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New fire safety regulations, known as the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, are scheduled to take effect on January 23, 2023.

Published On: June 23, 2023


These regulations, specifically Regulations 9 and 10, pertain to buildings with two or more domestic premises and communal areas.

The term “domestic premises” encompasses self-contained flats and rooms rented under individual tenancies within shared houses (HMOs), as defined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The responsibility for providing fire safety information typically lies with the freeholder of the building or a block manager. However, in cases where a landlord has divided a property into two separate dwellings and has appointed a letting agent to manage both properties, the letting agent may be considered a responsible person by default.

Under Regulation 9, the responsible person must prominently display fire safety instructions in communal areas. These instructions should include evacuation procedures, guidelines for reporting fires to the fire and rescue services, and any other relevant instructions for residents during a fire incident. Additionally, copies of these instructions must be provided to all residents within 12 months of the regulations’ commencement, to new residents upon their move-in, and to all residents on an annual basis.

The guidance emphasizes that updated instructions should be provided to residents whenever there are material changes, ensuring that residents always have current information and receive an annual refresher when no changes occur. Any revised instructions should be prominently displayed within the building and distributed to all residents.

Regarding Regulation 10, the responsible person must provide information about fire doors in the building, whether they are located within individual dwellings or communal areas. This information should include the following:

  • All fire doors must remain closed when not in use.
  • Residents or their guests should not tamper with self-closing devices.
  • Any faults or damages to fire doors should be promptly reported to the responsible person.

The responsible person must provide this information to all existing occupants within 12 months of the regulations’ commencement and to new occupants as soon as reasonably practicable after their move-in. Additionally, this information must be refreshed every 12 months.

For buildings exceeding 11 meters in height and containing two or more sets of domestic premises, additional requirements apply. The responsible person must make best efforts to conduct checks on fire doors at the entrances of individual domestic premises at least once every 12 months. A record of compliance steps must be maintained, including any attempts made to gain access in cases where it was not granted within a 12-month period. Checks on fire doors in communal areas of the building should be carried out at least every three months, ensuring the proper functioning of self-closing devices and assessing factors such as alterations, damage, gaps, seals, hinges, and overall door condition.

It should be noted that these regulations do not apply to structures comprising two maisonettes without communal areas or to houses rented under a joint and several tenancy. However, there is no harm in providing fire safety instructions in those cases.

For a comprehensive understanding of all aspects covered by the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, including provisions for high-rise buildings, buildings over 11 meters or at least seven storeys with communal areas, and other relevant details, it is recommended to consult the official .gov website for guidance.

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