New Fire Safety Regulations to be enforced on October 1st 2023
Added on April 12th, 2023
By Bijan Fard
The government has announced that Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) has made amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), which will see the enforcement of new fire safety guidance on October 1st, 2023, to all buildings which are regulated by the FSO.
The decision comes as part of Phase 3 of the Home Office’s fire safety reform programme. Previously the programme had seen Phase 1 (the Fire Safety Act 2021) and Phase 2 (the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022) come into effect.
The Phase 3 guidance is an important step in strengthening fire safety in all FSO regulated premises. It is intended to primarily improve cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons (RPs). However, there have also been substantial efforts made to make it easier for enforcement authorities to regulate and discipline non-compliance. The guidance increases the requirement of recording and sharing of fire safety information, with the intention to create a continual dialogue of information throughout a building’s lifecycle. Furthermore, efforts have been made to ensure residents have access to comprehensive information regarding the fire safety of their building.
To support their efforts, 3 new fire safety guides on small non-domestic premises, small blocks of flats and for small sleeping accommodation have been published. The intention of these guides is to replace the old short guide to making your premises safe from fire. To better support RPs in understanding the new guidance, an updated fire risk assessment checklist has also been published. Despite this, there is currently no requirement for RPs to ensure that anyone they appoint to do a fire risk assessment is competent. However, having worked closely with the fire safety industry, provisions have been made to develop a timeline that will provide more information to RPs over the summer period prior to the enforcement.
For Responsible Persons it is integral that they review the new guidance prior to October 1st 2023, to ensure that they are compliant.