The Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017 highlighted the unsuitability of existing fire safety legislation and general building safety in England and Wales. As a result the Fire Safety Bill was introduced by the Home Office and received a Royal Accent in 2021.
There are new requirements for ‘responsible persons’ of mid and high-rise blocks of flats to provide information to fire and rescue services to assist them with operational planning and provide additional safety measures. In all multi-occupied residential buildings, residents should now be provided with fire safety instructions and information on fire doors.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 are now law from today and form part of a package of sensible, risk mitigating fire safety measures that the government is delivering following the Grenfell Tower fire to keep the public safe.
In high-rise residential buildings, responsible persons will be required to:
Provide their local fire and rescue service with up-to-date electronic building plans and information on the design and materials of their external wall
Undertake monthly checks of firefighting lifts, evacuation lifts and other key pieces of firefighting equipment
Install a secure information box and wayfinding signage
In mid-rise residential buildings (over 11 metres), responsible persons will be required to undertake annual checks of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of all fire doors in the common part.
Further to the above the introduction of The Building etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022 impacts Fire Safety requirements. The changes strengthen building regulations ban on combustible materials in and on external walls has now been extended to:
These changes will also ban metal Composite Material panels with unmodified polyethylene core (known as MCM PE) on all new buildings at any height.
For more information, and the Fire Safety Regulations 2022: