Section 156: Amendments to Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Details the Amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 under Section 156 of the Building Safety Act

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Background to Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022

The Building Safety Bill received Royal Assent in April 2022 and became the Building Safety Act 2022. The new legislation has the effect of amending the Fire Safety Order to:

  • require that all Responsible Persons must record their completed fire risk assessment, and in full (where previously only specific information was required to be recorded)
  • require that all Responsible Persons must record the identity of the individual (their name), and/or if applicable, their organisation (name) engaged by them to undertake/review any or all of the fire risk assessment
  • require that all Responsible Persons must record their fire safety arrangements (demonstrate how fire safety is managed in your premises)
  • require that all Responsible Persons must record (and as necessary update) their contact information, including a UK based address, and share this with other Responsible Persons and residents of multi-occupied residential premises where applicable
  • require that all Responsible Persons must take reasonably practicable steps to ascertain the existence of other Responsible Persons who share or have duties in respect of the same premises, and of Accountable Persons (which are a new legal entity made under the Building Safety Act in the case of higher-risk residential buildings) in relation to the premises - they must then identify themselves to said persons
  • require that departing Responsible Persons must share all ‘relevant fire safety information’ with incoming Responsible Persons
  • require Responsible Persons of a building containing two or more sets of domestic premises to provide residents with relevant fire safety information in a format that is easily understood by the residents
  • increase the level of fines for some offences
  • strengthen the status of statutory guidance issued under Article 50 of the Fire Safety Order

There is also a legislative requirement that, where the Responsible Person appoints a person to make or review the fire risk assessment, they must be competent. This legislative requirement will be brought into force at a later date, and we will provide relevant guidance in that regard ahead of the commencement date. In the meantime, if you do appoint a fire risk assessor our recommendation is that you ensure they are competent to do so, in terms of having sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities. It remains the case that the Responsible Person has a duty to make sure that a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment is completed.

Guidance on how to complete a fire risk assessment or understand more about fire safety in your premises