Your guide to the new fire safety regulations

New legislation has come into effect to improve fire safety for residents in flats and apartments.

The Fire safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into force at the end of January 2023.  They are a response to the recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry Phase One report and build on the existing fire safety requirements in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

What are the new fire safety regulations?

Most of the new regulations relate to people who have a responsibility to manage accommodation blocks over 18m or seven storeys tall, but there are also regulations relating to any building containing more than one residential premises where there is a shared escape route.

All buildings to which the regulations apply must have fire safety instructions displayed and a copy of them supplied to residents.  Information must also be supplied on the importance of fire doors, the need to keep them closed and how to report any fire safety defects, as well as a hard copy of the building floor plans available on site and provided to the local fire and rescue service in digital form too.

Wayfinding signage that is visible in smoky or low light conditions, clearly identifying flat and floor numbers, must be installed in stairwells where relevant.

Monthly checks must be carried out on lifts, evacuation lifts and pieces of firefighting equipment, reporting any defects that cannot be resolved within 24 hours to the local fire and rescue service, before making the outcome of these checks available to residents.

The responsible person for a premise over 11m in height must now carry out quarterly checks of fire doors in communal areas and annual checks of flat entrance doors.  The person carrying out the checks must be competent, for example they have successfully attended a fire door inspection training course.

Who is the responsible person?

The responsible person is the one who has responsibility for the safety of themselves and others within a regulated premises. This might be the owner of the building, or any person who is in control of the premises.

Further guidance and support

The government has published factsheets to help publicise the new regulations, which can be found here.

Owners and managers of multi-occupancy residential buildings are urged to familiarise themselves with the new regulations – it is critical that any responsible person is aware of and fully understands the new fire safety regulations and how they can and ultimately help to save people’s livs

Contact the Aegis team today for more information and guidance.