There are different types of façade fire risk assessment. The type of risk assessment approach will dictate the level of applied scrutiny to a façade during the assessment.
Where a façade(s) has already been the subject of a detailed assessment, then a visual inspection is generally sufficient. This applies unless there have been alterations carried out since the façade was last inspected. Where there is no existing documentation or knowledge of the façade(s) make-up, an invasive inspection will be necessary.
Where there are reliable and accurate operating manuals available for a building it might be possible to avoid invasive investigations but this cannot be guaranteed. Even when operating manuals are available it is often the case that invasive investigations will be necessary. This is particularly the case where no previous inspections have been carried out and/or where there is insufficient knowledge of the façade and / or where the documentation is of poor quality and deemed unreliable.
Where invasive inspections are necessary, there will be a requirement for sample areas of the façade(s) to be drilled or cut so that the façade system can be fully identified. In some circumstances, independent testing might be required to inform and corroborate the inspection’s findings. If remote testing is required, then the affected areas of the façade will be either replaced or repaired after the inspection(s) has taken place.