Understanding The New Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into force on 23rd January 2023 and implement the majority of the recommendations made by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in its Phase 1 report, which required a change in the law. The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 seek to improve the fire safety of blocks of flats in ways which are practical, cost-effective for individual leaseholders and, importantly, proportionate to the risk of fire.
For high-rise residential buildings (ie multi-occupied residential buildings of at least 18 metres in height or seven or more storeys), ‘Responsible Persons’ must:
*share electronically with their local Fire and Rescue Service information about the building’s external wall system and, further, provide the Fire and Rescue Service with electronic copies of floor plans and building plans for the building.
*keep hard copies of the building’s floor plans – in addition to a single page orientation plan of the building and the name (and UK contact details) of the ‘Responsible Person’ – in a secure information box which is accessible by firefighters.
*install way-finding signage in all high-rise buildings, which must be visible in low light conditions.
*establish a minimum of monthly checks on lifts for the use of firefighters in high-rise residential buildings and on essential pieces of firefighting equipment
*inform the local Fire and Rescue Service if a lift used by firefighters (or any of the pieces of firefighting equipment on the premises) is ‘out of order’ for a period longer than 24 hours
For multi-occupied residential buildings over 11 metres in height, ‘Responsible Persons’ must:
*undertake quarterly checks on all communal fire doors and annual checks on flat entrance doors.
In all multi-occupied residential buildings, ‘Responsible Persons’ must:
*provide residents with relevant fire safety instructions and information about the importance of fire doors.
The Fire Safety Act 2021 clarifies the scope of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to make clear it applies to the structure, external walls (including cladding and balconies) and individual flat entrance doors between domestic premises and the common parts.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, made under article 24 of the Fire Safety Order, impose new duties on ‘Responsible Persons’ with regard to the areas brought within the scope of the Fire Safety Order by the Fire Safety Act 2021. Commencement of Section One of the latter was therefore a necessary precursor to the laying of the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.
If you need any commercial or domestic fire safety guidance, or a competent London fire risk assessment company, contact London fire Associates. One of our team will be happy to assist you.