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The UK government is committed to enhancing fire safety in all regulated buildings.

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The government said it would make several (74 pages / 576 KB PDF) changes to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), including improving compliance for all regulated facilities. It also added that it will implement the recommendations of Phase 1 of the investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 and improve the effectiveness of consultations between the building control agency and the fire and rescue authorities on building work plans and preparation for fire safety takeover. Information.

Changes are applied through the Building Safety Act and Building Code Fire Safety Guidelines.

Health and safety expert Katherine Metcalfe at Pinsent Masons, Out-Law’s law firm, said: “The government’s RRO reform proposal is a sign of a clear intention to increase fire safety not only in residential buildings, but throughout the built environment. . The responsibility of the person responsible for all buildings will become even more burdensome if these proposals become law.”

In accordance with the proposed changes, the fire risk assessment is reinforced with a new requirement that everyone involved in the responsible person (RP) must competently carry out part of the assessment. In addition, there are requirements for the identification of RPs to be recorded and documented for all RPs to record a completed fire risk assessment.

The government said it would impose fines for non-compliance with the regulations.

Metcalfe published the Building Safety Competency Principles based on the work of the Competency Steering Group, whose focus on the competency of fire risk assessors was strongly aligned with Dame Judith Hackitt’s 2018 review recommendations for building regulations. British standards body earlier this year.

At the same time, the Social Sector (Building Safety) Participation Best Practices Group, a social landlord group established by the government in 2019, has published a Best Practices Guide to Resident Engagement in Fire Safety (28 pages / 1.2 MB PDF).

This report explores the practical implementation of effective occupant engagement, a key focus of the new building safety regime. Although the focus is on the social sector, the guide can also be applied to the private sector.

The report made four recommendations for governments and housing providers, including increased penalties for tenants who do not allow access to their homes or share information that could affect building safety.

Other recommendations included a consistent approach to fire safety messages and the use of evacuation alarm systems in high-rise or high-risk residential blocks.

Separately, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets expectations and parameters for information sharing between the two agencies. Establish a principle of cooperation between the CQC, NFCC and the British Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) to support and improve fire prevention and prevention and to promote patient and public safety for those receiving health and social services.

The agency has agreed to share information about fires and other accidents at locations subject to CQC regulations.

Sean Elson, health and safety expert at Pinsent Masons, said: “In a time of significant change with regard to fire safety in England and Wales, this announcement highlights specific issues in the health and social work sector, with particularly vulnerable groups of people. ”

“Government proposals related to RRO reform are very important to health and social services providers. The MOU is a reminder that legislative and regulatory authorities will enforce it in serious cases. Providers should start planning for these changes now,” Elson said.

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