Changes to fire safety law for high-rise flats
There have been some changes to fire safety law following the devastating Grenfell Tower Fire in 2017. New fire safety legislation has come into force which strengthens and improves fire safety in multi-occupied residential buildings and the legal obligations of those responsible for keeping people safe.
Fire Safety Act 2021
The Fire Safety Act 2021 (the Act) is a change to fire safety law to make it clearer where the Fire Safety Order applies in certain types of buildings. This change came into force on 16 May 2022.
The Act clarifies that where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises, the Fire Safety Order applies to:
- the building’s structure and external walls (including windows, balconies, cladding, insulation and fixings) and any common parts
- all doors between domestic premises and common parts such as flat entrance doors (or any other relevant door).
Action you need to take now
- If you are a ‘responsible person’ for this type of building, you must consider these parts when conducting fire risk assessments.
- If you have not done so already, you will need to prioritise updating the fire risk assessment to incorporate these areas.
- If you are responsible for a number of buildings, a fire risk assessment prioritisation tool has been introduced to help you.
- Before using the prioritisation tool, we recommend that you read the guidance document.
Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 have been introduced to meet the majority of the recommendations made in the Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Enquiry, which required a change in the law.
The Regulations will come into force on 23 January 2023.
What’s covered in the new regulations
The regulations introduce new duties for the owners or managers (responsible persons) of high-rise flats and multi-occupied buildings.
The regulations seek to improve the fire safety of these buildings in ways which are practical, cost-effective for individual leaseholders and proportionate to the risk of fire.
Further information about the new regulations and what you need to do is available on the Government website which includes a series of fact sheets which provide more detailed information.