Your 101 Guide to EWS1 Surveys and Certification

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Fires can cause unmatchable damages to people, surroundings and the environment. Numerous health and safety measurements take place every day to ensure that the possibilities of a fire occurring in homes, offices, factories and elsewhere are reduced globally. Human lives are very precious, and so is our environment – hence, it is absolutely essential that all possible measures be taken to ensure that no fire occurs due to an individual’s or a party’s negligence. Fires caused due to a party’s negligence can have an impact big enough to leave its effects for years to come, and for future generations to see.


The External Wall Fire Review is an assessment to measure just how safe space if to prevent fires, and the EWS 1 Survey and certification are its products presented to assess which entities comply with the stated rules and guidelines and which do not. These are essential mediums to ensure that human lives and our natural environment remain safe from the after-effects of devastating fires.

What is the EWS1 Survey?

The EWS1 survey was designed by multiple entities including the Building Societies Association to assess a number of elements to decide whether or not a space is safe from fires. The EWS1 survey assesses a number of things including:

  • It assesses buildings that have balconies which can be prone to a fire
  • It assesses buildings that are higher than 18 meters and can be prone to a fire
  • It assesses buildings that are multiple-storey and have numerous occupants hence making them prone to fire.

The EWS1 survey is an integral part of the External Wall Review, and the survey’s degree and its complexity can be influenced by multiple factors including the building or property’s size and its external wall system. Hence, the survey can be thought of as a unique assessment for every property, while maintaining certain parameters common to all. If a building or a property passes the EWS1 survey once, its results and certification would be valid for a duration of 5 years. The importance of this survey can not be emphasized any further when one begins to consider its implications for human lives and for the natural environment.

What is the EWS1 form?

The EWS1 form is essentially the form which is used to record any results from the review. The EWS1 Form surveys can be thought of as a checklist that surveyors can use to record results while surveying a property. The form can only be used by a surveyor when they are checking for combustibility on the building’s external walls and should be used by qualified professionals only.

The results of the EWS1 survey, as communicated on the EWS1 form, are essential for building owners because they help assure residents, creditors and sellers about the building’s safety. The EWS1 certification hence ensures that no combustible materials were found that could make the property prone to fire. While the certification is valid for 5 years, if authorities feel or find out that an external wall system is combustible, they could call for another investigation and also ask the owner to make amendments.

How does the External Fire Review Process work?

The process of the External Fire Review should only be completed by a professional who is qualified and has experience in this field. Not only is the survey critical to public safety, but it can also potentially endanger a lot of lives. Also, multiple decisions by lenders and tenants depend upon this survey and hence it needs to be free of any mistakes.

Typically, the process begins with the surveyor visiting a property and inspecting it. The surveyor may or may not begin the inspection by informing the building’s owners or management. They check for combustibility of its external wall system and then complete the EWS1 form. If the external wall system contains any material that is combustible, it will be reflected in the form, and vice versa.

In order to ensure the safety of a building’s residents, and to care for the building’s surroundings and the environment, it is essential that owners consciously partake in the EWS survey. Not only is it their ethical, but also legal responsibility to do so. Not only passing and regularly conducting an EWS survey would increase their real estate’s value but it would also increase their reputation in the business and allow residents and potential users of the building to trust the management and the structure. If the building in question has tenants, the owners can also charge them extra in their tenancy contracts due to increased safety precautions and such measures taken to ensure the protection of tenants and their belongings.

Our natural environment and human lives – both are extremely important components of our ecosystem, and their safety should not be compromised in any context. Hence, multiple measures should be taken by authorities to ensure all safety and security protocols are in place.

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