Fire Safety Act 2021 and Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022
Fire Safety Act 2021 and Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022: The Fire Safety Act 2021 commenced on 16 May 2022 and can be found here. The Act amends the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the “Fire Safety Order”). It applies to any building containing two or more domestic premises. The Fire Safety (England) Regulations have been introduced as an important step towards implementing the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report.
Fire Safety Act 2021
The Fire Safety Act 2021 commenced on 16 May 2022 and can be found here. The Act amends the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the “Fire Safety Order”). It applies to any building containing two or more domestic premises.
The Act clarifies that responsible persons (RPs) for multi-occupied residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for the structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies and windows, and entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts. As the RP, you are under the legal duty to manage and reduce the risk of fire for these parts of the building. Your fire risk assessment will need to consider these parts.
When auditing your building, we will need to see that these have been assessed in your fire risk assessment, or how you plan for them to be assessed. The National Fire Chief Council (NFCC) has supported the Home Office to produce the Fire Risk Assessment Prioritisation Tool, which is available within The Fire Safety Act commencement prioritisation guidance here.
- The Tool aims to help responsible persons develop a strategy to prioritise your buildings to update your fire risk assessments to ensure they include an assessment of the fire safety risks of external walls.
- The Tool is only a guide that is based on a defined set of characteristics that may apply to your building. If you are aware of any other factors impacting the overall residual risk of your building that are not considered in the Tool, you should prioritise the review of that building’s Fire Risk Assessment.
- The tool does not remove the need or requirement for both responsible person and fire and rescue services to act upon known or suspected risks, even where those premises are determined as low or very low priority by the tool.
Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 have been introduced as an important step towards implementing the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report. The Regulations are being introduced under Article 24 of the Fire Safety Order and will come into force on 23 January 2023. The Regulations apply to England only; more details can be found on the UK Government website.
Understanding the Fire Safety England Regulations 2022
Watch this video to better understand the new Fire Safety (England) Regulations.
Most of the requirements set out in the Regulations are imposed on the responsible person (RP). The regulations require RPs in multi-occupied residential buildings to take specific actions, depending on the height of the building:
- some provisions apply regardless of height
- more are needed once a building reaches 11 metres, and
- further requirements are introduced when a building reaches 18 metres (or 7 storeys) or more.
Regulation 6 requires the RP to prepare a plan for each floor as well as a separate single page building plan.
More information: floor and building plans
A copy of the plans need to be provided within the buildings secure information box and sent electronically to email@example.com.
The FIA and NFCC published the following useful document. ‘The Code of Practice for the Provision of Premises Information Boxes in Residential Buildings
Regulation 5 requires Responsible Persons (RP) to “prepare a record of the design of the external walls of the building, including details of the materials from which they are constructed.”
More information: design and materials of external walls
Within the record, the RP must include the level of risk associated with external walls (as captured within the fire risk assessment) and any mitigating steps that have been taken in respect of that at risk.
Details of the external wall system should be documented via the link below.
Regulation 7 requires the RP to report faults with lifts and essential firefighting equipment to the local fire and rescue authority where the fault cannot be fixed within 24 hours. The RP should subsequently inform the FRS when the fault has been rectified.
Upon receipt of the fault report, an email will be sent to the email address of the person completing the form (as captured in one of the questions). This will provide a fault reference number. This will be requested when completing the rectification report.
Once a fault has been repaired, you must advise as soon as it is rectified. A record of the outcome of checks should also be made and made available to residents.
Where can I find out more information?
You can find out more by visiting the NFCC website.
View The Fire Safety Act and factsheets and guidance.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations can be found on the UK Government website
The Home Office has produced a series of fact sheets which provide more detailed information on what the Regulations mean in England: