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New Building and Fire Safety Guidance Aims to Cut Time and Cost

August 18th, 2020

Last updated: October 7th, 2022

Revised guidance for building regulations and fire safety have been issued by the Government, aimed at avoiding unnecessary remedial work on construction projects, and enabling occupiers to fast-track their fire safety procedures and risk assessments.

Announced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 15th July 2020, via a circular letter, the publication of the revised Procedural Guidance concentrates on how Building Control Bodies consult with Fire and Rescue Services, with regards to their plans for building work and how fire safety information is handed over upon completion.

Functional Compliance

The interaction between building regulations and other statutory fire safety requirements in England and Wales has been revised so that if the new guidelines are followed at the design stage, and prior to building work commencing on site, then statutory approvals should be met and fire safety information relevant to the building regulations can be provided. This benefits owners and occupiers, as the information will form the basis of their fire safety responsibilities. However, the main benefit is that proper and timely consultation between Building Control Bodies and Fire and Rescue Services should ensure there is no need for additional building work at the end of the project, hence the building can be handed over and occupied sooner.

It is common for fire safety enforcing authorities to inspect a completed building and insist on additional building remedial work prior to occupation, but the aim of the new guidance is to ensure this functional compliance is achieved at the design stage. Furthermore, developers and designers are now required to provide information on how this functional compliance was achieved, and hence this information can be used for fire safety management procedures once the building is occupied.

Fire Safety Expertise

The guidance is aimed at people with an appropriate competence in the technical aspects of fire safety and building regulations, or at least those who have access to this expertise. But in a more general sense, the guidance is particularly relevant to the whole spectrum of personnel involved in a construction project, this being designers, developers, occupiers, employers, building owners and safety managers.

At Robinsons Facilities Services we have specialist expertise in fire safety and building regulations and hence we can help you interpret this guidance and apply it to your construction projects. We can also assist in using the information provided to form the basis of your fire safety management, ensuring that you have covered your responsibilities for fire safety in accordance with building regulations and safety regulations.

Get in touch today and we can help you with your ongoing compliance.

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