Being proactive for fire safety compliance

Amthal is working closely with Building and Facility teams to prepare for a raft of new measures coming into force to offer further and consistent protection for residents when it comes to fire safety.

The new regulations on existing residential blocks and latest Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document B for fire safety, calls for secure information boxes (Premises Information Boxes) on new build residential blocks over 11M and Evacuation Alert Systems for new build residential blocks over 18M.

Both pieces of legislation reference the “Code of Practice for the Provision of Premises Information Boxes in Residential Buildings” published by the FIA in conjunction with the National Fire Chiefs Council.

The aim is to ensure information is available to Fire and Rescue Services in a consistent format to assist with the emergency response.   And notably so in relation to those individuals with mobility, cognitive or sensory impairments.

The changes focus on the following fire safety provisions:

  • Ban of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings:
    Consequential amendments following the laying of the Building (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022.
  • Updated provisions in Section 10 and 12 of Volume 1 and 2 respectively for residential buildings (purpose groups 1 and 2) with a storey 11m or more in height.
  • Secure information boxes:
    A new recommendation for secure information boxes in blocks of flats with storeys over 11m.
  • Evacuation alert systems:
    A new recommendation for evacuation alert systems in blocks of flats with storeys over 18m. c. Clarifications and corrections: Clarification of further diagrams, further text clarifications and corrections.
  • Clarification and corrections:
    Clarification of further diagrams, further text clarifications and corrections.

Says Phil Bryant, Amthal Manager of Strategic Accounts: “The Code of Practice is intended to support the Fire Safety Act 2021, in response to the recommendations outlined in the Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

“Whilst this specifically relates to buildings over 11m, the principles could be applied to a range of other premises, where there would be a need for the provision of emergency response plans and to ensure the safety of occupants as a direct result of them being able to use dependable, readily available, concise and clearly presented information.”

Amthal is working closely with its clients to ensure full compliance with the code of practice for the provision of premises information boxes in residential buildings.

As Phil concluded: “In the quickly shifting grounds of new legislation, new regulators and the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, this is welcome guidance to promote Best Practice. And, by extension, ensure consistency of application and regulation; especially so when it comes to keeping occupants safe in high-rise residential buildings.

“It’s something we are working with all our customers to confirm compliance much earlier than December, and make sure that those most in need of support are fully considered in the decisions and plans for managing an incident.  It’s all part of what we do to ‘protect what’s precious.”