Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 Updates

  08 February, 2023      Company UpdatesIndustry Insights
Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 Updates

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, an investigation was conducted to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. This inquiry has led to many changes within the Fire Safety Regulations which now require responsible persons of multi-occupied residential buildings to take specific actions.

Why were these changes introduced?

The new changes to the Fire Safety (England) Regulations were introduced on 23rd January 2023 after a rigorous inquiry following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, which sadly led to 72 people losing their lives. There were serious safety faults with the building which meant the Fire and Rescue Service where unable to recognise the risk of the fire taking hold in the external walls and could not plan an effective response.

In addition to this, stairwell landings were not clearly marked with the relevant floor number and so fire-fighters were unable to easily identify them. They were also unable to take control of the lifts, which meant residents could use them even though it was not safe to do so.

Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 Updates

The regulations sit alongside the Fire Safety Act amendments to the Fire Safety Order and the government’s update of supporting guidance to improve fire safety outcomes designed to protect the public from the risk of fire.

The regulations require responsible persons of multi-occupied residential buildings to take specific actions to make sure all occupants are safe and feel safe from fire. These actions depend on the height of the building – more are needed once a building reaches 11 metres, and further requirements are introduced when a building reaches 18 metres (or seven storeys) or more.

In all multi-occupied residential buildings that contain two or more sets of domestic premises and have shared common parts, the requirements are:

  • Provide relevant fire safety information to their residents on how to report a fire and what a resident should do once a fire has occurred.
  • Provide residents with information relating to the importance of fire doors.

In multi-occupied residential buildings of over 11 metres in height (typically a building of five storeys or more) the responsible person must also:

  • Carry out routine checks of all fire doors in their building. This includes annual checks of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of all fire doors in the common parts, such as doors to stairs.

The majority of the requirements apply to high-rise residential buildings at least 18m or seven storeys in height. For these buildings the responsible person must also:

  • Install and maintain a secure information box for their building. This box must contain the contact details of the responsible person and hard copies of the building and floor plans.
  • Provide an up-to-date record of the design of the external walls of the building including the materials used in its construction.
  • The record must also provide information on the level of fire risk associated with the external walls and any mitigating steps that have been taken. An electronic version of the record must be sent to their local Fire and Rescue Service.
  • Prepare up-to-date floor plans and a single page building plan which identifies key fire-fighting equipment. These plans will be used by fire-fighters during an incident and need to be clear, simple and easy to use. Copies of the plans must be shared electronically with the local Fire and Rescue Service and paper copies of the plans held within the premises’ secure information box (‘The Code of Practice for the Provision of Premises’)
  • Carry out monthly checks of lifts and other essential fire-fighting equipment in their building. Steps should be taken to address all faults, and any faults that cannot be rectified within 24 hours must be reported electronically to the local Fire and Rescue Service. A record of the checks should also be available to residents of the building.
  • Install floor identification signs and flat indicator signs. This signage is intended to assist responding firefighters and should be visible in low light or smoky conditions.
  • Send electronic copies of the external wall record, floor and building plans, and fault reports to their local Fire and Rescue Service. This information will allow them to effectively plan and respond to an incident in the building.

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations Update Infographic:

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 Update - Infographic

What else do responsible persons need to do?

The responsible person will need to make sure that the building’s structure and external walls (including windows, balconies, cladding, insulation, and fixings) fall within the scope of the Fire Safety Order. Information related to this risk must also be included within the record of the external wall required by the new regulations. Responsible persons should update any fire risk assessments that do not consider external walls as quickly as practicable. An online tool is available on gov.uk here.

Where can I find out more information?

You can find more information about Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 on gov.uk. Here you will be able to find supporting documents including a series of factsheets which provide further information.

If you need help making your building compliant, contact our expert Assure team today. Click here to find out more and get in touch.

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