New fire safety regulations for residential buildings

New fire safety regulations come into force in January 2023 designed to keep the residents of multi-occupied residential buildings safe from the risk of fire.

These are the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, and are being introduced from 23 January 2023. The regulations meet the recommendations set out as part of the first phase of the of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, which was established following the devastating Grenfell Tower Fire in 2017.

The regulations apply to all residential buildings that are made up of two or more domestic premises and also include mixed-use buildings, such as flats above business premises.

Under these changes responsible persons for multi-occupied residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for the structure and external walls of the building. The Fire Safety (England) Regulations are the next piece of new fire safety legislation that has been introduced as a result of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and follows the Fire Safety Act 2021, which came into force earlier this year.

Abigail Link, Station Manager Fire Safety, said: “We welcome the commencement of the Fire Safety Act and the new Regulations, which are important steps forward in improving fire safety in West Sussex.

“These regulations will impose significant new legal requirements for responsible persons of residential buildings. They should now – if they have not already done so – consider when to review their fire risk assessments, to ensure these take account of any risk from the external wall.

“It is important that responsible persons familiarise themselves with the full guidance from the Home Office about when and how to go about this. You can read more about these changes on the WSFRS website.

“We would encourage responsible persons to also familiarise themselves with the new regulations and to prepare for the significant changes being introduced. I would encourage all responsible persons of multi-occupied residential buildings to work with us to ensure their buildings comply when the regulations come into force.”

In preparation for the new regulations coming into force in January 2023, responsible persons are encouraged to begin preparing to comply with the new Regulations to be ready to submit their information in time for 23 January 2023.

For example, responsible persons are urged to begin work such as installation of wayfinding signage and procurement of secure information boxes now.

WSFRS will be hosting two online Q&A sessions to provide further guidance and answer any questions. You can register for one of the sessions using the links below.