London Fire Brigade calls on housing providers to get ready for new fire safety law

All major housing providers in the capital urged to get plans in place

This legislation, the Fire Safety Bill, clarifies that external walls fall under the fire safety regulations that the Brigade enforces in London under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Bill is currently going through Parliament and will become law once it completes the parliamentary process.

The letter strongly advises building owners to consider the risks of any external wall systems and fire doors in their fire risk assessments, regardless of the height of the building. It also states that building owners should check that the external wall systems meet an acceptable standard of safety and do not contribute to the external spread of fire.

Key changes set out in the draft Bill include:

  • The introduction of an “accountable person” who will be responsible for keeping residents safe in high-rise buildings and will have to listen and respond to residents’ concerns.
  • Residents and leaseholders will have access to vital safety information about their building and new complaints handling requirements will be introduced.
  • A new regulator for building safety within the Health and Safety Executive will ensure accountable persons are carrying out their duties properly. The regulator will enforce new rules and take strong actions against those who break them.
  • The Government will have new powers to better regulate construction materials and products and ensure they are safe to use
London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said: “This legislation will make clear what fire and rescue services can enforce in purpose built blocks of flats and we will use our powers in full to protect people in their homes. We are writing to housing providers now to make sure they are ready and prepared so we can work together for the safety of Londoners.”

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