In December 2022, the Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) published amendments to both volumes of Approved Document B Fire Safety:
Approved Document B (ADB) for Fire Safety is statutory guidance authorised under Section 6 of the Building Act 1984 to give practical guidance on ‘common building situations’ about how to meet the legal requirements and regulations of the Building Regulations 2010 for England. ADB is concerned with:
• Requirement B1: Means of warning and escape
• Requirement B2: Internal fire spread (linings)
• Requirement B3: Internal fire spread (structure)
• Requirement B4: External fire spread
• Requirement B5: Access and facilities for the fire service
• Regulations: 6(3), 7(2) and 38.
ADB is only required by Section 1 of the Building Act 1984 to address health and life safety in the event of fire in or about buildings, confirmed in Regulation 8 of the Building Regulations 2010. The health and life safety objective of the law of the Building Act 1984 and the Building Regulations 2010, addressed by the statutory guidance of both Volumes of ADB, is discussed in BDM01 A to Z of Essential Principles for the protection of buildings.
BDM01 is an orderly recommendation to investors, on behalf of insurers, not to design and build solely down to the ‘life safety before collapse’ objective on the assumption that the project is a ‘common building situation’. Instead, to define and insist upon the resilience their investment requires, beyond statutory guidance or Building Regulations, it calls for resilient construction innovation to improve health and life safety with measures anticipating likely events involving fire and water.
Two volumes of the Insurer ADB have been developed by RISCAuthority and published (as graphical reproductions under Open Government Licence) by the Fire Protection Association, both referencing the Essential Principles:
• Approved Document B: Fire Safety – Volume 1 Dwellings – Incorporating Insurers’ Requirements for Property Protection
• Approved Document B: Fire Safety – Volume 2 Buildings other than Dwellings – Incorporating Insurers’ Requirements for Property Protection.
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