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Fire Sector Federation welcomes revised Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order

16 November 2020

THE FIRE Sector Federation has been working with other professionals and the Home Office to support the implementation of a revised Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and introduce fire doors and external walls to building risk assessment procedures.

The Federation has highlighted that this change is likely to both increase demand and exceed capacity for fire risk assessors who, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, are experiencing real problems in securing personal indemnity insurance while at the same time also being expected to help assess more complex structures.

Despite these issues, the overriding aim has remained that of ensuring competent fire risk assessors are available to help improve fire safety.

The Federation is fully supportive of the introduction of further new measures that, by dint of using systematic risk-based guidance, will lead a prioritisation approach towards helping to identify the fire risk status for a given building such that those presenting the highest threat to life are afforded the highest priority when it comes to remedial action.

Amendment of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order to ensure this risk based guidance has statutory power is therefore welcome as it provides encouragement and confidence to all those responsible for premises to undertake their implementation of the revised Fire Safety Order.

Fire Sector Federation executive officer Dennis Davis stated: “It’s pleasing to see the proposed changes designed to improve fire safety being translated into practice. Over the summer months, a group of operational experts, including fire risk assessors, have worked to provide advice to the Home Office on an appropriate and workable way in which to commence the Fire Safety Bill. One key aspect of their advice was to offer guidance to support the ‘Responsible Person’, the fire sector in general and Fire and Rescue Services with fire risk prioritisation guidance to be continuously developed under the technical leadership of the National Fire Chiefs Council. If that guidance is followed, this will assist in demonstrating proof of compliance with the changes in law, which in future will include the cladding of buildings.”