This cheat sheet is broken down into sections and is intended to provide information about the upcoming Fire Safety Regulation changes for the person responsible for building safety.
What changes are being made?
New introductions of regulations under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Fire Safety Order) to implement the recommendations which were made to the government in Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
These new regulations will make it a requirement in law for the person responsible for high-rise blocks of flats to provide additional safety measures stated below.
Definition of a Responsible Person:
“The responsible person is the person who is responsible for the safety of themselves and others who use a regulated premises. This is normally a building owner, or in residential properties, any other person in control of the premises. The responsible person is the person on whom most of the duties set out in the Fire Safety Order are imposed.”
In high-rise residential buildings, the Responsible Person will be required to:
– Provide Building Plans to local Fire and Rescue Services with up-to-date electronic building floor plans and a single-page building plan which identifies key firefighting equipment. (Also to provide hard copies of these in a secure information box on site).
– Provide External Wall Systems to local Fire and Rescue Service; information about the design and materials of a high-rise building’s external wall system, the FRS would need to be informed when any changes are made to these walls. Information on the level of risk that the design and materials give to the external wall structure is also required.
– Undertake monthly checks on Lifts and other Key Fire-Fighting Equipment which are intended for fire-fighter use. There is also the requirement to report any defective lifts or equipment to the local FRS if they cannot be fixed within 24 hours.
– Install and maintain Information Boxes in the building. This secure box should include the contact details of the responsible person and hard copies of the building floor plans. – Install Visible Wayfinding Signage in low light or smoky conditions, identifying flat and floor numbers in the stairwells of buildings.
In residential buildings with storeys over 18 metres in height, the responsible person will be required to:
– Undertake annual checks on flat entrance Doors and quarterly checks on all fire doors in common parts.
In all multi-occupied residential buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises, the responsible person is required to:
– Provide Fire Safety Instructions to their residents, including how to report a fire and other instructions on what they must do once a fire has occurred, based on the evacuation strategy.
– Provide Fire Door Information to residents, relating to information on the importance of fire doors in fire safety.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 apply in England only.
They will come into force on 23rd January 2023.
Why is this happening?
Since the Grenfell Tower Fire, in August 2017 the government established the Independent Grenfell Tower Inquiry. The Inquiry published its first Phase report in October 2019. The government accepted several recommendations that were raised in the report.
A selection of the recommendations were directed towards the government and required a change in the law to implement. Most of these will be implemented by The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.
Why are parts limited to high-rise buildings?
A high-rise building is defined as one that is 18 metres or at least seven storeys tall in England. Aspects become more restrictive at this height and fire-fighting tactics change, therefore the fire safety regulations need to be tighter in high-rise buildings.
Responsible persons are required to share information about their building with Fire and Rescue Services to ensure the correct information is there when a potential complex fire needs responding to.
Regardless of the height of the residential building, all residents will be given fire safety instructions as well as information on the importance of looking after fire doors. All of these fire safety precautions will increase the safety of residents and ensure that they feel safer in their homes.