What does the Fire Safety Act 2021 do?
In the case of multi-occupied residential buildings, the Fire Safety Act puts beyond doubt that structure, external walls and flat entrance doors fall within the scope of the Fire Safety Order.
The Fire Safety Act will require responsible or accountable persons to ensure that these elements are included in their fire risk assessments if they have not been covered already.
What does the Building Safety Act 2022 do?
This Act makes ground-breaking reforms to give residents and homeowners more rights, powers, and protections – so homes across the country are safer.
It overhauls existing regulations, creating lasting change and makes clear how residential buildings should be constructed, maintained and made safe.
Accountable persons will need to demonstrate that they have effective, proportionate measures in place to manage building safety risks in the higher-risk buildings for which they are responsible.
If your building is over 18m or 7 storeys by October 2023 you will need by law a Safety Case Report.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022
In October 2019, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry published the findings of Phase 1 of the Inquiry. The Government undertook, in principle, to introduce new regulations that would bring the recommendations into force.
These regulations take the form of the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and extend duties imposed by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
These Regulations apply to all buildings in England that comprise two or more domestic premises (including the residential parts of mixed-use buildings) although there are more requirements depending on the height.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations impose duties on you if you are the Responsible Person for any building which:
- contains two or more sets of domestic premises
- contains common parts through which residents would need to evacuate in the case of an emergency
The Regulations apply to:
- parts of the building that are used in common by the residents of two or more domestic premises (e.g. communal corridors and stairways)
- flat entrance doors
- the walls and floors that separate any domestic premises from other domestic premises, plant rooms, etc, or from parts of the building that are used in common by the occupants of two or more domestic premises
How will a type 2 and 4 Fire Risk Assessment assist me in satisfying my new legal obligations?
A type 2 or 4 FRA will greatly assist you in satisfying your various new legal requirements.
A type 2 and 4 FRA is an intrusive assessment type which will inspect and assess the fabric/structure of a building as well as the current FRA 1 contents.
A type 2 or 4 FRA will enable you as the accountable/responsible person/s to establish if the property’s structure can support the current emergency evacuation strategy in place and if current mitigating measures are suitable and sufficient. It will also indicate the compartmentation abilities of each compartment in the property, and will highlight the risk of fire growth spread and travel out of compartment of origin and how this will affect the property and impact on life safety in the event of a fire.
By performing intrusive inspections we will be able to assess the structure and its anticipated performance in a fire situation.
Using this information on how the property will perform in a fire situation we can assess if the current emergency provisions are adequate or inadequate.
As of October 2023 every HRB (high rise building) over 18m/7 storeys is required to be registered and a Safety Case Report prepared.
A type 2 and type 4 FRA will satisfy various information gathering requirements in order for you to produce a safety case report.
The following list is not exhaustive and may be subject to change. Additionally, the information required for the golden thread of information will vary depending on the building.
Basic building information required:
- Your building’s construction
- Resident profile
- Fire prevention and protective measures
- Structural safety
- Services and utilities
- Maintenance and inspection
A type 2 or 4 will be able to provide the majority of information required and assist in other areas of the report. This information can be gathered with a type 2 or 4 FRA, unlike a type 1 or 3 where you would require additional surveys to be performed to gather such information, such as a compartmentation survey and a fire door survey which all have additional costings involved.
Special contribution from:
James Fay, AIFSM, TMIFPO, GIFireE.
Survey Manager at Keystone Fire Safety Ltd.
For further information on Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 visit here.