The Complete Guide to the Monthly Building Check Changes

Why are changes to monthly checks taking place?
When the firefighters attended the fire at Grenfell Tower, they were unable to operate the mechanism that should have allowed them to take control of the lifts. To prevent this occurrence from happing in similar situations in the future, it was recommended in the Grenfell Tower Enquiry that monthly checks should be organised by the building’s Responsible Person and reported to the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) on a monthly basis, this blog will specify what these checks actually are.
 
Which checks are changing?
The new changes to The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will make it a legal requirement from 23 January 2023 for responsible persons in high-rise residential buildings to carry out additional monthly checks of any:
 
  1. Lifts within the building that are designed, installed and maintained to be used by fire-fighters (with the addition of evacuation lifts).
  2. The mechanism which allows fire-fighters to take control of lifts.
  3. Key fire-fighting equipment (outlined below).
 
What equipment do I need to check on a monthly basis?
 “Key fire-fighting equipment” includes both equipment provided in buildings to fight fires and important fire safety features and facilities. The regulations require the Responsible Person to check:
  • lifts for use by fire-fighters
  • evacuation lifts
  • inlets for dry-rising mains
  • inlets for wet-rising mains
  • outlets for dry-rising mains
  • outlets for wet-rising mains
  • smoke control systems
  • suppression systems
  • fire detection and fire alarm systems including any detectors linked to ancillary equipment such as smoke control systems (in the common parts),
  • evacuation alert systems
  • automatic door release mechanisms linked to fire alarm systems
 
What do I do once I’ve carried out my checks?
As well as checking the aforementioned equipment, the Responsible Person will also be expected to report on any damage they discover during checks to the firefighting shaft during construction activity or by any other activity, such as vandalism (removed doors, smashed glass or other failure that allows smoke spread).
 
When faults are found, the Responsible Person will not have to report them to the FRS if they believe that the faults can be resolved within 24 hours. If the issue cannot be resolved in 24 hours, it must be reported to the local FRS. Once the issue is resolved, it should be corresponded with the FRS. The reason for this is so that the FRS can be fully prepared at all times in the event of a fire related incident, offering the best chances of escape for all building occupants.
 
It is also important for the Responsible Person to consider the impact of the fault. In some cases, a fault can cause the building’s fire risk assessment (FRA) to be non-compliant (e.g. lift fault hindering escape route), if the fault means that compliance is no longer achieved, the FRA should be changed ensuring compliance with the Fire Safety Order.
 
Should you require guidance or assistance on your building’s monthly checks, updating you FRAs or anything else building compliance related, we are here to help. Our expert consultants are fully trained and competent to assist you in every area of compliance, so don’t hesitate to get in touch using the button below.
 

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