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From October 1st 2023, further amendments to the fire safety regulations in England have come into force. Several changes have been made recently to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 under the Building Safety Act 2022. These changes aim to enhance fire safety in all buildings regulated by the FSO. 
The latest amendment, also known as Phase 3 of the fire safety reform programme, introduces new responsibilities for persons in charge of the fire safety in commercial and high-rise residential buildings. In this article we’ll discuss what has changed and what is expected from the ‘Responsible Person’ in a building. 

What is the Fire Safety Order? 

The Fire Safety Order is the main fire safety regulation in England and Wales applicable to all non-domestic premises. The reform outlines the responsibilities and standards for individuals responsible for fire safety in the building. 
The regulations apply to: 
Commercial premises and workplaces; 
Shared or non-domestic areas of residential buildings of multiple occupants. 
A ‘Responsible Person’ as defined in Article 3 of the FSO is a legally created entity. It is their responsibility to ensure their premises meet the fire safety requirements outlined in the FSO and protect the lives of all building occupants. 
The current duties of a Responsible Person include: 
Carrying out regular Fire Risk Assessments to manage hazards within the premises; 
Providing staff with suitable fire safety training; 
Putting in place emergency procedures and plans; 
Installing and maintaining appropriate fire protection measures. 
To check if you’re a Responsible Person under the fire safety regulations and understand your responsibilities, you can use the official government guidelines

What is Changing?  

If you are responsible for the fire safety in one or multiple properties it's crucial that you are familiar with the latest revision of the fire safety regulations in England. 
As of October 1st all Responsible Persons must: 
Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment and document all findings, regardless of number of employees on the premises. The previous regulations required a written FRA only in buildings with 5 or more employees. 
Record all findings during a FRA and provide sufficient information regarding the fire safety of the building. This regulation comes in place of the previous requirements to record only ‘significant’ findings. 
Provide up-to-date information to all residents in buildings with two or more sets of residential premises. This includes: 
- The name and current UK address of the Responsible Person, as well as the details of any individuals appointed to assist; 
- Relevant fire safety information in an easily accessible format; 
- Information regarding any preventative and protective measures in place within the property. 
Identify other person(s) who have responsibilities within the premises and provide their name and address. If applicable, you must also determine Responsible Persons, accountable for specific areas of the property. 
Determine any Accountable Persons and cooperate with them directly. Under the Building Safety Act, Accountable Persons are new legal entities who own or have a legal obligation to repair any common parts of the building. This is applicable for buildings considered high-risk. 
Provide new Responsible Persons with ‘relevant fire safety information’ in the event a RP leaves. 
There will be an increased level of fines, for individuals who fail to comply with the regulations. Certain penalties have also had their maximum limit removed, meaning these are now unlimited. 
The Home Office also states that Responsible Persons should only appoint another individual to assist with a FRA if they are competent in doing so. This includes having sufficient experience and training. These requirements, however, will be brought into force at a later date. 
You can visit the Government’s website for further guidance regarding the fire safety regulations in the UK

Contact GRJ 

As leading providers of passive fire protection in the UK, GRJ Contracting can help with any concerns over the fire safety of your building. Our third-party accredited contractors deliver quality fire compartmentation and passive fire protection services as well as surveying services
If you’re in need of professional advice regarding fire stopping, please contact our team

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GRJ Contracting Ltd was established in 2007 with the purpose of specialising in the design, supply, and installation of quality passive fire protection systems for the commercial and residential UK construction market. As an accredited company certified with IFC, ASFP, ISO 9001 and Cyber Essentials based in the Midlands, we operate nationwide on new build and legacy construction projects of all scales and our range of services includes Intumescent Coatings and Rigid Boarding systems for Structural Steelwork protection, Service Penetration Firestopping, Mineral Fibre Boarding systems for internal building fire compartmentation and more. 
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