Starting October 1, 2023, a fresh set of fire safety regulations and updates to Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will take effect. In March 2023, the Home Office revealed its fire safety plans, forming Phase 3 of the fire safety reform program. These changes spotlight responsible persons (RPs) overseeing high-rise residential buildings, stressing the importance of transparent record-keeping, increased information sharing, and enhanced collaboration. organisation
Phase 3 is about strengthening cooperation and coordination among RPs, ensuring continuous fire safety record-keeping throughout a building’s life, streamlining the authorities’ ability to tackle non-compliance, and providing residents with comprehensive fire safety information. The Home Office also clarified that there will be a future legislative requirement for the competency of individuals appointed by the Responsible Person to conduct or review fire risk assessments. While this requirement will be enforced later, it is recommended that fire risk assessors currently possess the necessary training, experience, and knowledge. Ultimately, the Responsible Person remains accountable for ensuring a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.
Starting October 1, 2023, high-rise residential buildings must register with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR). This registration process began in April 2023, with a substantial 10,080 applications initiated, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). BSR data indicates that around 12,500 high-risk residential buildings exceeding 18 meters in height are mandated to complete the registration. With the registration deadline approaching, over 2,000 pending high-rise building applications are still pending.
The HSE emphasised the gravity of this obligation on September 20, stating that registering high-rise residential buildings is a “legal duty.” Failing to meet the deadline could result in severe consequences, including criminal charges and prosecution for those responsible.
Chris Griffin-McTiernan, Deputy Chief Inspector of Buildings at BSR, urged organisations to promptly register their high-rise buildings, highlighting available guidance to ensure compliance. This registration process represents a significant stride toward bolstering building safety in England, and residents will soon gain access to this registry, providing them with enhanced oversight and transparency.
New fire safety regulations and Section 156 updates will be enforced from October 1, 2023.
Phase 3 of the fire safety reform centres on cooperation, record-keeping, and transparency for RPs overseeing high-rise residential buildings.
Future legislative requirements will dictate the competency of fire risk assessors, with guidance provided.
Starting October 1, 2023, high-rise residential buildings must register with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR).
Over 10,000 registration applications have been initiated, with approximately 12,500 high-risk residential buildings needing registration.
Failing to register high-rise buildings by the deadline could lead to criminal charges.
The registration process amplifies building safety and grants residents increased oversight and transparency.