Since the Grenfell tragedy in 2017 the government has been moving to introduce more effective fire safety legislation. Last year this legislation was introduced by the Home Office and approved by parliament, creating the Fire Safety Act 2021. As an amendment to the Fire Safety Order 2005, the Fire Safety Act 2021 clarifies what buildings require fire safety assessments on the external walls, balconies and cladding, as well as who is responsible for it. Here we will break down which types of building the Fire Safety Act 2021 will affect and what is required of a landlord to comply with the new regulations.
The new Fire Safety Act 2021 will apply to any building that is a multiple occupancy, residential building. Therefore, any residential building that isn’t a single dwelling home is covered by this legislation. This will include single occupancy properties converted into HMOs as well as high rise flats.
It is now compulsory for a fire safety assessment to be carried out by the person responsible for the property. This responsible person is whoever owns or manages the property in question. The fire safety assessment must include the structure and external walls of a property. Additionally, any balconies, cladding, and insulation must be included in the fire safety assessment.
Another aspect of the Fire Safety Act 2021 is that it clarifies that a property’s responsible person must ensure all fire doors meet the guidelines set out. This means that all fire doors in a property, including those leading to communal areas, have the correct intumescent and fire-rated hardware.
Finally, the Fire Safety Act 2021 makes it easier to prosecute the responsible person for failing to meet fire safety standards. The best way to ensure that you are protected is to make sure the fire risk assessments are carried out properly on your property and that everything practically possible is done to ensure the property is fire safe.
Although the Fire Safety Act 2021 has received royal assent it hasn’t been implemented into law yet. The Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing, and Communities stated on the 10th of January 2022 that the implementation of the Fire Safety Act 2021 will begin “shortly”. However, at the time of writing no official date has been given.
Seraph Property Management can provide fire risk assessments in line with the Fire Safety Act 2021. If you are unsure whether your property meets these new requirements feel free to contact us here to arrange a fire safety assessment or find out more about our services here.