New Regulations Introduced
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into force on 23 January 2023.
The Regulations 2022 have been introduced as an important step towards implementing the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report.
The Regulations apply to England only and are being introduced under Article 24 of the Fire Safety Order. The Regulations can be found on the UK Government website.
Buildings Affected by the Regulations
The regulations apply to the following buildings in England:
- High-rise residential buildings.
- Residential buildings with storeys over 11 metres in height.
- All multi-occupied residential buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises.
High Ride Residential Buildings
The requirements are greatest for high-rise residential buildings (at least 18m or 7 storeys in height). Responsible persons are required to:
- Secure Information Boxes: install and maintain a secure information box in their building. This box must contain the name and contact details of the RP and hard copies of the building and floor plans.
- External Wall Systems: prepare a record of the design of the external walls of the building including the materials used in their construction. The record must provide information on the level of fire risk associated with the externals and any mitigating steps that have been taken. The RP is required to electronically share a copy of the record with the local fire and rescue service.
- Building Plans: prepare up-to-date floor plans, alongside a single page building plan which identifies key firefighting equipment. The RP is required to electronically share copies of the plans with the local fire and rescue service as well as provide paper copies of the plans within the premises’ secure information box.
- Lifts and other Key Fire-Fighting Equipment: undertake routine monthly checks of lifts intended for use by firefighters, evacuation lifts, and other key pieces of firefighting equipment. Any faults identified with equipment that cannot be rectified within 24 hours should be reported to the local fire and rescue service via electronic means.
- Wayfinding Signage: install floor identification signs and flat indicator signs. The signage is intended to assist responding firefighters and should be visible in low light or smoky conditions.
Residential Buildings with Storeys Over 11m
The Regulations set out requirements for RPs of multi-occupied residential buildings of over 11 metres in height. Responsible persons are required to:
- Fire door checks: carry out annual checks of flat entrance doors. They must also undertake quarterly checks of all fire doors in the common parts.
Multi-Occupied Residential Buildings with Two or More Sets of Domestic Premises
The Regulations set out requirements for RPs of all multi-occupied residential buildings, with two or more sets of domestic premises. Responsible persons are required to:
- Fire Safety Information to Residents: provide fire safety information to their residents on how to report a fire and what a resident must do once a fire has occurred.
- Fire Door Information: provide residents with information relating to the importance of fire doors in fire safety.
Information Sharing with Local Fire and Rescue Services
From 23 January 2023, the Regulations require responsible persons of high-rise residential buildings to provide information on their building to the local fire and rescue service.
The information to be shared includes details of the construction of the external walls, floor and buildings plans, and information on known faults with key firefighting equipment. The Regulations state that this information must be shared via electronic means.
Supplying Building Plans and Reports
Use the below link to find out more about the information you need to provide and how you can provide it to us and how to report defective lifts or equipment to us. https://www.avonfire.gov.uk/business-safety/submit-building-plans
The Fire Safety Act 2021
The commencement of the Fire Safety Act in May 2022 clarified that the building’s structure and external walls (including windows, balconies, cladding, insulation, and fixings) fall within the scope of the Fire Safety Order. Accordingly, the risk of fire relating to the external walls is a matter which should be considered as part of the premises fire risk assessment.
Given information related to this risk must also be included within the record of the external wall required by the new Regulations, fire risk assessments that do not currently consider the external wall should be updated as quickly as practicable.
To support the updating of fire risk assessment in line with the clarifications set out in the Fire Safety Act, the government has developed the Fire Risk Assessment Prioritisation Tool (the FRAPT)