OWNERS of residential buildings are being urged to make themselves aware of new fire regulations introduced as a result of the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging those responsible for any multi-occupied residential buildings to know the regulations - which include managing and reducing the fire risk for cladding and come into force next January.

A new Fire Safety Act, which came into force in May, clarifies that Responsible Persons for multi-occupied residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for the structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies and windows, and also entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts.

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These Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 were introduced to meet the Grenfell Tower enquiry’s Phase One recommendations. The inquiry was established following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

Following on from this, the new Fire Safety (England) Regulations will come into effect on 23 January 2023, with differing requirements depending on the height of the building.

Group Manager Graham Kewley, head of fire safety delivery, said: “The new Fire Safety Act, and the bringing forward of the new Regulations, are important steps in strengthening existing fire safety legislation, and improving fire safety in multi-occupied residential buildings.

“We are encouraging Responsible Persons – usually the owner, site manager or occupier of the premises, who is responsible for ensuring and maintaining correct fire safety and procedures - to familiarise themselves with the new regulations and to prepare for the significant changes being introduced.

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“If they have not already done so, they should consider when to review their fire risk assessments, to make sure these take account of any risk from the external wall.”

Responsible Persons are also being urged to begin other necessary work now, such as installation of wayfinding signage and procurement of secure information boxes.

Those responsible for high-rise buildings, at least seven storeys in height, will have to provide their local fire and rescue service with up-to-date building floor plans electronically and in a secure information box on-site, provide information about the design and materials, undertake monthly checks on lifts and other key firefighting equipment, and install signage visible in low light or smoky conditions.

Further information can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/multi-occupied-residential-buildings