Strip backgrouynd showing a desk with paper, pen and coffee cup

Blog

Hot Topic Highlight – Fire Safety Act 2021

Updated: Nov 3, 2021



Building a Better You


Property Elite’s sole aim is to build better property professionals - supporting your career every step of the way, whether you are an AssocRICS or RICS APC candidate or a MRICS or FRICS Chartered Surveyor simply seeking engaging CPD.


We provide a wide range of training and support, so why not find out more on our website about how we might be able to support you? We work with candidates across all RICS APC and AssocRICS pathways, routes to assessment and geographic regions.


Don’t forget to sign up online for your free 15 minute AssocRICS or RICS APC consultation, including a review of your referral report if you have been referred. You can also book your bespoke training or support services directly through our eShop.


Not sure about signing up? Make sure you read what our recent successful candidates have to say in our Testimonials.


What is today's blog about?


All APC and AssocRICS candidates need to have an understanding and awareness of fire safety. You can read our previous articles on fire safety in our blog archive.


Today, we will be focussing on the Fire Safety Act 2021. This sits within the wider context of Government reform relating to fire and building safety, e.g., Building Safety Bill, which we will focus on in future blog articles.


What is the Fire Safety Act 2021?


The Fire Safety Act 2021 was a product of the Fire Safety Bill, following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. It amends the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Fire Safety Order).


You can read the full text of the Fire Safety Act 2021 here.


When did it take effect?


The Fire Safety Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021. However, it has not yet taken legal effect as the Government have not published their supporting risk-based guidance.


This will be in the form of PAS 9980: Fire risk appraisal and assessment of external wall construction and cladding of existing blocks of flats – Code of practice, which has recently undergone public consultation.


What is the aim of the Fire Safety Act 2021?


To help residents to feel safe in their homes and to prevent similar tragedies to the Grenfell Tower fire occurring.


What does the Fire Safety Act 2021 apply to?


Any building containing two or more sets of domestic premises, e.g., a block of flats. This is likely to include approximately 1.7m residential properties in England and Wales.


There is no specified height requirement, so all multi-occupied residential buildings are covered by the Act.


What amendments does the Fire Safety Act 2021 make to the Fire Safety Order?


For buildings covered by the Fire Safety Act 2021, the provisions of the Fire Safety Order are extended to include the:

  • Structure

  • External walls of the building, e.g., cladding, balconies, front doors and windows

  • Common parts

  • Doors between the individual premises


Under the amendments, all Responsible Persons will be required to assess, manage and reduce fire risk associated with the above elements of a building. Proof of compliance is likely to be related to the above risk-based guidance in the proposed PAS 9980.


The Fire and Rescue Service will be able to take enforcement action against Responsible Persons who do not comply with the new legislative requirements.


The Fire Safety Act 2021 does not address remediation costs relating to cladding, which is likely to be addressed in the Building Safety Act.


Who is a Responsible Person?


Head to our previous Fire Safety Blog to read more on this.


How can we help?


Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you.


N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, professional or financial advice.