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The Fire Safety Regulation 2023

Published on Thursday, 04 May 2023

2023 – the year of far-reaching building fire safety regulations


Extensive fire regulations to improve the safety of buildings are being introduced throughout 2023 with some already in force.


Several pieces of legislation will come into play throughout 2023 with the first in January followed by April. Much of the legislation relates to stricter fire prevention measures in high rise residential buildings in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 following the first phase of the 2019 Grenfell Tower Inquiry Report.


The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 were introduced in January forcing developers, facilities managers and landlords to take more responsibility for fire safety. The regulations require a building to have a ‘responsible person’ (RP), usually the building owner of multi-occupied buildings, who has the responsibility to ensure the stricter fire precautions are in place and buildings are compliant. The regulations form part of the Fire Safety Act 2021 which clarified and expanded the duties of the RPs which came into force on 23 January 2023.


RPs have several responsibilities including improving communications with residents and providing fire services with information about the design and materials used on external walls and up-to-date electronic building plans of each floor. However, workplaces are subject to the same regulations and facilities managers also need to ensure buildings meet the new requirements. RPs also need to ensure that lifts and firefighting equipment are in working order on a regular basis and undertake repairs where necessary. Audit trails and data will need to be kept for ongoing reporting.


On 6 April, both the Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2023 and the Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) (England) Regulations 2023 No.396 came into force. These determine which buildings are subject to the more stringent safety regime under the Building Safety Act 2022 (England) and the latter sets out ‘key building information’ including duties and provisions.


As facilities managers and landlords grapple with the new legislation, they will also need to turn their thinking to further regulation on the not-so-distant horizon. In October, more regulations come into force.


On 1 October this year, further tightening of fire regulation expects to see improved cooperation and coordination between RPs, further requirements surrounding the recording and sharing of fire safety information ensuring a continual record is maintained for a building’s lifespan, making it easier for action to be taken against non-compliance, and ensuring residents have access to fire safety information about their building. Also, all higher risk buildings need to have been registered by this date with the new Building Safety Regulator having opened for registrations in April.


Higher risk buildings are determined as at least 18 metres high and at least seven storeys and contains at least two residential units. If the building is not registered, it will become an offence to occupy the building.


These post Grenfell reforms have been introduced to give residents and homeowners more rights, powers and protection which RICS describes as the ‘most complex piece of legislation since World War II’.


Any landlords requiring help or guidance on the legislation can contact the team at Bonsors.




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