fire safety laws

Recent Changes to Fire Safety Law

Recent Changes to Fire Safety Law

Are you aware of the recent changes to Fire Safety Law that affect the responsibilities of the ‘Responsible Person’? On the 1st October 2023, Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022 made changes to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which will affect all Responsible Persons.

The changes in Fire Safety Law have been made to improve fire safety in non-domestic premises and any premises that have two or more domestic dwellings (multi-occupied residential buildings).

Changes in relation to the Responsible Person

  • It is now the responsibility of the responsible person to record all findings from their fire risk assessment whatever the size or use of the premises.
  • The fire safety arrangements must be recorded and written down.  Fire safety arrangements include how fire safety is managed within the building.
  • The full name of the Responsible Person must be recorded on the fire risk assessment, and the organisation name, if relevant.

The Responsible Person may appoint someone to undertake or review the fire risk assessment. This person must be competent by having sufficient training, experience and knowledge. HPC has trained consultants available to carry out a fire risk assessment, please get in touch for a quote.

Some of the other changes include:

  • The responsible person must have a UK-based address where they, or someone acting on their behalf, will accept notices and other documentation.  Contact details must be recorded and must be updated if any details change.
  • The Responsible Person’s details must be shared with other residents of multi-occupied residential buildings and with any other Responsible Persons at the same premises. Other Responsible Persons may include businesses or property management agents who have the responsibility for fire safety in the area of the building that they occupy.
  • If a current Responsible Person leaves, then it is their responsibility to share relevant information with any new Responsible Persons.

Changes in relation to higher risk buildings

Buildings with seven or more storeys or that are 18 meters higher and either have at least two residential units or are hospitals or care homes, are now regulated by the Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

Since the 1st October 2023, these buildings are required to be registered with the BSR.

Responsible Persons for higher risk buildings must identify and co-operate with the Accountable Person (someone who is responsible for repairing or maintaining anything under leasehold). This is a new legal entity under the Building Safety Act 2022,. You can find more information on this here.

You can find more information about the role of an Accountable Person here.

Changes to Information Sharing

The Responsible Person for multi-occupied residential buildings are required to provide all residents with fire safety information including:

  • Instructions on how to report a fire.
  • Guidance on what the evacuation plan for the building is and what they must do if a fire occurs.
  • Sharing of information on risks that were identified in the fire risk assessment.
  • Preventative and protective measures.
  • The Responsible Person’s details including the identity of any other person that has been appointed to help with the fire risk assessment.

Additional changes to the Fire Safety Order

In addition to the changes previously listed, the Building Safety Act has made the following changes:

An increase in fines for offences such as:

  • Where someone intentionally impersonates an inspector
  • When someone fails to comply such as failing to provide a copy of a fire risk assessment.

Additional information

Full government details on the legislation changes can be found here.

Detailed Government guidance that explains what a Responsible Person needs to do can be found here.

How can HPC assist you following the changes Fire Safety Law?

At HPC we have trained, experienced and knowledgeable consultants available to ensure you are fully compliant since the legislation changes were brought in.  Please get in touch with the Health and Safety team to discuss how we can assist you, including carrying out fire risk assessments and the development of fire evacuation plans.

To find out more information or if you require any advice about the changes in Fire Safety Law, get in contact with our team of experts.

T: 0330 107 1037


Twitter: @HPC_HRServices

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