News

All news articles in date order - newest first.

NEWSFLASH – New Fire Safety Bill announced

20 March 2020


Minister for Security James Brokenshire has announced a new Fire Safety Bill, to amend the Fire Safety Order 2005. The Bill will be subject to consultation later in the year.

The Bill will clarify that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for:

  • the structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies and windows
  • entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts

This clarification will empower fire and rescue services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they are not compliant

The bill will provide a foundation for secondary legislation to take forward recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry phase one 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 bill will also give the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government the powers to amend the list of qualifying premises that fall within the scope of the Fire Safety Order by way of secondary legislation, enabling the government to respond quickly to developments in the design and construction of buildings.

Alongside today’s bill, a number of actions are being taken across government to improve building and fire safety including:

  • the announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 20 January 2020 of a new Building Safety Regulator
  • introduction of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Building Safety Bill, which will provide clearer accountability and stronger duties on those responsible for high rise buildings
  • £1 billion of grant funding to tackle unsafe cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings over 18 metres in both the private and social sectors
  • a new Building Safety Bill to bring about further changes to building safety
  • the relaunch of the government’s Fire Kills campaign

Further details may be found on the MHCLG web site here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fire-safety-bill

 

back to news list