What can we do to support ‘building a safer future?’

Amthal is keeping abreast of latest Government changes with regards to fire safety, and is constantly reviewing its procedures, ensuring its customers are prepared and ready to respond when proposed changes pass through legislation.

With the responsibility now falling on building owners and managers of residential developments to comply to a raft of new announcements, Amthal is offering dedicated fire safety support services in line with new Government guidance.

Says Jamie Allam, CEO Amthal Fire & Security: “The first quarter of 2020 has introduced some significant announcements for the future of fire safety, especially laying responsibility on building owners and managers to ensure measures and responses are in place throughout a building’s design, construction and occupation.

“However, with many still facing repercussions of the coronavirus lockdown, and the associated time, resource and budget implications, the need to respond quickly and compliantly, may be adding pressure. Amthal is on hand to offer practical support and guidance to implement the changes where required and offer the expected peace of mind for residents.”

The Government initially highlighted its intentions and commitment to fire safety, with announcements on building safety reforms made in the second Queen’s Speech of 2019.

Proposed legislation includes the Fire Safety Bill, which seeks to clarify responsibility for reducing fire risk in multi-occupancy residential buildings.

The details of the Fire Safety Bill include recommendations of regular inspections of lifts and quarterly fire door inspections being made compulsory. A hugely noteworthy development in its own right, to influence an industry where this is no specific legislation that requires fire doors to be checked.

This was further supported by the budget 2020’s £1bn pledge to fund the removal of combustible Grenfell-style cladding on tower blocks to ensure the safety of residents.

And the biggest announcement came at the start of April. As the Grenfell Inquiry was paused due to Covid-19, and the Housing Secretary Jenrick MP, revealed ‘ambitious steps to further reform the building safety systems,’ under the banner of ‘building a safer future.’

Included within the measures were the mandatory installation of sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage in all new high-rise blocks of flats that stand over 11m tall.

The new programme will be governed by a new Building Safety Regulator that will initially be led by Dame Judith Hackitt during the set up phase, who will be tasks with improving the fire safety of buildings.