New Fire Safety Act & Fire Safety Regulations

Since the review of building regulations following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, new legislation has been introduced, with more to come, specifically aimed at improving the safety of high-rise residential buildings, and other buildings more generally, from the design stage and throughout their lifecycle.

The Fire Safety Act 2021 came into force in May 2022 and covers ANY building with 2 or more domestic premises with a shared common area, and amends article 6 of the Regulatory Reform Order 2005 for the responsible person to take account of external walls, structure and flat entrance doors.

The Fire Safety Act clarifies the scope of the Fire Safety Order 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 of a multi-occupied residential building.

If you are a Responsible Person, you must consider these parts when conducting fire risk assessments, if you have not done so already.

The Fire Safety Regs 2022 came into force in January 2023 and introduces new duties under the Fire Safety Order for building owners or managers (responsible persons).  

The regulations have been introduced under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Fire Safety Order) to implement the majority of those recommendations made to government in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report which require a change in the law.

These regulations will 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.

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 including providing the local Fire and Rescue Service information about the design and materials of a high-rise building’s external wall system, installing and maintaining a secure information box in their building, wayfinding signage, undertaking annual checks of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of all fire doors in the common parts and providing relevant fire safety instructions to residents.