Fact sheet: Information to residents (regulation 9)

Updated 24 July 2023

Regulations made under Article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Purpose of this fact sheet

This fact sheet is not guidance and should not be read as such. It is intended to provide information about the regulations to residents and other interested parties.

What we have done

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 made it a legal requirement from 23 January 2023 for responsible persons of all multi-occupied residential buildings in England with two or more sets of domestic premises (and which have common parts), to provide residents with fire safety instructions. Responsible persons should make sure that these instructions are shared with their residents in a form that residents can reasonably be expected to understand.

Responsible persons need to provide residents with instructions on:

  • how to report a fire

  • a reminder of what the evacuation strategy is for that building

  • any other instruction that tells residents what they must do once a fire has occurred, based on the building’s evacuation strategy

Responsible persons should display these instructions clearly in their building’s communal areas (such as the building’s lobby or any conspicuous part of the building) and share directly with residents when they move into the building. This information will need to be re-provided in both the communal area and to residents when a document is updated. This information must also be re-provided to residents on an annual basis.

As is set out in the fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats guidance a multi-occupied residential building is likely to have either a stay put or a simultaneous evacuation strategy.

Why we did it

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommended in the Phase 1 report (recommendation 33.28) that ‘the owner and manager of every residential building containing separate dwellings (whether or not it is a high-rise building) be required by law to provide fire safety instructions (including instructions for evacuation) in a form that the occupants of the building can reasonably be expected to understand, taking into account the nature of the building and their knowledge of the occupants.’[footnote 1]

This requirement will provide residents in all multi-occupied residential buildings with fire safety instructions on an annual basis. The intention of this requirement is to make residents safer, as well as to feel safer, by providing them with relevant information on what they should do once a fire has occurred.

These instructions will be provided to residents upon a change and on an annual basis to ensure that residents always have up to date information and an annual refresher when there is no change. The intention is to keep this information in residents’ minds. By also providing these instructions in a communal or conspicuous area, visitors and other relevant persons will also have access to this information.

Ensuring that instructions are understood by all residents

Responsible persons should consider how best to provide these instructions in a way that their residents can understand. This consideration could be made alongside any existing or future resident engagement strategy, but the regulations do require responsible persons to provide fire safety instructions to their residents on, at least, an annual basis.

The regulations do not require these instructions to be translated into multiple languages, but a responsible person is welcome to use their own discretion should they wish to do so. Relevant fire safety information is already available in alternative languages from some fire and rescue services and can be downloaded from their websites.

Responsible persons should take steps to make sure instructions can be understood by all their residents and make reasonable steps to ensure this happens. Pictorial information could be used and face to face engagement undertaken to assist residents in understanding these instructions.