New fire safety and building evacuation regulations apply
These new laws include requirements about preventing fires and evacuation procedures that apply to most commercial, public, and industrial buildings. They place compliance obligations on building owners, tenants, occupants, and all persons.
The new FENZ Act evacuation scheme requirements replace those in the Fire Service Act 1975. The new Regulations replace the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006.
The buildings which require a procedure or scheme have changed
The new Regulations make some changes to the buildings that must have an evacuation scheme or procedure:
- For evacuation procedures: the list of buildings is expanded to include all factories and industrial buildings (not just those where more than 10 people are employed), and all buildings requiring an evacuation scheme
- For evacuation schemes:
- FENZ can no longer grant exemptions
- the minimum amounts of hazardous substances that trigger the requirement for an evacuation scheme are changed (some buildings that didn’t previously need an evacuation scheme may now need one).
What are the key changes for evacuation procedures?
Key changes for evacuation procedures are:
- The procedure must provide for the safety of people who are disabled and require particular assistance to leave a building in a fire emergency.
- Extra information about the procedure must be given to building occupants, and all occupants must follow the procedure.
- Clear and legible signs and notices must summarise specific information about the procedure.
- Building tenants must inform their occupants about the procedure.
What are the key changes for evacuation schemes?
Key changes for evacuation schemes are:
- Applications for FENZ approval must now be made before (but not more than 30 working days before) a new building is first occupied, or a building becomes a relevant building.
- The required content of a scheme has changed, including a new requirement to provide for people who require particular assistance.
- The building events that must be notified to FENZ are expanded to include a non-operational fire detection and suppression system, or changes to the places of safety specified in the scheme.
Other changes are new FENZ powers to revoke a scheme’s approval and require it to be resubmitted for approval. FENZ can also require an approved scheme to be varied.
What do you need to do?
For a survey covering a period from 1 July 2018 you’ll need to allocate the new obligations in the FENZ Act and the FENZ (Fire Safety, Evacuation Procedures, and Evacuation Schemes) Regulations. Information on the new headings and the equivalent old headings is in Updater.
For a survey ending before 1 July 2018, you should continue to use the obligations for the Fire Service Act 1975 and the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006 (i.e. you do not need to make any changes for this survey round).
Please contact the Head of Delivery Team at ComplyWith if you need help with this (email@example.com).