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Fire Safety Legislation Review 

As of 1st October last year, new legislation took effect which strengthened fire safety standards in all Fire Safety Order regulated premises. We review and explain the key changes involved, looking at common questions asked and how you can ensure your business is still fully compliant.

What is the Building Safety Act, and what are the duties under it?

The Building Safety Bill received Royal Assent in April 2022 and became the Building Safety Act 2022. The new legislation has the effect of amending the Fire Safety Order to require the following:

All Responsible Persons must record their completed fire risk assessment in full.

Action: There is now a need to document your fire risk assessment in full, along with the documentation of your fire safety arrangements. Previously the requirements stated that you only needed to document the significant findings of your fire risk assessment, and that this was only required in certain circumstances e.g. if you employed five or more persons. This is no longer the case – you must now record both the fire risk assessment and fire arrangements regardless of the size or purpose of your business and premises.

All Responsible Persons must record the name of any individual and/or their organisation engaged by them to undertake/review any or all of the fire risk assessments. This information must be shared with residents of multi-residential unit premises where applicable.

Action: You should ensure that the name of the assessor and/or their company details are clearly shown on your copy of the fire risk assessment. This information should be made available to all residents where applicable.

All Responsible Persons must take reasonably practicable steps to identify other Responsible Persons who share, or have duties in respect of the same premises, and of Accountable Persons (which are a new legal entity made under the Building Safety Act in the case of higher-risk residential buildings) in relation to the premises.  They must then identify themselves to said persons and cooperate with accountable persons so that the accountable persons can carry out duties imposed by the Building Safety Act 2022.

Departing Responsible Persons must share all ‘relevant fire safety information’ with incoming Responsible Persons.

Action: In premises where there is more than one Responsible Person e.g. in multi-occupied premises or buildings where the occupier and building owner are different entities, there are enhanced requirements to communicate and cooperate with one another, and to record that communication for audit purposes.

All Responsible Persons must record their fire safety arrangements; i.e. demonstrate how fire safety is managed in your premises.

All Responsible Persons must record (and, as necessary, update) their contact information, including a UK-based address. This must be shared with other Responsible Persons and residents of multi-domestic unit premises where applicable, along with the identified fire safety risks, preventative and protective measures, detection measures and any competent persons nominated to assist with firefighting.

Responsible Persons of a building containing two or more sets of domestic premises to provide residents with relevant fire safety information in a format that is easily understood by the residents. 

Action: In residential buildings with two or more domestic premises (e.g. blocks of flats) then the responsible owner must provide residents with clear information on the risks from fire within their building and the fire safety measures provided to keep them safe. 

This requirement expands upon legislation introduced earlier this year that required Responsible Persons to provide residents with information on emergency procedures and the importance of fire doors.

The changes also increase the level of fines for some offences and strengthen the status of statutory guidance issued under Article 50 of the Fire Safety Order.

Let’s look at this in a little more detail. Common client questions have included: 

‘We are a small business; do I need a fire risk assessment?’

Fire risk assessments have always been a legal requirement; however, previously it was only a requirement for non-domestic premises to document a fire risk assessment if they had five or more employees, and there was only a requirement to document the significant findings of this assessment. 

IMPORTANT: From the 1st October 2023 it became a requirement to record your fire risk assessment in full, regardless of the building type or size of your business. It is also now a requirement to identify who is involved in completing your fire risk assessment, and to ensure that they are competent to do so.

‘Who is affected by the changes?’

These requirements apply to all non-domestic premises, such as where people work, visit or stay, including workplaces, and the non-domestic parts of multi-occupied residential buildings (e.g. communal corridors, stairways and plant rooms). The requirements do not apply within individual domestic premises.

‘What is the definition of a Responsible Person?’

Article 3 of the Fire Safety Order explains the meaning of the Responsible Person, stating that they are employers, those in control of premises or building owners. Looking at this, it’s easy to see how there could be numerous Responsible Persons for one building.

‘What is meant by cooperation and coordination?’

In buildings where there is more than one Responsible Person - for example a multi-occupied office block, or premises where the occupier doesn’t own the building and the landlord retains certain fire safety responsibilities - there is an increased demand on cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons (and Accountable Persons, if applicable).

The requirements from 1st October 2023 are to identify and share information with all other Responsible Persons within the building, and to keep a record of that information. There is also a specific requirement to ‘hand over’ all relevant fire safety information to the new Responsible Person if you leave the position. 

‘What is the definition of an Accountable Person?’

If the premises is a ‘high-risk building’ - that is, a building that is either at least 18m high or has at least 7 storeys, and contains two or more residential units – you need to have an Accountable Person.

