New fire safety measures could see buildings owners faced with unlimited fines, the Home Office has announced today.
The Home Office said “these limitless fines will be handed out to anyone caught obstructing or impersonating a fire inspector as well as to those who breach fire safety regulations under the Fire Safety Order”.
The new measures, announced as part of the government’s response to the Fire Safety Consultation, which took pace last year, will come into force as part of the legislation in the Building Safety Bill.
The measures will amend the Fire Safety Order and will include a requirement for fire risk assessments to be recorded for each building and improve how fire safety information is handed over throughout the lifetime of a building.
The new measures announced today will:
- Improve the quality of fire risk assessments and competence of those who complete them.
- Ensure vital fire safety information is preserved over the lifespan of all regulated buildings.
- Improve cooperation and coordination amongst people responsible for fire safety and making it easier to identify who they are.
- Strengthen enforcement action, with anyone impersonating or obstructing a fire inspector facing unlimited fines.
- Strengthen guidance issued under the Fire Safety Order so that failure to follow it may be considered in court proceedings as evidence of a breach or of compliance.
- Improve the engagement between Building Control Bodies and Fire Authorities in reviewing plans for building work.
- require all new flats above 11 metres tall to install premises information boxes
Fire Minister Lord Greenhalgh said: “Everyone should be safe in the buildings where they live, stay or work. Our new measures will improve fire safety and help save lives, but will also take firm action against those who fail in their duty to keep people safe.”