Good fire safety practices are vital in any building, especially those where fire risk is exacerbated, such as high-rise residential buildings. The density of people and the access challenges for emergency services makes for a much more dangerous environment, emphasising the need for advanced fire safety measures.
Recently, new guidelines have been introduced for these kinds of buildings in the form of the Fire Safety (England) Act 2022. It’s vital to ensure your building is legally compliant and has integrated all updated regulations into its fire action plan.
However, keeping up with these changes can be a challenge, and it may be difficult to understand what you need to do to keep your premises in line with the law. That’s why the team at Pyrotec is here to break things down for you, so you know just how to keep your property safe and compliant.
So, what is the Fire Safety (England) Act 2022?
The Fire Safety (England) Act 2022 is a piece of legislation that was introduced in January 2023, as an amendment to Article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. These updated regulations specifically focus on improving the safety of high-rise and multi-occupied residential buildings in England.
These revised guidelines not only introduce a series of new rules aimed at enhancing fire safety, but they also highlight the importance of appointing a designated ‘responsible person’ in all commercial premises and clarify the expected responsibilities of this role.
Overall, the Fire Safety (England) Act represents a significant step forward in improving fire safety standards in high-rise buildings and offers a timely reminder of the importance of taking fire safety seriously.
What has changed?
These rules have changed depending on what kind of building you reside in:
High-rise residential buildings
- Every high-rise building must be equipped with an information box near the entrance. This is for the benefit of the emergency services and should contain floor plans, details of the emergency procedures and contact details for the designated responsible person.
- Fire services must be provided with up-to-date electronic building plans so that they can prepare their response and identify the safest entry and exit points. A hard copy should also be located in the aforementioned information box.
- Monthly checks should be conducted on all lifts that are intended for use by firefighters to ensure they are functioning properly.
- Wayfinding signage must be in place so that all building residents can easily locate their nearest evacuation route.
Residential buildings with storeys over 11m in height
- Quarterly inspections must be conducted on all fire doors in common areas to ensure that the smoke seals and self-closing mechanisms are free from defects. These checks are essential as any damage can compromise the effectiveness of your fire doors.
- Annual checks must be performed on all entrance doors that lead to a common area. It’s crucial these doors function correctly as they are a key way to prevent the spread of fire.
Multi-occupied residential buildings
- All residents must be provided with up-to-date fire safety instructions so that they know how to report a fire and just what to do in an emergency situation.
- Residents must also be provided with information regarding the importance of their fire doors.
Why have these changes been made?
These changes have been made in direct response to the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017, where fire safety failings were thought to have contributed towards the tragic deaths of 72 people. Adequate fire safety information was not provided to residents, which has highlighted the need for immediate and continuous fire safety education for all those in high-risk buildings. There has been a shift in focus towards promoting a culture of fire safety awareness amongst residents, with a greater emphasis placed on the importance of early evacuation and emergency preparedness.
Pyrotec can supply and install a whole host of fire safety measures to high-rise and multi-occupied residential buildings across Brighton, Eastbourne, Crawley and beyond. Our BAFE-accredited team is fully up to date with the latest industry developments and can help ensure your premises are fully compliant with all new legislation.
Contact us today to find out more about the comprehensive range of services we offer.