New Fire Safety Laws- Building Regulations & Approved Document B
1st December sees the latest fire safety legislation come into effect, with changes to Building Regulations and Approved Document B, about new residential construction. These changes are ahead of the secondary legislation in 2023 that will create huge implications for the built environment. Although less impactful, this latest legislation is another step towards improving fire safety for future residential blocks across the UK and legislates some of the guidelines that the construction industry has already been following.
1 Revision Of Ban On Combustible Materials In External Walls
There is now a complete ban on the use of the type of metal cladding used on Grenfell Tower in all buildings of any height, not just tall buildings. This means that there is no place in the construction industry for the highly flammable aluminium composite material (ACM).
2 Statutory Guidance On Reaction To Fire Performance Of External Walls
There is also new statutory guidance for the reaction to fire performance of the external surface of walls of buildings between 11m and 18m tall which will extend the limits on wall constructions between these heights.
3 Additional External Products Added To The List of Banned Products
Changes in the definitions now mean that the main components of external solar shading products, like awnings, shutters, and similar products are now also prohibited for use above the ground floor on new build developments.
4 New Legislation For Residential Buildings 11m Or Above To Have Secure Information Boxes Containing Key Fire Safety Plans
The new guidance (necessary from 23rd January 2023) will require a secure information box to be provided in relevant buildings containing: UK contact details of relevant persons; copies of the building’s floor plans – including key fire-fighting equipment; a single-page block plan that identifies specified fire-fighting equipment.
5 Evacuation Alert Systems (EAS) Required In New Blocks Of Flats Over 18m
This requirement offers an alternative for blocks with a ‘stay put’ policy. Stay put remains the default escape strategy however new buildings will now also need to include an evacuation alert system (EAS).
The EAS would enable the fire and rescue service to assess the situation on arrival and move from stay put to phased or full evacuation. The system would require a control panel arranged to replicate the geometry of the building, with an indicator for each flat, so that the fire service could evacuate sections or individual floors of the building, where required. The additional costs for installing an EAS system will add an estimated £40,000 to the cost of a new block of flats.
Harris Associates are experts in the field of statutory compliance and fire safety-related matters with experienced and qualified technicians, surveyors, engineers, and project managers. We have national coverage (England and Wales) and we can help with all aspects of façade remediation from FRAEWs through to the coordination and delivery of complex façade remediation contracts.
For more information on our services, assistance, or advice on these latest developments or any related fire safety or regulatory matter please contact Shaun Harris, Tamer Duman, or Richard Stone via phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org call 0203 195 0857 or 0161 615 3679.