Alongside the Fire Safety Act, the government has now committed to Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and a raft of new measures designed to ensure a full response to the Grenfell Tower inquiry recommendations.
The launch, coming at the same time as the commencement of the Fire Safety Act 2021, is described as “the most comprehensive plans for fire reform in decades.”
The plans will be set out in the government’s Fire Reform white paper to strengthen the emergency services and ensure ‘people feel safe in their homes.”
New Fire Safety Regulation Changes
These legislative changes aim to deliver fire safety improvements in multi-occupied residential buildings, such as ensuring that fire and rescue services have the information they need to plan their response to a fire in a high-rise building.
It also imposes a minimum frequency for checks on all fire doors in mid and high-rise blocks of flats.
New Consultations On National Fire Safety
Additionally, the government has responded to the Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans consultation.
It has launched a new consideration of alternative proposal packages to support residents’ fire safety whose ability to self-evacuate may be compromised.
The consultation includes a new proposal known as “Emergency Evacuation Information Sharing”.
This would require designating “Responsible Persons” – individuals responsible for fire safety in their building – in the highest risk buildings to assess the needs of their most vulnerable residents and consider what could be done to mitigate any fire safety risks.
Fire and Rescue Services will also be provided with up-to-date information on where these residents live within the building.
This will be used to inform their operational strategy and prioritise resources to assist further and affect the evacuation of these residents.
Responding to the government launches set out, Jamie Allam, CEO of Amthal Fire & Security, says:
“Responsible persons who are already stretched would be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed with the government’s new legislative objectives. Although essential to ensure fire safety, there is a lot to take on board and incorporate every aspect of a building into daily requirements to ensure full compliance.
“This is where working with dedicated partners such as Amthal can help, as we can alleviate the pressures. We have trained engineers that can review a property, conduct a full risk assessment and ensure every aspect of a fire safety plan is considered. This includes the focus on fire doors and emergency escape routes, which all now must be tested regularly alongside weekly testing regimes. Plus, we can ensure all details are recorded correctly.
“If we work together in this way, we can ensure we not only achieve the Government plans, but also work better for the emergency services. And ultimately protect what’s precious so that people do have peace of mind and feel safer in their homes.”