Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

The turn of the year into 2023 marked yet another new piece of legislation in the world of compliance and has a particular impact on social housing providers as well as the private sector.

On 23rd January 2023 the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into force as an additional set of fire safety requirements are imposed. Sitting alongside the existing Fire Safety Act 2021 and Building Safety Act 2022 which we have seen come into in the last couple of years, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 continue to implement recommendations coming from the ongoing phases of the Grenfell enquiry.

The new legislation implements further requirements on the responsible persons for mid and high rise flat blocks, alongside additional requirements across the board for multi-occupancy buildings, ie those with 2 or more dwellings. The concept of ‘responsible persons’ was introduced with the Building Safety Act and can be seen again in the new legislation and is normally defined as the person in control of the building.

The new legislation can essentially be split into three categories with the following requirements:

During this session our main objectives are:

– For those residential buildings with 2 or more dwellings you must now:

  • Provide relevant fire safety instructions to residents, including how to report a fire and what steps to take once a fire occurs based on the evacuation strategy
  • Provide residents with appropriate information into fire safety doors and their importance in the role of fire safety

– For those mid-rise buildings which are 2 or more dwellings and over 11 metres in height you must now comply with the above and also:

  • The responsible person is required to complete annual checks of entrance doors to dwellings and quarterly checks on all fire doors contained within the common parts

– For those buildings that are deemed higher risk which are 2 or more dwellings and over 18 metres in height, you must now not only comply with all of the above but also:

  • Provide local fire safety services with up to date floor building plans to be kept electronically, along with identifying key fire fighting equipment
  • Provide local fire safety services with information regarding the design and material of the external wall system, along with any risk this highlights and steps taken to mitigate
  • Carry out monthly checks of the lift system to be used by firefighters, evacuation lifts and key firefighting equipment. Any defects are to be reported to local fire services
  • Install and maintain key information boxes containing building floor plans and details of the responsible person
  • Install wayfinding signage that is visible is low light and smoky conditions identifying flats and floor numbers in the stairwells

It clear this is designed to be implemented across the board with differing levels reflecting the differing risks of certain buildings with those over 18 metres, and already designated high risk under the Building Safety Act a key concern leading to significant measures.

No doubt this will not be the last piece of compliance based legislation this year but as for now the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2023 are in force and must be complied with.

Contact us, we are here to help

For more information or to discuss further please do contact Andrew Fairman, Senior Associate and Head of Compliance, Building Safety and Decarbonisation in our designated Social Housing Team.