New fire safety regulations: do they affect you?

Gavin Scarr Hall - Director of Health and Safety

February 02 2023

As of 23rd January 2023, there are new fire safety regulations for certain buildings. How many of these new rules apply to you will depend on the type of building you own, manage, or occupy.

As some – if not all – of these new regulations are likely to impact you, here’s what you need to know to reduce your fire hazards and legal risks…

Who do the new rules apply to?

The new regulations will apply to all buildings in England that have people living in them. This includes:

  • buildings with self-contained flats
  • shared houses
  • mixed-use buildings (like a flat above a shop)
  • apartment buildings at least seven stories and/or 18 metres high

What are the new fire safety regulations?

Under the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, all residential buildings must now:

  • Leave fire safety instructions to residents

You’ll need to include an evacuation plan and outline how they can report a fire.

  • Provide information about fire doors

You’ll need to explain to occupiers how and why fire doors are necessary to keep them safe.

Are there different rules for different-sized buildings?

The higher the building, the greater the responsibilities.

If you own or manage a residential building that’s over 11 metres high, you must also carry out regular fire door checks. This means checking flat entrance fire doors once a year and checking communal fire doors every quarter.

And if your building is over 18 metres high, you will need to:

  • Install information boxes

These boxes should contain the contact details of your responsible fire safety person.

  • Provide information to your local fire and rescue service

This includes your building plans, the design and materials of your external walls, and fire equipment.

  • Keep details about external wall systems

Make sure all information about the design and materials is up to date.

  • Carry out monthly checks on lifts and other fire-fighting equipment

If there are any defects, you should report this to the fire & rescue service if you can’t fix them within 24 hours.

  • Put up wayfinding signage

You should make sure your building has clear markings of floor and flat (if applicable) numbers throughout. This is to make floors and exit routes easy to find and identify in low light and/or smoke.

Who is responsible for fire safety in a building?

Your building should have a ‘responsible person’ nominated for fire safety.

This might be the owner of the building, employers, or people with control of the premises. If you don’t already have a responsible person for your building, you’ll need to nominate one.

What will I need to do now?

Fire safety is a big responsibility for a person. That’s why so many businesses nominate Peninsula to do it.

And time is of the essence now the regulations are in effect. You may need to amend your fire assessments to make sure they reflect the new rules. And you’ll need to update the fire safety documents you send out to occupiers.

To save you the time and stress of doing a fire risk assessment yourself, Peninsula can do it for you.

Just tell us a time that works for you and health & safety experts will come in person to guide you through essential safety practices. They’ll help you to reduce and eliminate hazards in your building.

The law’s already changed, so don’t delay. Give us a call on 0800 158 2312 to tackle your fire risks now.

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