On the 19th March 2020, The Home Office introduced the new Fire Safety Bill, in an effort to improve fire safety in buildings in England and Wales. The Bill has passed through the parliamentary process to become law – The Fire Safety Act 2021 This Act is to make provision about the application of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises; and to confer power to amend that order in future for the purposes of changing the premises to which it applies. The Fire Safety Act 2021 can be viewed here
Set to amend the Fire Safety Order 2005, the Fire Safety Act 2021 (as it is now known) has been designed to “ensure that people feel safe in their homes, and a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower fire never happens again” in England.
The Home Office has set out clarification to who is accountable for reducing the risk of fires – the duty-holder/building owner for multi-occupied, residential buildings. They must manage the risk of fire for:
- The structure and external walls of the building (e.g. cladding, balconies and windows)
- Entrance doors to individual flats that open into communal areas
Following several attempts by Peers in the House of Lords to amend the Fire Safety Bill with a clause prohibiting remediation costs, such as dangerous cladding, fire doors and insulation systems, from being passed on to residents, the Bill took some time to pass through the parliamentary process.
The amendments were rejected by the House of Commons five times in total.
The Bill has now received Royal Assent and is an Act of Parliament – to view or download The Fire Safety Act 2021 click here