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New fire regulations 'a significant step forward'

20 February 2023

NEW FIRE regulations that come into force in England on 23 January are 'a significant step forward' toward protecting people occupying high-rise buildings, says IOSH.

Under the regulations, people responsible for high-rise blocks of flats must provide fire and rescue services with information to assist them to plan and provide an effective operational response where needed. In all multi-occupied residential buildings, they will also be required to provide residents with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors.

Grenfell Tower response

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 are being laid under article 24 of the Fire Safety Order 2005. They will implement many of the recommendations made to the Government in the first phase of the inquiry which followed the Grenfell Tower Fire in London. The regulations will only apply in England.

IOSH, which has called for swift and decisive action on fire safety, is urging people responsible – normally building owners and others in control of premises – to take heed of the new regulations. While the regulations apply to residential buildings, IOSH is urging those in charge of high-rise and multi-occupied buildings and workplaces to take note.

“This isn’t just a matter of complying with regulations, people’s lives are at stake here,” said Ruth Wilkinson, IOSH head of policy. “We saw at Grenfell failures in the system, poor cultures and the terrible consequences of getting fire safety wrong and we need collective action to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

“These regulations are another significant step forward in fire safety but there is still more to do, and we all must play our part. We urge people to take note – and we’d like to see compliance with fire safety and building regulations in all buildings including workplaces.”

The Grenfell Tower fire happened in June 2017, claiming the lives of 72 people. In the aftermath, Dame Judith Hackitt undertook an independent review of building regulations and fire safety, leading to many recommendations.

In a statement, the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said, “The Building Safety Regulator welcomes the new regulations that aim to improve fire safety outcomes for the public.”

The new regulations are available to view here.