New fire safety regulations have been introduced in response to recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into force on 23 January 2023 and affect all persons responsible for high-rise flats.
These regulations make it a requirement in law for responsible persons of high-rise blocks of flats to provide information to fire and rescue services to assist them to plan and, if needed, provide an effective operational response in the event of an emergency.
The regulations will also require responsible persons in multi-occupied residential buildings which are high-rise buildings, as well as those above 11 metres in height, to provide additional safety measures.
In Brief: The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022
In high-rise residential buildings, responsible persons will be required to:
- Provide local fire services with up-to-date electronic building floor plans and to put a hard copy in a secure information box on site
- Provide local fire services information about the design and materials of the building’s external wall system and to inform them of changes to these materials.
- Provide information about the level of risk the external wall structure gives rise to and mitigating steps taken
- Undertake monthly checks on the operation of lifts and the functionality of other pieces of firefighting equipment, informing the fire service of faults as soon as possible if it cannot be fixed within 24 hours – the outcome of checks should be made available to residents.
- Install and maintain a secure information box containing the name and contact details of the responsible person
- Install wayfinding signage visible in low light or smoky conditions identifiying flat and floor numbers in the stairwells of relevant buildings
In all multi-occupied residential buildings, the regulations require responsible persons to provide residents with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors. The regulations apply to existing buildings, and requirements for new buildings may be different.
The Responsible Person must carry out an assessment of the fire risks to people on the premises or within its vicinity (these are described as ‘relevant persons’ in the order). The fire risk assessment helps identify the fire safety precautions the Responsible Person must take to comply with the Fire Safety Order.
- external walls
- flat front doors
You are the Responsible Person if:
- you own the building (only in relation to the non-domestic parts)
- you have control over the premises
Employees and residents
Employees and residents should:
- comply with any fire safety measures that have been put in place and not interfere with these
- report any fire safety defects to the Responsible Person, or their on-site representative (such as the workplace manager or the management agent in a residential building)
Faults with lifts or firefighting equipment
If a lift (or other fire-fighting equipment) in your building is faulty and can’t be fixed within 24 hours, you are legally required to report it to us as soon as possible, arrange repairs, then tell us when it’s fixed.