Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 come into force

The Fire Safety Regulations 2022, which build on the Building Safety Act 2022, have come into force, forming part of a package of sensible, risk mitigating fire safety measures that the Government is delivering following the Grenfell Tower fire to keep the public safe.

The new requirements mean ‘responsible persons’ of mid and high-rise blocks of flats must provide information to fire and rescue services to assist them with operational planning and provide additional safety measures. In all multi-occupied residential buildings, residents should now be provided with fire safety instructions and information on fire doors.

The new Regulations follow the Building Safety Act 2022, which came into force in June 2022 as one of the main regulatory steps introduced to improve safety in the construction industry after the Grenfell disaster.

The Building Safety Act 2022 established the Building Safety Regulator in England with a responsibility to facilitate improvement in the competence of industry and building inspectors.

The Building Safety Regulator – overseen by the Health & Safety Executive – will enforce a new, more stringent regulatory regime on the safety and performance of high-rise buildings in scope, in England.

As part of the Building Safety Regulator’s role, an Industry Competence Committee will be formed to consider the outcomes of the 13 occupational groups established as part of the industry’s response to Grenfell.

Working Group 2 (WG2) for Installers is one of these in which the JIB has been working to help raise the bar on occupational standards. WG2’s objective is to develop a competence framework for those involved in the installation and maintenance of fire safety and other safety critical systems for higher-risk buildings.

Five recommendations have been put forward by WG2:

  • Accredited third party certification of the company
  • Level 2 or 3 qualifications for individuals
  • A card scheme such as CSCS Partner Schemes, including ECS
  • CPD refresher training and maintenance of individual skills
  • Core knowledge of fire safety in buildings – training to be standardised and made mandatory

The JIB will be continuing to work with industry to develop sector specific competence frameworks for several pilot sectors, including Fire Detection and Alarm Systems, which are expected to be developed by Autumn 2023. Any impact on ECS as part of this will be highlighted to industry at the earliest opportunity. Employers can take early action by ensuring their workforce is qualified for the roles they are undertaking and ensure their ECS cards are kept up to date with latest CPD logged in the MyCPD section of an ECS card holder’s account. You can access your Employer Portal account or sign up as a contractor here