Following the Grenfell Tower disaster, a major Public Inquiry was opened on 14th September 2017. Since this date, many recommendations have followed aimed at improving fire safety, especially in high-rise buildings.
Today, we’d like to focus on two major changes coming into force because of the Inquiry and what steps you can take to comply with these.
So, firstly, where can you find the changes and what buildings do they apply to?
Building Regulations 2010 (amended in June 2022 through Approved Document B):
The amendments to the Building Regulations 2010 contained within Approved Document B (section 15) apply to any NEW build high-rise building which has more than one set of domestic properties and is 11 metres or higher and the changes come into effect on 01/12/22.
Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022:
These are a new set of Regulations and they apply to any EXISTING high-rise residential building which is 18 metres or more above ground level OR is at least seven storeys high. In this case the changes come into effect on 23/01/2023.
Secondly, what do the changes require?
First, you need to make sure that you have a Secure Information Box available in a suitable place within your building.
What is a Secure Information Box?
We are talking about a robust box which is capable of containing key fire safety documents. It must be secure and high quality so that the documents can be kept safe and vandals can be kept out. In our view, the best way to get peace of mind is to purchase a Gerda Premises Information Box. Follow the link and you will see that you can choose from Standard or Certified High Security models. Each box offers slightly different features and you should assess which suits your building best. However, both boxes could reasonably be considered to be a Secure Information Box.
Indeed, the FIA/NFCC Code of Practice specifically refers to these boxes throughout its Code of Practice and the Government guidance on the new Regulations points to this Code of Practice. Follow the links here:
Once you get your hands on a Secure Information Box, what do you need to think about:
- Ensure it is positioned at a location readily accessible to the Fire Brigade
- Be certain that it is capable of containing the documents set out in the Regulations
- When fitting, it must be reasonably secure against unauthorised access and vandalism
What about the Fire Brigade?
They must always have access to your Secure Information Box. The responsibility lies with the building owner and he/she must ensure that a key or access code is provided to the Fire Brigade, ensuring that it is accessible any time of the day.
If you would like to discuss this blog, or these products, any further, be sure to contact us on 01724 281044!