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New fire safety regulations – your responsibilities as a landlord or building manager


David Edwards and Terry Griffin from Harrison Drury’s regulatory and compliance team highlight the latest regulations that have come into force following the recommendations of the Independent Grenfell Tower Inquiry, as published in its October 2019 Phase One report.

As a result of the report The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into effect on January 23, 2023, under Article 24 of the Fire Safety Order 2005. The regulations impose further duties on ‘responsible persons’ (typically landlords and management companies).

The requirement in multi-occupied residential buildings

In all existing multi-occupied residential buildings, the regulations require responsible persons to provide residents with fire safety instructions, including how to report a fire, what to do if a fire occurs (in line with the building’s evacuation strategy), and providing information on the safety implications of fire doors.

In all existing multi-occupied residential buildings above 11 meters in height, responsible persons are required to undertake annual checks of entrance doors to flats and quarterly checks of communal fire doors (fire doors in common parts of the building).

In all existing multi-occupied residential high-rise buildings (buildings of at least 18 meters in height or buildings consisting of seven or more storeys), responsible persons are required to do the following:

  • Provide the local fire and rescue service with electronic and hard copy current building floor plans.
  • Install and maintain a readily accessible secure box on the site of the building, containing a single page building plan that identifies firefighting equipment, and the name and contact details of the responsible person/s.
  • Provide the local fire and rescue service with information about the design of and materials used in the external wall system (i.e. windows, cladding, balconies, insulation and fixings), and provide further information as and when any material changes are made to the external wall system.
  • Perform and maintain records of monthly operational checks on firefighting and evacuation lifts and functionality checks on firefighting equipment in the building, and report material defects to local fire and rescue service without delay.
  • Install and maintain signage visible through smoke and in low light, which identifies flat and floor numbers in communal stairwells.

Your responsibility as a landlord or building manager

The regulations represent a further step towards the reduction of fire-related risk in multi-occupied residential buildings, and may lead to increased enforcement, including fines and prison sentences, of responsible persons who neglect their duties.

Further and more onerous measures are due later this year in respect of high-rise multi-occupied residential buildings under the Building Safety Act.

Landlords and managers of relevant buildings should take appropriate steps to understand and meet their responsibilities, both to ensure the safety of residents and to meet their compliance obligations.

If you require further information or explanation of the new regulations and your responsibilities as a landlord or building manager, please contact Harrison Drury’s regulatory and compliance team on 01772 258321.

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