The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 are made under article 24(1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (“the Fire Safety Order”), and came into force on the 23 January 2023. The regulations make it a legal requirement for responsible persons of a high-rise residential building to advise and inform Fire and Rescue services to assist them with planning a safe fire evacuation response and procedure.
Why is the government introducing the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022?
Following the Grenfell Tower Fire in June 2017, the government launched an Independent Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Their initial findings were published in October 2019, with recommendations that included legislative change. The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will introduce the majority of the guidance from the inquiry.
What do the new regulations cover?
Regulation 3 defines what a “high-rise residential building” is and the importance when defining what is and what is not required.
Regulations 4 to 8 enforce the duty of the responsible person (defined in article 3 of the Fire Safety Order) in relation to such high-rise residential buildings:
- (4) To provide and install a secure information box in the building and for various plans and information to be placed within the box.
- (5) Provide information on thedesign and materials of the external walls/facade.
- (6) Provide floor plans and building plans, (electronic and hard copy requirements for residents and fire service personnel).
- (7) Lifts and essential fire-fighting equipment is to be regularly inspected and tested and maintained in working order, with a requirement to notify the fire service if such lifts or firefighting equipment become out of use.
- (8) Wayfinding Signage – clear markings of floor identification and the identification of domestic premises at each level.
Regulations 9 imposes obligations on the responsible persons to provide fire safety information to residents of the building. This includes but is not limited to instruction on what to do and who to call in cases of fire, and the evacuation strategy for the premises.
Regulation 10 covers the requirements for fire doors in all residential buildings with communal areas and two or more sets of domestic premises. This regulation imposes strict and more frequent inspections of fire doors to be undertaken with particular emphasis on the flat front entrance doors.
Regulation 11 requires certain information to be supplied to fire and rescue authorities to assist them to plan, and if needed provide an effective operational response.
It is a requirement in law for responsible persons of high-rise residential premises to provide the information under all required regulations above.
Regulations made under article 24 can impose requirements on responsible persons or others, including building owners/freeholders and building managers/agents, in relation to mitigating the risk to residents for specific premises.
How can SOCOTEC support with ensuring compliance with Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022?
Our expert team of fire consultants can provide you with the expertise, experience and knowledge to assist you in meeting your legal requirements as set out under these regulations.
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