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Fire and building safety – government launches two consultations today

06 June 2019

Today, government has launched two consultations for proposals for response by 31st July. They are:

  1. A consultation on new proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system. The proposals are said to go beyond Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations.

  2. A call for evidence on the effectiveness of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) since it came into force in 2006. This gives an opportunity for fire safety professionals and businesses or individuals regulated by the Fire Safety Order, to share their views and experience on how the Order works in practice.

The proposed reforms are wide reaching and will change the way property managers work. You can respond to both of these consultations and the details on how to do that are contained in the government press release below. IRPM will be responding as a professional body. In addition to the insight from the IRPM H&S Working Group of highly experienced H&S specialists, we want to hear from you. Please send us your views on the government proposals and also on the your experiences and evidence on how the Fire Safety Order works in practice. You can send your advice to info@irpm.org.uk FAO Andrew Bulmer.

The full press release follows below, together with the necessary links to the proposed reforms.

Andrew Bulmer - CEO

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Today we have published our consultation, Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system, following our December implementation plan. The Secretary of State has also made a Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament, which is available at: www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statements/.

The consultation sets out how we intend to take forward the recommendations made by Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety through meaningful legislative reform, and invites views on five areas of the new regime.  

  • We have outlined a scope for the new regime which goes further than Dame Judith recommended, covering all multi-occupied residential buildings of 18 metres or more.
  • We have detailed the concept of ‘dutyholders’, who have clear responsibilities throughout an in-scope building’s design, construction and occupation.
  • We want to give residents a stronger voice in the system and ensure their concerns are never ignored. We propose ensuring that residents are given better information regarding their buildings so that they can participate in decisions about safety, as well as clear and quick routes of escalation for their concerns if they are not addressed.
  • We have outlined plans for a new building safety regulator to provide oversight of the new building safety regime. This regulator will also oversee the wider building and regulatory system and watch over efforts to assure the competence of those working on buildings. We are also proposing to strengthen the oversight and regulation of construction products.
  • Finally, the proposed system will be underpinned by strengthened enforcement and sanctions to deter and, where necessary, punish effectively non-compliance with the new regime.

Alongside this consultation, we are also publishing:

  • A ‘'quick read' version of the consultation document to ensure that the content is accessible for residents of high-rise residential buildings.
  • A summary of responses to our call for evidence on engagement with residents.
  • A report from the industry-led Competence Steering Group setting out their proposals for oversight of competence.

The Government also wants to ensure that the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) continues to be fit for purpose for all buildings it regulates as part of the Government’s consideration of wider building safety reforms. 

That is why, in parallel with our consultation, the Home Office is launching a call for evidence as the first step to update the evidence base on the effectiveness of the Order since it came into force in 2006. This gives an opportunity for fire safety professionals and businesses or individuals regulated by the Fire Safety Order, to share their views and experience on how the Order works in practice.

We are not taking forward this work in isolation. Our work to improve building safety is part of our broader ambition of building better quality homes for the future and empowering residents to expect and demand safe and well-designed homes.

We launched our Social Housing Green Paper to improve fairness, quality and safety for residents living in social housing across the country and will publish the government response in the coming weeks.

How you can contribute:

The Building a Safer Future consultation and FSO call for evidence will both be open for 8 weeks until 31 July.

Building a Safer Future Responses

You may respond by completing the online survey at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/building-a-safer-future-proposals-for-reform-of-the-building-safety-regulatory-system.

Alternatively you can email your response to the questions in this consultation to: BuildingSafetyConsultation@communities.gov.uk

Written responses should be sent to the Building Safety Bill Team, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 4th Floor, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

If you are responding by email or in writing, please make clear which questions you are responding to.

It would be useful if you confirm in your reply whether you are responding as an individual or submitting an official response on behalf of an organisation and include your name, contact details and, where relevant, your organisation.

FSO Call for Evidence Responses

You may respond by completing the online survey at : https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-regulatory-reform-fire-safety-order-2005-call-for-evidence

Alternatively you can email your response to the questions in this consultation to: FireSafetyUnitconsultations@homeoffice.gov.uk

Written responses should be sent to the Fire Safety Unit, Home Office, 6th Floor, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF.

 

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