Praxis42 would like to make you aware of the changes to fire safety legislation that may affect you if you are the Responsible Person for a building or premises.
As of the 1st October 2023, Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022 is making amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to improve fire safety in all buildings regulated by the Fire Safety Order.
If you are the Responsible Person for a business with less than 5 employees, you may have previously been exempt from the requirement to record the significant findings from your fire risk assessment.
However, from the 1st October 2023, you will need to have record your fire risk assessment in full regardless of the size or use of your building.
The changes, which come into force on 1 October 2023, include:
- a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to record their fire risk assessment in full (previously only the significant findings needed to be recorded and only in specific circumstances);
- a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to record the identity of the individual (their name and/or if applicable, their organisation) engaged by them to undertake and/or review a fire risk assessment;
- a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to record their fire safety arrangements (demonstrating how fire safety is managed in their premises);
- a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to record (and as necessary update) their contact information, including a UK based address, and share this with other Responsible Persons and residents of multi-occupied residential premises where applicable;
- a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to take reasonably practicable steps to ascertain the existence of other Responsible Persons and, where applicable, Accountable Persons (a new legal entity made under the Building Safety Act 2022 in the case of higher-risk residential buildings) who share or have duties in respect of the same premises, and to identify themselves to said persons;
- a new legal requirement for the departing Responsible Person to share all ‘relevant fire safety information’ with the incoming Responsible Person;
- a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons in a building containing two or more sets of domestic premises to provide residents with relevant fire safety information in a format that is easily understood by the residents;
- an increase in the level of fine that can be issued for offences in relation to the intentionally deceptive impersonation of a fire inspector, failure to comply (without reasonable excuse) with specific requirements imposed by a fire inspector (such as by not providing a copy of the fire risk assessment when requested), and failure to comply with requirements relating to the installation of luminous tube signs to the maximum possible, bringing them into line with all other offences under the FSO, and;
- a new legal provision that in court proceedings for alleged breaches of the Fire Safety Order, compliance with or deviation from guidance issued under Article 50 may be relied upon as tending to establish whether or not there was a breach of the Fire Safety Order.