Fire Safety Act 2021
What is the new 2021 Fire Safety Act and what does it mean for your business?
The new Fire Safety Act was introduced in 2021 in the aftermath of the tragic events of Grenfell Tower, in which 74 lost their lives. The British government was under significant pressure from the public to introduce legislation to prevent a catastrophe of this kind from happening again, and so this bill was tabled and consequently passed. Prior to the introduction of the Fire Safety Act 2021, legislation had been based around the Reform Fire Safety Order of 2005.
The Fire Safety Act 2021: How did we get here?
Public outcry against a backdrop of the Grenfell Tower incident resulted in the commissioning of an independent report on fire safety in the UK. The findings of this report saw the Royal Institute of British Architects proposing that the current Fire Safety Guidelines were insufficient and putting forth a new set of recommendations to the government.
One such recommendation was the Fire Safety Bill, which outlines the duties of the ‘responsible person’ when managing fire risks. Unbelievably, this bill was rejected by the government five times before coming into law in 2021!
What does the Fire Safety Act include?
The act applies to all residential buildings in which there are “two or more sets of domestic premises.” There is includes buildings of any height.
The act will give recommendations and new guidance on the responsibilities included in carrying out a risk assessment. The purpose of these guidelines is to help the responsible person assess and identify the risk to occupants – with a particular focus on the external areas of a building including cladding. It will be the responsible person’s duty to conclude whether further fire prevention treatment is required for a building.
It also offers an amendment to the 2005 Fire Safety Order which now requires all responsible persons to manage, assess and reduce the risks of fire in areas including structure, the external of the building (including balconies and windows) as well as any areas of the building in common use.
Unlike the Fire Safety Order, the new act now allows fire and rescue authorities to enforce against non-compliance regarding external walls and common doors of a building
Why is The Fire Safety Act important?
The Fire Safety act insists that if the responsible person(s) fail to comply with its requirements, the fire service can enforce action. The introduction of the act places further responsibilities on the responsible person(s) and those who fail to comply with the guidance are liable to criminal prosecution or a fine. In short, the remit of a fire risk assessment has increased, and it is essential that these responsible persons(s) fully understand what is expected of them, and that they understand that if they do not fully understand this, there may be far-reaching legal consequences.
How Firecloud365 can help you maintain high standards of Fire Safety
With increasing pressure on leaseholders to adhere to fire safety regulations, never has there been a more important time to bring your fire prevention activity into the 21st century. Firecloud365 is a digital technology that manages fire safety in any building. We are widely acknowledged as the #1 choice for hotels worldwide, meaning we have experience in a wide range of multiple occupancy buildings.
Firecloud365 schedules automate and reports on your daily firewalk, offering you accountability and transparency, meaning peace of mind that your building is safe, and avoiding costly legal activity.
To book a demo or find out how Firecloud365 can help you, contact us today.