Fire Safety Act 2021
From the beginning of October, changes will be made to fire safety risk assessments for premises that contain two or more sets of domestic residences, such as blocks of flats, although individual flats themselves are excluded.
Which parts of the premises fall under the legislation has been outlined in guidance accompanying the Act and include:
- the building’s structure and external walls (including doors, windows and anything attached to the exterior of those walls, such as balconies, cladding, insulation and fixings) and any common parts
- all doors between domestic premises and common parts such as flat entrance doors
Fire Safety Order
The FSO was originally designed to apply to workplaces, therefore how it applied to residential buildings was not entirely clear. As a minimum, it applied (and still does) to the “common parts”, areas for the use of all residents like hallways, staircases and landings.
The responsibility for complying with the new rules falls to the 'Responsible Person' which may be an employer, freeholder, management company or managing agent depending on local arrangements.
Responsibilities also include, but are not limited to, the removal or reduction of fire hazards in the building and implementing reasonable measures to ensure the safety of all residents, those employed to work in the building and visitors to the building.