BUILDING OWNERS could face unlimited fines following new measures being brought in to strengthen fire safety, the Home Office has announced.
Limitless fines will be handed out to those who breach fire safety regulations under the Fire Safety Order as well as anyone caught obstructing or impersonating a fire inspector.
Building Safety Bill
The new measures, announced as part of the government’s response to the Fire Safety Consultation, will come into force as part of the legislation in the Building Safety Bill.
The measures will amend the Fire Safety Order. It will include a requirement for fire risk assessments to be recorded for each building and improve how fire safety information is handed over throughout the lifetime of a building.
The Home Office has also announced an extra £10 million for Fire and Rescue Authorities in England to support Covid related work.
Roy Wilsher, National Fire Chiefs Council Chair, said: “We welcome the government’s response to its own fire safety consultation and the continued investment in fire and rescue services protection work.
“Ultimately, we want to see safer buildings for residents and are committed to working constructively with the Home Office and other partners on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations and other key fire safety policy areas.”
Fires Safety Enforcement
The new measures aim to improve the quality of fire risk assessments and competence of those who complete them. They also enforce Fire Safety Orders so that failure to follow them may be considered in court proceedings as evidence of a breach or of compliance. Premises information boxes will be required all new flats above 11 metres tall.
The Fire Safety Consultation took place last year to inform government work on improving fire safety. The government intends to launch a further consultation on personal emergency evacuation plans this spring to seek additional views on applying Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations.
The Home Office wants to bring the Fire Safety Bill into law before the second anniversary of the Grenfell Inquiry Phase 1 Report.
The Fire Safety Bill clarifies that the scope of the Fire Safety Order (FSO) and changes to the FSO will be delivered through it. The Building Safety Bill will create the first national Building Safety Regulator and overhaul the way buildings in scope of the new regime are designed, built and managed. It was created in response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.