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1st April 2020

Forthcoming Changes To Fire Safety Laws

fire safety

What’s Happening?

The UK government has introduced a new bill to improve fire safety in buildings in England and Wales. The new legislation, if passed, will amend the existing Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to place a specific legal duty on residential building owners to inspect external cladding and fire doors within their buildings.

The introduction will also clarify the responsibilities of the fire and rescue services and enable them to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they are found to be not compliant.


The planned changes will provide a foundation for further legislation in order to implement the various recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry report which stated that building owners and managers of high-rise and multi-occupied residential buildings should be responsible for a number of areas including:

  • Regular inspections of lifts and the reporting of results to the local fire and rescue services
  • Ensuring evacuation plans are reviewed and regularly updated and personal evacuation plans are in place for residents whose ability to evacuate may be compromised
  • Ensuring fire safety instructions are provided to residents in a form that they can reasonably be expected to understand
  • Ensuring individual flat entrance doors, where the external walls of the building have unsafe cladding, comply with current standards.

The new Fire Safety Bill follows the recent announcement of the government’s intention to create a Building Safety Regulator, which will be established by the Health and Safety Executive. This new regulator is intended to raise building safety and performance standards, including overseeing a new, more stringent regime for higher-risk buildings.

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The competent person role does not have to be fulfilled internally within every company. You can, therefore, outsource the appointment to a contractor or consultancy with the necessary qualifications and experience.

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