New duties to multiple emerging fire safety legislations

On January 23rd the Fire Safety (England) Regulation 2022 came into effect, putting greater emphasis on the importance of fire doors and fire safety instructions for multi-occupied high-rise buildings.

With these changes, and more set to come this year, Amthal is urging those responsible for high-rise residential buildings to pay heed to emerging legislation, as Phil Bryant, Manager of Amthal Strategic Accounts, explains.

New Legislation, New Resposnisibilities

The Hackitt Review, responsible for changing the regulatory landscape of building and fire and life safety, has introduced several significant pieces of legislation since the Grenfell Tower fire, imposing consequences for developers, contractors, building owners and landlords.

This month, the Fire Safety (England) Regulation 2022 places the onus on the ‘Responsible Person’ for multi-occupied, high-rise buildings to provide residents with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors. They are also required to provide information to Fire and Rescue Services to assist them to plan and deliver an effective operational response.

In addition, in a continued attempt to make buildings safer, the UK Government has recently launched a consultation to force developers into putting a second staircase in all new housing blocks over 30 metres tall and sprinklers in all new care homes regardless of building height – as part of further changes to Approved Document B.

There has never been a more interesting time for the industry, as the outcomes of the Hackitt Review continue to change the landscape of fire and life safety in the built environment.

With such a vast number of impending changes in the building and fire safety space and so much having already happened in the first month of 2023, we urge construction firms and those responsible for high-rise residential buildings to focus on the new requirements to compliance.

All of this has a significant impact on duty holders and responsible persons of multi-occupied high-rise buildings, from the architects who draw up the plans and the developers who build, to the landlords or building owners responsible for maintaining a safe and compliant environment.

A key outcome of the Building Safety Act for architects and developers stresses the need to get things right first time.

The impending Gateway Two will signify a stop/go point, where anything not done correctly in the planning and design process will cause delays and more time and resource from the developer to revise plans and re-submit them.

How Amthal Can Help

It’s clear the landscape is changing vastly and quickly.

With the potential introduction of the two staircase rule, updates to sprinkler requirements in care homes, the combustible materials ban as part of recent changes to Part B and the increasing need for fire safety precautions in e-vehicle and e-bike charging, architects, contractors, design and build managers and more are facing increasingly difficult day-to-day changes.

Amthal offers dedicated support and guidance on recent and impending changes, to help those working in construction, facilities and built environment understand their responsibilities and the competencies required to meet the expectations of the HSE.

Find out more about our fire protection services and contact us today to see how we can help your business adapt to the upcoming changes.