the new building owner to maximise occupancy levels. This means moving owners or tenants into the building as quickly as possible following the handover. This would then ‘trigger’ the legal requirement for the responsible person to have a FRA completed. The concern with this current approach is around timing as the building has already started to become occupied and there could be a Fire Risk to life as well as the asset. There has been a underlying growing concern over Fire proofing standards for new buildings during construction and if they are ‘fit for purpose’.
For new buildings the Pre Occupancy assessment would be completed as near to the ‘hand over’ time as possible. The assessment would help to ensure the handover documents are complete (Health & Safety, Fire Safety Strategy) but it’s main purpose is to give satisfaction and reassurance that the building is compliant and there is no risk before anyone moves in. Too many times we have seen failings in workmanship and the wrong type of materials used during construction. This report will save time and money further down the line at the FRA stage. It is an ‘MOT’ for the new owner that also shows the relevant documents are in place too.