The UK government has made a pledge to strengthen fire safety in all residential and commercial regulated buildings in England, in its response to last year’s fire safety consultation.
As part of the new measures, limitless fines will be handed out to anyone caught obstructing or impersonating a fire inspector as well as to those who breach fire safety regulations under the Fire Safety Order.
Changes will be brought into effect through the Building Safety Bill and building regulations fire safety guidance.
Under the proposed changes, fire risk assessments will be strengthened with a new requirement for any person engaged by the responsible person (RP) to undertake any part of the assessment to be competent. There will also be a requirement for all RPs to record their completed fire risk assessments, and for the identification of RPs to be recorded.
The government said it would increase penalties for failure to comply with the regulations.
In addition to new regulations, extra funding has also been announced. A further £10 million will be given to Fire and Rescue Authorities across England, on top of the £6 million already announced in the Fire Covid-19 Contingency Fund. This extra funding is designed to help with additional tasks related to managing the pandemic such as driving ambulances and assisting at testing and vaccination centres
Fire Minister Lord Greenhalgh said:
“Everyone should be safe in the buildings where they live, stay or work. Our new measures will improve fire safety and help save lives, but will also take firm action against those who fail in their duty to keep people safe.
Our incredible Fire and Rescue Services have played a crucial role in our response to the pandemic, from assisting at vaccination centres to driving ambulances. That is why we are giving them this cash boost, so they can continue their life-saving efforts.”
Darren Baird, Total Fire Group Director DMS, MIFireE, MIFSM, NAFRA said:
“We welcome the new Government changes in respect of fire safety legislation, in particular the requirements for persons responsible for fire safety within buildings to ensure that their fire risk assessments are carried out by competent persons. We have supported this ethos for many years now being the 4th fire risk assessment company to achieve the BAFE SP 205 Certification back in November 2012. We will continue to drive and actively promote competency standards within our industry”.
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