The regulations, which apply to existing buildings in England (requirements for new buildings may be different), cover:
- The provision of information to Fire and Rescue Services in relation to the building;
- The provision of additional safety measures; and
- The provision with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors to residents.
It is the duty of the responsible person to fulfil these requirements and they are defined as “normally a building owner, or in residential properties, any other person in control of the premises. The responsible person is the person on whom most of the duties set out in the Fire Safety Order are imposed.”
What this means in practical terms, depends on the height and occupation of the property, but the responsible person for that building will need to:
In all multi-occupied residential buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises, to:
- Provide residents with relevant fire safety instructions, to include instructions, on how to report a fire and setting out what a resident must do should a fire occur (based on the evacuation strategy) (regulation 9); and
- Provide residents with information relating to the importance of fire doors and their use in fire safety (regulation 10)*.
(*for buildings which contains two or more sets of domestic premises, and which contains common parts through which residents would need to evacuate in the case of an emergency.)
In high-rise residential buildings (a building at least, 18 metres in height or seven storeys and with two or more sets of domestic premises) to:
- Provide building plans for the local Fire and Rescue Service including up-to-date electronic building floor plans (regulations 6 and 11);
- Install and maintain a secure information boxes at the building, containing hard copies of the building floor plans and a single page building plan (identifying key firefighting equipment), as well as contact details for the responsible person (regulations 4 and 6);
- Provide information on the design and materials used in the buildings external wall system(s) for the local Fire and Rescue Service (including their level of risk, any mitigating steps taken and material changes to the walls) (regulations 5 and 11);
- Carry out monthly checks on the operation of any firefighting and evacuation lifts. Any defects identified with these lifts, that cannot be remedied within 24 hours, should be reported to the local Fire and Rescue Service, these checks should be recorded and made available to residents (regulation 7); and
- Install wayfinding signage in the stairwells (in addition to that already in place for evacuation) identifying flat and floor numbers (regulation 8).
In residential buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises and storeys over 11 metres, to:
- To undertake quarterly checks on all fire doors in the common parts of the building, as well as annual checks of each flat entrance door (regulation 10).
The Government have provided guidance on the new regulations, which covers:
- An overview of the regulations;
- Fact sheets on secure information boxes, design and materials of external walls, floor plans and building plan, lifts and essential fire-fighting equipment, wayfinding signage, information to residents and fire doors; and
- Information on checking your fire safety responsibilities under the regulations.
This can be found here - Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
A link to the full regulations can be found here - The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)
If you need any support with your fire safety management, please get in touch.