The government has opened a consultation on its proposed revisions to Building Regulations fire safety guidance issued following recommendations made by Dame Judith Hackitt in her Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. Her report, published in May this year, came following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.
Secretary of State for Communities, James Brokenshire MP, announced the consultation, stating that, in addition, he will commence a full-scale review of the fire safety guidelines (Approved Document B) in the autumn. The technical review will assess whether the underlying policy should be updated to reflect modern building practice, the latest understanding of fire risks, and technical and scientific innovations.
Alongside the consultation and Approved Document B review, the government announced additional measures to strengthen safety, which include establishing a residents’ panel to ensure proposed safety improvements are grounded in the experience of those who live in high-rise buildings and the creation of an Industry Safety Steering Group, chaired by Dame Judith, to drive the culture change needed to improve safety and hold industry to account.
James Brokenshire MP said: “There is nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their own homes. That is why I am announcing a package of measures focused on improving building safety, having listened carefully to the concerns which have been raised.
“Dame Judith’s report sets out the right framework to improve safety but I will not hesitate to go further than the recommendations where I deem it necessary. That is why I am going further than my original commitment to simply clarify the guidelines, by commencing an end-to-end technical review of the fire safety aspects of building regulations in the autumn.”
Joe Cilia, FIS technical director, said: “This represents a real opportunity for the sector’s voice to be heard and help shape the regulatory process that is there to provide fire safety.”