14th Jun 2023|News|Estate Management|

UK Fire Safety Regulations For 2023

June 14th marks the 6 year anniversary of the Grenfell disaster of 2017, a tragedy in which 72 people lost their lives and 70 more were injured. In the worst residential fire in the UK since World War II  more than 250 of London Fire Brigade firefighters and 70 fire engines as well as more than 20 ambulances fought bravely to rescue the residents of Grenfell. The site event has been synonymous with cladding issues forced a much-needed change in UK fire safety regulations. Whilst no amount of legislation will ever replace the individuals and families lost in the fire much has and continues to be changed to ensure that nothing akin to Grenfell ever happens again.

For Residents, Developers, RMC’s and Freeholders across the UK Fire Safety is a challenging subject, with a seemingly unceasing raft of new and amended regulations in various stages of legislation at any given time. Compliance with fire safety regulations has never been more important so let’s look back over how UK fire safety regulations have changed over the past few years and the current fire safety regulations in 2023:

Fire Safety Regulations Since Grenfell

Since 2017, the government have brought in an array of new regulations to drastically reduce the risk of fire-related disasters in the future. Here are a few of the most significant changes brought about since Grenfell:

Aluminium Composite Material or ACM Cladding Assessments

Following Grenfell in 2017, a range of tests were carried out to assess the safety of ACM, or aluminium composite material, as a form of cladding. Having deemed the material unsafe, the government announced in 2019 that they would fully fund the removal and replacement of any ACM materials on residential buildings 18 meters high or taller.

Waking Watch Replacement Fund

In 2022, the government set aside £35 million to ensure that high-rise residential buildings had a functioning alarm system. An additional £18.6 million has been pledged to the Waking Watch Replacement Fund as of May 2023.

Cladding Safety Scheme

The pilot of the Cladding Safety Scheme was announced in 2022. The scheme aims to mitigate costs to leaseholders to replace dangerous cladding in the event that the original developer is unable to fund the removal and subsequent replacement of a safer cladding alternative.

At-Risk buildings can be identified by a FRAEW (Fire Risk Appraisal Of External Walls) which examines external walls and cladding, specifically for multi-storey residential buildings. The aim of the assessment is to determine how easily a fire could spread over or within the external walls. Qualified Assessors are able use the PAS9980 framework as part of their assessment of a building, as it provides a clear methodology on what to look for.

The pilot is already starting to reap rewards – 6 blocks have been unlocked from the EWS1 unsaleable situation following a FRAEW fire engineer review.

Developer Remediation Contract

At the start of 2023, the government sought to establish contracts with major housebuilders and other large developers who have constructed developments now deemed to be unsafe. Developers were asked to pledge to undertake any necessary works to remediate these fire-safety defects and reimburse any taxpayers for funding spent on fixing their buildings. As of May 2023, 48 developers have signed the government’s contract. It is estimated that this will save £16 million for the government, leaseholders, and current building owners. At the time of writing, two major Birmingham City Centre blocks have been fully remediated via the fund, with five more due in summer 2023.

The Building Safety Act 2022

The Building Safety Act has been in force since April 2023 and aims to introduce fire regulation measures in high-rise buildings. Ultimately, the act will help residents feel safer in their homes, provide more detailed guidance for developers, and change the way buildings are managed. The act aims to do this by providing clearer guidance and improving the competence of those delivering higher-risk building developments.

Please note that this new fire safety guidance is set to formally come into effect from October 1st 2023. For more information on what new responsibilities you may have under the renewed Building Safety Act, please fill in the form at the bottom of this blog to contact a member of the team.

UK Fire Safety Regulations 2023 Checklist

Unsure what your obligations are? Here’s a headline run-through of what each property type requires to keep compliant:

For residential buildings with two or more domestic premises with shared common areas, you will need…

  • A fire risk assessment
  • A fire risk prioritisation tool
  • Fire door information and safety instructions for residents
  • A fire risk appraisal of external walls (if required)

For buildings over 11 meters tall, you must meet the above requirements, as well as…

  • Fire door surveys
  • Relevant defects notice
  • Landlord/leaseholder certificate

For buildings exceeding 18 meters in height, or consisting of 7 or more storeys, you must meet the above requirements, as well as…

  • Building safety regulator registration
  • Secure information box
  • Floor plans
  • Building safety case
  • Fire service portal upload
  • A building safety manager
  • Golden thread of information
  • Monthly lift checks
  • External wall design detail
  • Wayfinding signage
  • Fire equipment outage reporting

fire safety banner

Review Your Fire Safety Compliance With Centrick

It is vital that you remain compliant with the existing and upcoming laws regarding building safety. Those who do not adhere to the guidance could face severe penalties of up to two years in prison and unlimited fines. If you are at all unclear on what your responsibilities are regarding UK fire safety regulations in 2023, Centrick are here to help.

Our staff are well-equipped to assist you with any of your fire safety queries, with our staff being enrolled in CIOB Level 6 Building Safety Management diplomas and members of MIFSM. We are on hand to help our clients complete their responsibility to register their buildings with the Building Safety Regulator, and have the knowledge and expertise to guide our clients through the process.

Download Guide - Fire Safety And Cladding Remediation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.