FIRE SAFETY RESPONSIBILITIES
People who have responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which has been amended by Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022, have new responsibilities from 1 October 2023.
The requirements apply to all non-domestic premises, such as where people work, visit or stay, including workplaces, and the non-domestic parts of multi-occupied residential buildings (e.g., communal corridors, stairways, plant rooms). The requirements do not apply within individual domestic premises.
The new duties for all Responsible Persons
The following duties apply to the Responsible Person for any building regulated by the Fire Safety Order:
- recording the fire risk assessment (including all findings) and other information (fire safety arrangements for the premises)
- cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons—take all reasonable steps to identify whether there are any other Responsible Persons in the premises (e.g., multi-occupancy commercial buildings)
- cooperation with Accountable Persons—a Responsible Person in a higher risk residential building, which is defined under the Building Safety Act as at least 18 metres in height, or with at least 7 storeys, and containing at least 2 residential units, must take reasonable steps to identify the Accountable Persons (this may include the Principle Accountable Person) within the premises.
- provision of information to residents.
- provision of information to new Responsible Persons.
FIRE SAFETY (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2022: FIRE DOORS
The Home Office updated its guidance for Responsible Persons carrying out simple checks on fire doors in all buildings that contain two or more domestic premises and common parts, through which residents would need to evacuate in a fire.
First published in January 2023, the guidance has been updated to include, amongst other things, information about:
- the checks needed on self-closing devices and fire doors (including flat entrance doors) to ensure they’re working properly.
- recommendations for improvement that may be made by the fire risk assessor is for the Responsible Persons to work out how to implement.
- the need to undertake maintenance if faults are found.
- replacing a fire door is not necessary if it remains in full working order even if it doesn’t meet current Building Regs standards.
In August, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) published the following five Regulations under the Building Safety Act 2022:
- The Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023
- The Building (Higher-Risk Building Procedures) (England) Regulations 2023
- The Building (Approved Inspectors etc. And Review of Decisions) (England) Regulations 2023
- The Higher-Risk Buildings (Management of Safety Risks etc.) (England) Regulations 2023
- The Building Safety Act 2022 (Consequential Amendments etc.) Regulations 2023
The Regulations deliver the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt in her report “Building A Safer Future” and cover the technical detail that underpins the new, more stringent regime for the design and construction of higher-risk buildings, wider changes to the building regulations for all buildings and the details of the new in-occupation safety regime for higher-risk buildings. The intention of the new regime is to drive a change in culture where those involved in higher risk building work are accountable for their work.
The Regulations are in force from 1 October 2023.
These Regulations impose greater responsibilities on building owners. The publication of these Regulations:
- create new duty holder roles and duties.
- lay new procedures for the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) to control all work on Higher Risk Buildings (HRBs)
- set out the new regime for the management of all occupied HRBs.
Implications for fire safety
Through these Regulations, legal responsibilities will be placed on those who commission building work, participate in the design and construction process and carry out the building control function, to ensure standards are met and structural and fire safety are managed.
The Regulations seek to strengthen fire safety information handover for buildings where the Fire Safety Order applies, to make the process safer and more efficient. The fire safety information is information relating to the design and construction of the building or extension, and the services, fittings and equipment provided in or in connection with the building or extension which will assist the responsible person to operate and maintain the building or extension with reasonable safety.
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DISCLAIMER: The article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances may impact the accuracy and validity of the information. EffectiveHRM is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for any action or decision taken as a result of using the guidance.