Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

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Introduced under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 come into force today, being an important step towards implementing the recommendations of Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Report. The regulations will apply to England only. 

The regulations expand the duties of ‘Responsible Persons’, making it a requirement in law for those classed as Responsible Persons of high-rise blocks of flats to provide information to Fire and Rescue Services to help them plan for and, if needed, provide an effective operational response.

The regulations will also require specific actions depending on the height of the building. Whilst some provisions apply regardless of height, additional provisions are triggered once the building reaches 11 metres. There are also additional provisions for high-rise buildings.

In high-rise residential buildings, (18 metres. or seven storeys, and above) responsible persons will be required to:

• Building Plans: provide their local Fire and Rescue Service with up-to-date electronic building floor plans and to place a hard copy of these plans, alongside a single page building plan which identifies key firefighting equipment, in a secure information box on site.

• External Wall Systems: provide to their local Fire and Rescue Service information about the design and materials of a high-rise building’s external wall system and to inform the Fire and Rescue Service of any material changes to these walls. Also, they will be required to provide information in relation to the level of risk that the design and materials of the external wall structure gives rise to and any mitigating steps taken.

• Lifts and other Key Fire-Fighting Equipment: undertake monthly checks on the operation of lifts intended for use by firefighters, and evacuation lifts in their building and check the functionality of other key pieces of firefighting equipment. They will also be required to report any defective lifts or equipment to their local Fire and Rescue Service as soon as possible after detection if the fault cannot be fixed within 24 hours, and to record the outcome of checks and make them available to residents.

• Information Boxes: install and maintain a secure information box in their building. This box must contain the name and contact details of the Responsible Person and hard copies of the building floor plans.

• Wayfinding Signage: to install signage visible in low light or smoky conditions that identifies flat and floor numbers in the stairwells of relevant buildings.

In residential buildings (11 metres of five storeys, and above) responsible persons will be required to:

• Fire Doors: undertake annual checks of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of all fire doors in the common parts.

In all multi-occupied residential buildings (with two or more sets of domestic premises) responsible persons will be required to:

• Fire Safety Instructions: provide relevant fire safety instructions to their residents, which will include instructions on how to report a fire and any other instruction which sets out what a resident must do once a fire has occurred, based on the evacuation strategy for the building.

• Fire Door Information: provide residents with information relating to the importance of fire doors in fire safety.

Please see here for our previous article on the Fire Safety Act 2021 and what this means in practice. If you would like any help or advice in complying with the new Fire Safety Act 2021 or have any related enquiries concerning fire safety, please contact Ian Manners (partner).


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