West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service welcomes the commencement of the Fire Safety Act in England and Wales, and the Fire Safety Regulations in England, as important steps forward in improving fire safety.
The service is also urging responsible persons (RPs) for multi-occupied residential buildings to prepare for legislation that will commence in January 2023.
The Act clarifies that RPs for multi-occupied residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for the structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies and windows, and entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts.
Chris Kemp, Senior Fire Protection Manager for West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said, “We welcome the commencement of the Fire Safety Act and the bringing forward of the new regulations, which are important steps forward in strengthening the Fire Safety Order and improving fire safety within premises in West Yorkshire.
“The regulations impose significant new legal requirements on owners or those responsible for residential buildings who should now, if they have not already done so, ensure their fire risk assessment takes account of any risk posed from the external wall systems of the building. It is important that RPs familiarise themselves with published guidance from the Home Office about when and how to go about this, here.
“We strongly encourage RPs to prepare for the significant changes being introduced in January 2023 and recommend they begin planning how they will comply with the new regulations which include things like the provision of wayfinding signage, the installation of secure information boxes and the routine testing of fire doors”.
The Fire Safety Act 2021 commenced on 16 May 2022 and brings about amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in clarifying the inclusion of external walls and flat entrance doors as common parts of the building.
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (the Regulations) were introduced to meet the Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s Phase 1 recommendations and commence on 23 January 2023. The Inquiry was established following the devastating Grenfell Tower Fire in 2017.