The government has launched a fire safety consultation, which will lead towards new legislation to improve building safety in multi-occupied, high-rise residential buildings three years on from the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The consultation will end on October 12, 2020 and is open to the public, interested parties and those affected by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – including Responsible Persons, building owners and occupiers, and fire safety professionals - to share their comments on proposals.
The consultation is split into three parts: Strengthening the Fire Safety Order and Improving Compliance; Implementing the Grenfell Tower Inquire Phase 1 Report Recommendations; and Building Control Bodies consultation with Fire and Rescue Authorities.
The fire sector has welcomed the beginning of consultations, saying it has been waiting for this for three years. While recognising many lessons are still being learnt, notably from the recently recommenced Phase 2 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and that many high-rise buildings have already been made safer, by removing external cladding, changing internal fire doors, installing fire detection and alarms, new directional signs and in some cases fire suppression systems, the urgency to introduce the fundamental change called for by Dame Judith Hackitt has remained.
Fire Sector Federation Chairman Michael Harper says: “After calling for action over so long a period this is a most welcome moment.
“We all realise changing the country’s fire and building control systems is a complex and demanding task. Throughout a building’s life, from the drawing board until it’s demolished, there has to be a system of control that ensures safety does match the different phases of construction, occupation, and use. Intrinsic within the construction sector is innovation affecting all of these multiple life phases, and throughout occupation a building’s use and its users change so a new regime has to be adaptable and well founded on life safety principles.
“As we enter the Bill’s examination and the Home Office consultation stages our Federation will be seeking to ensure a principled fire safety foundation is firmly established.”