The Fire Safety Act 2021 comes into force in Wales

Posted on 4 November 2021

The Fire Safety Act 2021 comes into force in Wales today (Friday 1st October 2021)

The new legislation sees changes to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, with responsibility for compliance falling on the ‘responsible person’ as outlined in the order. This could be an employer, freeholder, management company or managing agent depending on local arrangements.

The Fire Safety Order was originally designed to apply to workplaces, as a result it was unclear how the order applied to residential buildings. As a minimum it applied to “common areas” such as staircases, hallways, and landings. The new legislation clarifies which parts of premises the FSO covers including:

  • the building’s structure and external walls (including doors, windows and anything attached to the exterior of those walls, such as balconies, cladding, insulation, and fixings) and any common parts
  • all doors between domestic premises and common parts such as flat entrance doors.

The Act amends existing fire safety risk assessments for premises that contain two or more sets of domestic residences, including blocks of flats – individual flats themselves are excluded.

Full information and guidance can be found over on the gov.wales website

https://gov.wales/fire-safety-act-2021-html

The new Act implements the recommendations made by Sir Martin Moore-Bick in his Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the conclusions of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Review of The Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

We saw the Fire Safety Bill pass on the 29th April 2021, becoming the ‘Fire Safety Act 2021’ and it is expected to come into force in England at end of 2021 – but will most likely be the beginning of 2022 as the Government is yet to set a date.

The newly revised legislation is designed to make it easier for future changes, including recommendations made following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, to pass into law.

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