Auteur
Rona Westgate

Rona Westgate

Senior professional support lawyer

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Auteur
Rona Westgate

Rona Westgate

Senior professional support lawyer

Read More

11 juin 2021

Under Construction - Q3 2021 – 3 de 5 Publications

Government response to Fire Safety Order consultation

The Government's Response to its Fire Safety Consultation highlights further changes on the way to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) regarding regulated buildings. The Fire Safety Consultation ran alongside the Fire Safety Bill, now enacted as the Fire Safety Act 2021, and publication of the draft Building Safety Bill in July 2020.

As a reminder, the main provision of the now-enacted Fire Safety Act 2021 is to clarify the scope of the FSO by making it clear that for multi-occupied residential buildings the FSO extends to the structure and external walls (including balconies and windows) and individual flat entrance doors.  Fire risk assessments will need to include fire safety risks for these parts of those buildings.

The further changes to the FSO following the Fire Safety Consultation are to be introduced through the Building Safety Bill and through amendments to the Building Regulations Fire Safety Guidance (Approved Document B). The next steps to be taken, include:

  • strengthening the FSO in key areas such as:
    • new competency requirements for all Responsible Persons
    • obligations for all Responsible Persons to record and update their name and contact details (including a UK based address) and to record completed fire-risk assessments
    • obligations to co-operate between Responsible Persons and the Accountable Person under the Building Safety Bill sharing information on fire safety where they have duties in respect of the same premises – this will now extend to include sharing information relating to the external walls and flat entrance doors
    • a strengthening of the recording of fire safely assessments to ensure a consistent approach is taken towards fire safety across all premises regulated under the FSO
    • strengthened statutory guidance issued under Article 50 of the FSO.
  • implementing new regulations through Article 24 of the FSO to implement the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 Report recommendations. This will include measures around checking fire doors and lifts, but further work and consultation is required prior to the introduction of regulation around personal evacuation plans, and on the relevant information to be included on the premises in Premises Information Boxes.
  • implementing changes to improve engagement between building control bodies and fire and rescue services.

The Building Safety Bill has not yet been formally introduced into Parliament although It has been through pre-legislative scrutiny by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Select Committee which made a number of recommendations and encouraged the Government to publish a timetable for the commencement of the new regime for high rise residential buildings. The Government's response to that scrutiny has yet to be seen, so we don't yet know if changes will be made to the Building Safety Bill.  And for the moment, it's not clear when these proposed changes to the FSO will be implemented. Nevertheless, Responsible Persons under the FSO will soon need to address and demonstrate their competency. We'll keep you posted.

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