The Accountable Person has overall responsiblities for the building safety and needs to consider the risk of structural failure as well as fire risk. Just as Responsible Persons are required to communicate, cooperate and share information with one another, an Accountable Person will need to be included in this documented process.

‘What information do I need to share?’

The information would include informing them of your name, UK business address and clarification of the parts of the building you are responsible for. This is designed to increase communication between parties and to be able to give a whole building approach to fire safety, as well as giving the fire authorities a clearer understanding of how fire safety is managed within the building in the event of enforcement action being required. 

‘What happens if a business is replaced by a new business?’

Also, should a business leave their premises for any reason and be replaced by another, you have a duty to communicate your fire risk assessment and fire safety information with any other incoming Responsible Person, including:

  • The fire risk assessment and review records (including any fire safety information provided by other Responsible Persons);
  • The identity of any person who assisted with the fire risk assessment/ review;
  • The name and UK address of any Responsible Person or any person acting on behalf of the Responsible Person who will accept notices or other documentation;
  • The identity of the Accountable Person, where known (if a higher risk residential building);
  • Any information given under regulation 38 of the Building Regulations 2010 (such as the information provided when a building is built or extended).

Now let’s look at the duties of Responsible Persons for buildings which contain two or more sets of domestic premises.

‘I have a building with two domestic premises – does this apply to me?’

The new duties apply when your building contains two or more sets of domestic premises. This could include residential buildings such as flats, houses in multiple occupation, student accomodation or sheltered housing.

‘Why have changes been made?’ 

The amendments made to the Fire Safety Order should make people feel safer in their homes and ensure that residents understand what you are doing to comply with your responsibilities. These new instructions go further than those that were mandated as part of the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and should help residents feel more informed and involved. 

‘How are the new changes different to the existing Fire Safety Regulations?’

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 already mandate fire safety instructions that must be shared with residents of multi-occupied domestic premises where resident evacuation would be through common parts, such as:

  • the evacuation strategy
  • how to report a fire
  • what they must do when a fire occurs

In addition, the Regulations require Responsible Persons to provide information on fire doors including that they should be kept shut when not in use, that residents should not tamper with self-closing devices and that residents should report any faults with doors immediately. 

The Regulations stipulate that information on fire safety instructions should be displayed in a conspicuous part of the building with a copy provided to new residents when they move in, and existing residents on an annual basis.

‘What information do I need to provide now?’

You must provide residents with the following information:

  • any risks to residents identified in the fire risk assessment
  • the fire safety measures provided for the safety of any or all occupants (such as the means of escape, the measures to restrict the spread of fire and what people should do in the event of a fire)
  • the name and UK address of the Responsible Person
  • the identity of any person appointed to assist with making or reviewing the fire risk assessment
  • the identity of any competent person nominated by the Responsible Person to implement firefighting measures
  • any risks to relevant persons throughout the building that have been identified by other Responsible Persons in the building

You should consider providing contact details, if different to your contact details as the Responsible Person, for residents to be able to inform you of any concerns or queries they have about fire safety matters, or the information provided to them.

Government may, by regulation, update the list of information to be provided to residents to reflect future developments in fire safety and specify the frequency and format in which the information should be provided.

‘Is this instead of the information I had to provide previously?’

IMPORTANT: If you are the Responsible Person for a building located in England, you should provide BOTH the instructions required under the Regulations AND the information required as a result of the changes to the Fire Safety Order. 

Under the Building Safety Act 2022, Accountable Persons also have responsibilities to share information with residents. It may be helpful to cooperate with Accountable Persons to provide all sets of information as a single package so that all necessary information is in one place and format for residents.

‘How can Stallard Kane help me?’

Should you not have the competencies to carry out a full fire risk assessment in house, Stallard Kane can undertake this on your behalf. 

Where this is the case, you should make as much information as possible available about fire safety in your premises and allow access to all areas of the building that are under your control. 

If you employ an external fire risk assessor to assist you in completing a fire risk assessment, you should record their name and, where applicable, their organisation name. This will ensure there is a clear record for enforcing authorities as to who completed the assessment and will enable you to share this information with both residents (where applicable) and any incoming Responsible Person after you. 

IMPORTANT: You are responsible for ensuring that your fire risk assessment is suitable and sufficient; if you employ someone else to do this for you, we recommend that you obtain confirmation they are competent to do so.

If you want to discuss your health and safety requirements, contact us at, and #oneoftheteam will be in touch.


The information and any commentary contained within these updates are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or any other type of professional advice. Stallard Kane does not accept and, to the extent permitted by law, exclude liability to any person for any loss which may arise from relying upon or otherwise using the information contained in these blogs. If you have a particular query or issue, you are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice about your issue and not to rely solely on the information or comments in these updates.
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