Fire safety guidance clarified

The government has announced that it is seeking views on revisions to building regulations fire safety guidance and that a full-scale review in Approved Document B guidelines will be carried out, starting this Autumn.

Approved Document B looks at issues surrounding fire safety and building design and is part of the overall Approved Documents that cover all parts of the building process when it comes to satisfying building regulations. The fire safety sections have been amended following the Hackitt review into the Grenfell Fire. The government is asking for views on these revisions.

As well as the Approved Document B consultation, the government is also announcing a package of additional measures including establishing a panel of residents with experience living in high rise dwellings to ensure proposed safety measures make sense to them, the establishment of an Industry Safety Steering Group to drive the culture change needed, a mandatory requirement on landlords to ensure electrical testing every five years.

The government also wants to see organisations from the industry to pilot safety improvements in line with the Hackitt recommendations to show leadership on building safety reform.

James Brokenshire, the Secretary for Communities has said that the Hackitt report sets out the right framework, but he will not hesitate to go further where necessary. He believes that a full-scale review is needed, rather than just a clarification. He points out that nothing is more important than people being safe in their own homes.