The 3rd July 2023…

…saw an update to the Home Office’s guidance on Responsible Persons’ duties with regards to fire safety, through the Building Safety Act 2022.

Taking effect in October 2023, the requirements apply to all workplaces and commercial buildings, as well as the non-domestic parts of residential buildings (eg communal entrance halls, corridors, stairways etc). They do not apply to individual residential premises.

The Building Safety Act amends the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, to:

  • Require all Responsible Persons to record their completed fire risk assessment in full
  • Require all Responsible Persons to record their name and, if applicable, the name of the organisation engaged by them to undertake and review any or all of the fire risk assessment
  • Require all Responsible Persons to record their fire safety arrangements
  • Require all Responsible Persons to record their contact details and share this with other Responsible Persons, and, where applicable, residents of multi-occupied residential premises
  • Require all Responsible Persons to take reasonably practical steps to ascertain the existence of other Responsible Persons in respect of the same premises, and of Accountable Persons (in the case of higher-risk residential buildings) in the premises, and to identify themselves to said persons
  • Require all departing Responsible Persons to share all ‘relevant fire safety information’ with the incoming Responsible Persons
  • Require Responsible Persons of a building containing two or more sets of domestic premises, to provide residents with fire safety information in an easily-understood format
  • Increase the level of fines for some offences
  • Strengthen the status of statutory guidance issued under Article 50 of the Fire Safety Order

There will also be a legislative requirement introduced at a later (TBD) date that states where the Responsible Person appoints a person to make, or review, a fire risk assessment, they must be competent in terms of having sufficient training and experience or knowledge, and other qualities.

The full guidance can be found here.

To check whether you are a Responsible Person, click here.

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