Guidance

The Building Safety Programme

The government has established a comprehensive Building Safety Programme to ensure that residents of high-rise blocks of flats are safe and feel safe, now and in the future.

Overview

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has established the Building Safety Programme to cover high-rise residential buildings over 18 metres, including hotels, to make sure that residents of high rise buildings are safe - and feel safe - now, and in the future.

With the support of local fire and rescue services and a panel of independent expert advisers, MHCLG is supporting building owners in taking immediate steps to ensure their residents’ safety and in making decisions on any remedial work that is necessary to do.

The programme is working with building owners, housing providers, schools, hospitals and the construction industry, including an Industry Response Group.

Independent expert advisory panel

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the government appointed an expert panel, chaired by Sir Ken Knight, to advise the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on immediate measures needed to ensure building safety and to help identify buildings of concern. On 5 September the panel’s remit was extended and widened to include other building safety issues.

The panel’s members have a wealth of experience in fire and building safety, including testing processes, and are drawing in wider technical expertise as necessary to inform their advice to government.

The government is aware that local authorities and other building owners are also seeking clarification of actions they should take in relation to buildings with other external wall systems. The expert panel will consider these issues after the systems tests are addressed.

See details of the independent expert advisory panel’s work.

Industry Safety Steering Group

Chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt, the Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG) has begun work to support and challenge industry in delivering meaningful change to building safety practice and culture.

The group of cross-sector experts meets regularly. See the Industry Safety Steering Group: terms of reference (PDF, 145KB, 2 pages) .

Advice notes

Please note: Advice note 14 - Advice for building owners: external wall systems that do not incorporate ACM has been updated, 18 December 2018.

Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety by Dame Judith Hackitt

An Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety was led by Dame Judith Hackitt. Its purpose was to make recommendations that will ensure:

  • a sufficiently robust regulatory system for the future
  • residents feel that the buildings they live in are safe and remain so

It examined building and fire safety regulations and related compliance and enforcement with the focus on multi-occupancy high rise residential buildings.

A call for evidence was issued on 12 September 2017; an interim report was published on 18 December 2017 and the final report was published on 17 May 2018.

Local authority and housing association funding for fire safety work

Building owners are responsible for funding fire safety measures in their buildings, and should draw on their existing resources to do so.

We will consider the removal of financial restrictions for local authorities where these stand in the way of essential work being done. This does not include general improvements or enhancements to buildings which go beyond this.

In line with their co-regulatory obligations, any housing association that has concerns about its ability to meet the necessary costs must contact the social housing regulator as soon as possible to discuss the matter.

The government will keep these arrangements under review.

Published 21 November 2018
Last updated 11 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added information on the Industry Safety Steering Group and its terms of reference.
  2. Added link to updated Advice note 14 - Advice for building owners: external wall systems that do not incorporate ACM.
  3. First published.