The Fire Safety Regulations 2022
From 23 January 2023, the Fire Safety Regulations 2022 will be coming into force. These new regulations have been implemented following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and require responsible persons of high-rise residential buildings as well as those above 11 metres in height, to provide additional safety measures and information on their building to the local fire and rescue service.
The information to be shared includes details of the construction of the external walls, floors, buildings plans, lifts, and information on known faults with key firefighting equipment. The Regulations state that this information must be shared via electronic means.
What are the new requirements under the Fire Safety Regulations 2022?
The following are the key requirements of the Fire Safety Regulations 2022 under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Safety) Order 2005:
- The responsible person (in the case of high-rise flats or HMOs) must provide their local Fire & Rescue Service with up-to-date electronic building floor plans.
- The responsible person must ensure that a secure information box is fitted in the vicinity of the main entrance to the property. This box must contain: a hard copy of the floor plans of the property together with a single page document setting out the key fire-fighting equipment available on site. Confirmation of the contact details of the responsible person(s) must also be kept in the box.
- The responsible person must provide their local Fire & Rescue Service with information about the design and materials of the buildings external wall system (e.g. cladding)
- The responsible person must ensure that monthly operation checks of any fire fighting or evacuation passenger lifts are completed
- The responsible person must ensure that suitable and sufficient wayfinding signage is maintained on their sites. This signage must be visible in low-light or smoky conditions. The signage must identify the floor number and flat numbers of the premises that each level comprises.
- The responsible person must ensure that all doors to all flats are condition checked at least annually. Flat entrances are required to be fire rated. It is the responsibility of the responsible person to ensure that all deficiencies or damage identified by inspection are rectified.
- The responsible person must ensure that all communal fire doors are inspected at least quarterly, and any remedial work promptly completed.
- The responsible person must ensure that fire safety instructions are given to all residents so that they all know how to report a fire and understand the fire action plan for the building (based on the evacuation strategy)
- The responsible person must provide all residents with information emphasising the important role fire doors play in fire safety.
How will The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 affect you and your business?
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 are covered under article 24 of the Fire Safety Order 2005. Regulations made under article 24 can impose requirements on responsible persons or others, including building owners and building managers, in relation to mitigating the risk to residents for specific premises.
The new fire safety regulations will make it a requirement in law for responsible persons of high-rise apartment buildings to provide information to Fire and Rescue Services to assist them to plan and, if needed, provide an effective operational response. Also, the new regulations will require responsible persons in multi-occupied residential buildings which are high-rise buildings, as well as those above 11 metres in height, to provide additional safety measures.
For all multi-occupied residential buildings, responsible persons will be required to provide residents with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors. The regulations apply to existing buildings, and requirements for new buildings may be different.
In high-rise residential buildings, responsible persons will be required to:
- Floor Plans: Provide their local Fire and Rescue Service with up-to-date electronic building floor plans and to place a hard copy of these plans, alongside a single page building plan which identifies key firefighting equipment, in a secure information box on site.
- External Wall Systems: Provide their local Fire and Rescue Service with details of the design and materials of a high-rise buildings external wall systems and inform the Fire and Rescue Services of any changes to materials used in the walls. Also, information in relation to the level of risk that the design and materials of the external wall structure gives rise to and any mitigating steps taken must also be reported.
- Lifts and Key Fire Fighting Equipment: Undertake monthly checks on the operation of the building’s lifts and the functionality of key firefighting equipment. They will also be required to report any defective lifts or equipment to their local Fire and Rescue Service as soon as possible after detection if the fault cannot be fixed within 24 hours, and to record the outcome of checks and make them available to residents.
- Information Box: Install and maintain a secure information box within the building which contains the names and contact details of the Responsible Person and hard copies of the building floor plans.
- Wayfinding Signage: Install Wayfinding (Fire Safety) Signage that is visible in low light or smoky conditions that clearly identifies flat and floor numbers in the stairwells of relevant buildings.
In residential buildings over 11 metres high, responsible persons will be required to:
- Fire Doors: Undertake annual checks of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of all fire doors in communal areas.
In all multi-occupied residential buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises, responsible persons will be required to:
- Fire Safety Instructions: Provide relevant fire safety instructions to their residents, which will include instructions on how to report a fire and any other instruction which sets out what a resident must do once a fire has occurred, based on the evacuation strategy for the building.
- Fire Safety Information: Provide residents with information relating to the importance of fire doors in fire safety.
All procedures need to be in place by 23 January 2023 to ensure ongoing compliance with the Fire Safety Regulations. Failure to comply with regulations will be criminally enforced.
How Firecare Security & Electrical can help you implement the Fire Safety Regulations 2022
As a leading fire safety company in the South Coast, Firecare Security & Electrical is here to ensure you correctly implement the changes to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Our team of experts will undertake a fire risk assessment to ensure your residential building complies with the Fire Safety Regulations 2022.
With over 10 years’ experience in commercial and residential fire safety services, Firecare Security & Electrical provides our clients with peace of mind that their building is compliant with any new and existing fire safety laws.
If you require assistance on implementing the Fire Safety Regulations 2022 in Hampshire or nearby areas, contact our friendly team today via our contact form or alternatively call us today on 023 8026 9833.