Fire safety bill ratified, ensuring external wall systems incorporated within fire risk assessment process.

11th May 2021

Nathan Hill

The Government’s Fire Safety Bill has now become Law in England and Wales, after receiving Royal Assent on the 29th of April. The House of Lord’s proposed amendments were overturned, meaning Leaseholders may now be responsible for the cost of remedial works.

The Fire Safety Bill was announced on the 19th of March as a clarification to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Despite multiple attempts to amend the Bill by the House of Lords and support from within the House of Commons, the changes were overturned, and the Fire Safety Bill was ratified.

The Government have identified that the proposed amendments relating to the recovery of costs from leaseholders will be addressed within the Building Safety Bill, which will establish the framework for a ‘root and branch’ review of building safety.

The new Fire Safety Bill requires external wall systems, which include balconies, cladding, insulation, windows, fire breaks and doors leading onto common parts of properties must now all be incorporated into the Fire Risk Assessment process by the responsible person.

There may now be some instances in which a building that had no pre-existing requirement to complete a fire risk assessment will now have to undertake one. For instance, buildings with no internal common areas will now be subject to a fire risk assessment due to residential dwellings sharing a common external wall system under the responsibility of responsibility of the property manager or owner.

S2 provides a range of fire risk assessment and fire safety consultancy services. The team of fire safety experts at S2 Partnership will continue to keep up to date with legislation changes and offer advice to the commercial property sector on how to minimise risk. If you would like to discuss the impact of the Fire Safety Bill on your business or find out more about our fire safety services, please contact us for more information.