Purpose of this fact sheet
This fact sheet is not guidance and should not be read as such. It is intended to provide information about the regulations to residents and other interested parties. Alongside this overarching factsheet, individual factsheets cover each of the specific areas covered by the regulations.
What the government say they have done…
“We introduced regulations under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Fire Safety Order) to implement the majority of those recommendations made to government in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report which required a change in the law.”
These regulations made it a requirement in law for responsible persons of high-rise blocks of flats to provide information to Fire and Rescue Services to assist them to plan and, if needed, provide an effective operational response.
Also, the regulations require responsible persons in multi-occupied residential buildings which are high-rise buildings, as well as those above 11 metres in height, to provide additional safety measures.
In all multi-occupied residential buildings, the regulations require responsible persons to provide residents with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors. The regulations apply to existing buildings, and requirements for new buildings may be different.
In high-rise residential buildings, responsible persons are required to:
- Building plans: provide their local Fire and Rescue Service with up-to-date electronic building floor plans and to place a hard copy of these plans, alongside a single page building plan which identifies key firefighting equipment, in a secure information box on site.
- External wall systems: provide to their local Fire and Rescue Service information about the design and materials of a high-rise building’s external wall system and to inform the Fire and Rescue Service of any material changes to these walls. Also, they will be required to provide information in relation to the level of risk that the design and materials of the external wall structure gives rise to and any mitigating steps taken.
- Lifts and other key firefighting equipment: undertake monthly checks on the operation of lifts intended for use by firefighters, and evacuation lifts in their building and check the functionality of other key pieces of firefighting equipment. They will also be required to report any defective lifts or equipment to their local Fire and Rescue Service as soon as possible after detection if the fault cannot be fixed within 24 hours, and to record the outcome of checks and make them available to residents.
- Information boxes: install and maintain a secure information box in their building. This box must contain the name and contact details of the Responsible Person and hard copies of the building floor plans.
- Wayfinding signage: to install signage visible in low light or smoky conditions that identifies flat and floor numbers in the stairwells of relevant buildings.
In residential buildings with storeys over 11 metres in height, responsible persons are required to:
- Fire doors: undertake annual checks of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of all fire doors in the common parts.
In all multi-occupied residential buildings with 2 or more sets of domestic premises, responsible persons are required to:
- Fire safety instructions: provide relevant fire safety instructions to their residents, which will include instructions on how to report a fire and any other instruction which sets out what a resident must do once a fire has occurred, based on the evacuation strategy for the building.
- Fire door information: provide residents with information relating to the importance of fire doors in fire safety.
How did the government do this?
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 were laid under article 24 of the Fire Safety Order 2005. Regulations made under article 24 can impose requirements on responsible persons or others, including building owners and building managers, in relation to mitigating the risk to residents for specific premises.
The Fire Safety Order applies to all premises including workplaces and the common parts of all multi-occupied residential buildings. It already required responsible persons where necessary to take certain steps to ensure the safety of residents.
Following the Grenfell Tower fire, the government established the Independent Grenfell Tower Inquiry in August 2017. The Inquiry published its first Phase report in October 2019. This report made several recommendations, which the government, in principle, accepted on the day it was published.
Some of these recommendations were directed towards government and required a change in the law to implement. The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 implemented most of these recommendations.
Following the Home Office’s call for evidence in response to the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, the Home Office launched the Fire Safety Consultation which ran from 20 July to 12 October 2020. Section 2 of the Fire Safety Consultation outlined the intention to lay regulations under article 24 of the Fire Safety Order to implement the Inquiry’s recommendations which required a change in the law. The Consultation also included proposals to implement the recommendations in a practical way.
The government’s response to the Fire Safety Consultation was published on the 17 March 2021 which demonstrated that there was broad support for these proposals. Following the commencement of the Fire Safety Act 2021 which clarifies that the Fire Safety Order applies to a buildings structure, external walls and any common parts of premises including all flat entrance doors for buildings containing two or more sets of domestic premises, we will proceed with these regulations to implement the Inquiry recommendations.
The regulations sit alongside the Building Safety Act amendments to the Fire Safety Order, and the government’s update of supporting guidance issued under the Fire Safety Order aim to improve fire safety outcomes designed to protect the public from the risk of fire, by better supporting compliance and effective enforcement in all regulated premises.
Where these regulations apply
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 apply in England only.
When these regulations apply
The regulations came into force on 23 January 2023.