Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022: Explained
February 3rd, 2023
Last updated: February 7th, 2023
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into force in January 2023. In the wake of the Grenfell Inquiry, there have been many changes made to legislation to try and make residential buildings safer. The changes come in the form of regulations made under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Fire Safety Order).
The Government’s website explains that “The Fire Safety Order applies to all premises including workplaces and the common parts of all multi-occupied residential buildings.” Already, there are restrictions and rules in place for commercial buildings, and the need to have a risk assessment completed and regularly updated, but this will mean that the responsibilities are much more clear.
Let’s get into what the new Fire Safety regulations mean, and some of the key takeaways and work that may now be required to stay compliant.
The New Regulations
There are many new considerations for multi-occupied residential buildings as well as commercial buildings that are 11 metres or higher. The height of the building has a bearing on the specific responsibilities within the new legislation. Some of the key points and changes are outlined below
Fire Doors and Fire Safety Information
In residential buildings with multiple occupancy, it is now required that the responsible persons (those delegated to be responsible for the fire safety processes) provide information about fire doors. This should explain the importance of fire doors as well as giving fire safety instructions, showing residents what to do in the case of a fire, for instance. They also need to know how to report a fire and how the alarm system works.
The person or persons responsible should also “undertake annual checks of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of all fire doors in the common parts.”
Building Plan Updates
The Fire and Rescue services must be provided with an updated electronic floor plan of the building. There must also be a secure information box on the site that contains this information, helping to identify fire suppression and safety equipment, dry risers, and other relevant firefighting equipment.
This helps the Fire and Rescue service to provide the most effective service possible.
Checks For Lifts and Fire Equipment
Regular checks for fire equipment are already required within commercial buildings but there is now stricter guidance under the new regulations.
Monthly checks need to be performed on lifts that may be used for firefighters, making it even more crucial that your lift maintenance is up to standard. Defective lifts or equipment also have to be reported to the local Fire and Rescue service so that they know if the lifts they would otherwise use are not functioning as expected.
All key firefighting equipment must now be tested monthly. Fire alarm testing is already required on a regular basis, and other checks may now need to be carried out more. For instance, any fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems need proper maintenance and testing.
If equipment, such as a lift, is found to be faulty and can’t be fixed within 24 hours, landlords of high rise buildings must record the outcome of any checks and make them easily available to the residents of the property.
External Wall Systems
The responsible persons must provide the Fire and Rescue service with information about the external walls and the materials that have been used to construct them. Plus, they have to alert them of any changes, and provide information about the level of risk of the materials and structure. It is encouraged to take mitigating steps and these must also be reported to the Fire and Rescue Service.
Information must be available via a secure box in the building, that people can access. This must also give them both the name and contact details of whoever is responsible, and display a hard copy of the floor plan of the building. This is all about providing as much information and detail as is required regarding the fire safety of the premises.
Who is the Responsible Person?
The “responsible person” or persons are referred to a lot in the regulations, but what does this actually mean? It is normally the building owner in a residential property, or an individual or company delegate that is in control of the premises.
According to the government fact sheet, “the responsible person is the person on whom most of the duties set out in the Fire Safety Order are imposed.” Within a business, a responsible person should have already been outlined to handle fire prevention and detection systems. This helps to ensure there is responsibility as well as accountability if anything should go wrong.
If you own or operate a high rise building or commercial building there are likely to be plenty ff rules that relate to you. These regulations are already a part of law. You can read all of Article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 if you need further information or specific wording. There are also some really simple fact sheets and summaries on the Government website.
We have a long history of helping businesses with their fire safety, and can test all the components of your system, including the alarms, and make sure that they are working correctly. Robinsons Facilities Services can help with all aspects of your fire safety, from risk assessments to sprinkler systems.
Working across Yorkshire, we cover North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all planned, reactive maintenance or emergency call out. Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.