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UK government announce new fire safey bill in the midst of Covid-19 virus

01 April 2020

This new fire safety bill aims to help people feel safe in their homes around the country, whilst ensuring that a fire related tragedy similar to that of Grenfell Tower fire never happens again.

The proposed Fire Safety Bill will ‘amend the Fire Safety Order 2005 to clarify that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for:

  1. The structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies and windows
  2. Entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts

This clarification will empower fire and rescue services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they are not compliant.’

 

 

Beyond the fire safety bill that is likely to be welcomed by the industry, the government have also been looking to implement the recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry phase one report. The first phase of the inquiry stated that ‘stated that building owners and managers of high-rise and multi-occupied residential buildings should be responsible for a number of areas including:

 

  1. Regular inspections of lifts and the reporting of results to the local fire and rescue services
  2. Ensuring evacuation plans are reviewed and regularly updated and personal evacuation plans are in place for residents whose ability to evacuate may be compromised
  3. Ensuring fire safety instructions are provided to residents in a form that they can reasonably be expected to understand
  4. Ensuring individual flat entrance doors, where the external walls of the building have unsafe cladding, comply with current standards

What’s more, the government has also given the ‘Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government the powers to amend the list of qualifying premises that fall within the scope of the Fire Safety Order by way of secondary legislation, enabling the government to respond quickly to developments in the design and construction of buildings.’

Here is a quick overview of what the current government is doing to improve building and fire safety:

  1. The announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 20 January 2020 of a new Building Safety Regulator
  2. Introduction of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Building Safety Bill, which will provide clearer accountability and stronger duties on those responsible for high rise buildings
  3. £1 billion of grant funding to tackle unsafe cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings over 18 metres in both the private and social sectors
  4. A new Building Safety Bill to bring about further changes to building safety
  5. The relaunch of the government’s Fire Kills campaign

It will be interesting to see how the fire safety will improve as a result of these changes, especially how fire and rescue services will use their new powers to increase fire and building safety.

 

Source via FIA  

Last modified on Thursday, 02 April 2020 14:47
Martin Franke

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