H&S Review March 2023: Fire Safety | QCS

H&S Review March 2023: Fire Safety

Dementia Care
March 9, 2023

Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

The above regulations came into effect from the 23rd January 2023. Throughout the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 there is reference to the responsible person (RP). This can be defined as the person who owns or controls the business or premises.

The home office goes on further to detail the following which can also be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/responsible-person-and-duty-holder-fire-safety-responsibilities

A Responsible Person includes the following:

  • Employers (for workplace premises): this may be an individual or a company and includes family-run businesses who may not naturally see themselves as a traditional employer
  • People with control of the premises: this can include occupiers or people conducting business, trade or other undertakings, or where it is not a workplace or there is no employer
  • Owners: this is where neither of the above applies and the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking. It can include the non-domestic parts of multi-occupied residential buildings where there is no management agent contracted to manage the building. It also includes unoccupied buildings which the Fire Safety Order applies to

These Regulations apply to all residential buildings in England that comprise two or more domestic premises with common parts such as stairways. Typically the buildings will be blocks of flats and will also include blocks used for student accommodation

General duties for all residential buildings

  • Provide relevant safety instructions to their residents
  • Provide residents with information about the importance of fire doors in relation to fire safety

Duties for Residential buildings over 11 metres high but less than 18 metres

In residential buildings with storeys over 11 metres the responsible persons must:

  • Undertake the general duties listed above, plus
  • Undertake annual checks of flat entrance doors
  • Undertake quarterly checks of all fire doors in the communal parts

Duties for High-rise residential buildings (buildings at least 18 metres in height or at least seven storeys) The regulations put further duties on responsible persons of high-rise buildings to:

  • Undertake all the general duties and the duties for Residential buildings over 11 metres high, but less than 18 metres
  • Provide the local Fire and Rescue service with up-to date electronic floor plans
  • Provide a single page building plan which identifies key firefighting equipment and store in a secure information box on site
  • Provide the local Fire and Rescue Service with Information on the design and materials of external wall systems and any changes that have been made
  • Undertake monthly checks on the operation of lifts intended to be used by fire fighters and the evacuation lift
  • Report to the local fire and rescue service, any defected lifts or equipment if the fault cannot be rectified within 24 hours
  • Install and maintain information boxes in the building. This must contain details of the responsible person and paper copies of the floor plans
  • Install signage that is visible in low light or smoky conditions that identifies flat and floor numbers in stairwells

The above lists are not exhaustive and guidance must be sort from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/check-your-fire-safety-responsibilities-under-the-fire-safety-england-regulations-2022

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) have produced a video to assist with the understanding of these new regulations – https://vimeo.com/780345511?embedded=true&source=video_title&owner=126480575

AfterAthena
AfterAthena

Employment Law Specialists

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