Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the Hackitt Review that followed, the new Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 have come into effect for multi-occupied residential buildings, starting on January 23, 2023. The aim of the new regulations is to ensure increased safety in multi-occupancy high-rise residential buildings.

Who do the regulations apply to?

The regulations apply to the “responsible person” who manages  the safety of residents. Typical responsible people are as follows:

  • Landlords
  • Building owners
  • Property managers

If you have such a role, you have legal obligations under these new regulations.

What are your legal obligations?

If you own or manage multi-occupied buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises, your legal obligations are determined by the property’s height.

All responsible persons are required to provide the following:

  • Fire safety instructions to residents, including comprehensive details on fire doors, how to report a fire, evacuation guidance, and what to do after a fire has occurred.

Property higher than 11m

If your property is higher than 11m, you must complete all the above and conduct annual inspections of entrance doors to flats and fire doors in common areas. As you complete the inspections you must:

  • Check that self-close doors close properly.
  • Look for any damage or wear and tear to glazing or doors.
  • Check that letterboxes close properly.
  • Check seals and hinges.

Properties higher than 18m

For residential properties of 18m or over (or with seven storeys or more), you must do all of the above plus the following:

  • Provide current electronic floor plans and details regarding the building’s design, materials, and risks to the local fire and rescue service (FRS).
  • Install a secure information box in the building containing hard copies of the floor plans, building plans, and contact details of the responsible person.
  • Carry out monthly inspections on essential firefighting equipment and lifts.
  • Install high visibility way-finding signage that can be seen in low light or smoky conditions.
  • Report any out-of-order firefighting equipment or lifts to the FRS if it hasn’t been working for longer than 24 hours.

Non-Compliance

If you fail to comply with the regulations financial fines can be incurred which can exceed tens of thousands of pounds.