The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will implement the majority of the recommendations made by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in its Phase 1 report which required a change in the law.
The regulations seek to improve the fire safety of blocks of flats in ways which are practical, cost effective for individual leaseholders and proportionate to the risk of fire.
The regulations will come into force on 23 January 2023 following the publication of supporting guidance which is due later in 2022.
For high-rise residential buildings (a multi-occupied residential building at least 18 metres in height or 7 or more storeys), responsible persons must:
- share electronically with their local fire and rescue service (FRS) information about the building’s external wall system and provide the FRS with electronic copies of floor plans and building plans for the building
- keep hard copies of the building’s floor plans, in addition to a single page orientation plan of the building, and the name and UK contact details of the responsible person in a secure information box which is accessible by firefighters
- install wayfinding signage in all high-rise buildings which is visible in low light conditions
- establish a minimum of monthly checks on lifts which are for the use of firefighters in high-rise residential buildings and on essential pieces of firefighting equipment
- inform the FRS if a lift used by firefighters or one of the pieces of firefighting equipment is out of order for longer than 24 hours
For multi-occupied residential buildings over 11 metres in height, responsible persons must:
- undertake quarterly checks on all communal fire doors and annual checks on flat entrance doors
In all multi-occupied residential buildings, responsible persons must:
- provide residents with relevant fire safety instructions and information about the importance of fire doors
The Fire Safety Act (FSA) clarifies the scope of the Fire Safety Order to make clear it applies to the structure, external walls (including cladding and balconies) and individual flat entrance doors between domestic premises and the common parts.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, made under article 24 of the Fire Safety Order, impose new duties on responsible persons with regard to the areas brought within the Fire Safety Order by the Fire Safety Act, and commencement of section one of the Fire Safety Act was therefore a necessary precursor to the laying of these regulations.
You can read information about the progress of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 recommendations related to personal emergency evacuation plans (recommendations 33.22e & 33.22f) and evacuation plans (recommendation 33.22c) .