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Are you compliant with the Fire Safety (England) Regulations?

Following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, the government established the Independent Grenfell Tower Inquiry in August 2017. The Inquiry published its first Phase report in October 2019. This report made several recommendations, which the government, in principle, accepted on the day it was published.

Some of these recommendations were directed towards government and required a change in the law to implement. The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (the Regulations) implemented most of these recommendations.

On the 23rd January 2023, the Regulations came in to force under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Fire Safety Order).

The Regulations have made it a requirement in law for Responsible Persons of high-rise blocks of flats to provide information to Fire and Rescue Services to assist them to plan and, if needed, provide an effective operational response.

A high-rise residential building is defined as a building of 18 meters (or seven storeys) or more in height.

In high-rise residential buildings, some of the duties of Responsible Persons are:

• Floor plans & building plan: provide the local Fire and Rescue Service with up-to-date electronic building plan & floor plans and place a hard copy of these plans in a secure information box on site. Further information can be found here.

• External wall systems: provide the local Fire and Rescue Service with information about the design and materials of a high-rise building’s external wall system and to inform the Fire and Rescue Service of any material changes to these walls. Also, they will be required to provide information in relation to the level of risk that the design and materials of the external wall structure gives rise to and any mitigating steps taken. Further information can be found here.

• Lifts and other key firefighting equipment: undertake monthly checks on the operation of lifts intended for use by firefighters, and evacuation lifts in their building and check the functionality of other key pieces of firefighting equipment. They will also be required to report any defective lifts or equipment to their local Fire and Rescue Service as soon as possible after detection if the fault cannot be fixed within 24 hours, and to record the outcome of checks and make them available to residents. Further information can be found here.

These regulations are vitally important as they assist Fire and Rescue Services to plan and respond effectively to an incident at your building, which may assist in:

• Keeping your residents safe
• Reducing fire damage to your building, and
• Keeping our firefighters safe.

To support RPs in achieving compliance with the Regulations, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) have created a reporting platform from which the following can be submitted:

1. Floor plans
2. Building plan
3. External wall information
4. Fault reporting & fault rectification reporting.

The webpage can be found by following this link.

If you have not submitted the required information to us, please submit the documentation/information through the reporting platform at the earliest opportunity.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have proactively responded to the requirements of the Regulations.

Further information on the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 can be found here.