External wall safety reporting becomes compulsory

New regulations which come into force today (23rd January 2023) now require that responsible person of existing high-rise residential buildings, i.e. a building at least 18 metres in height or at least 7 storeys, in England provide their local fire and rescue service with information about the design and materials of the building’s external walls and to inform their local fire and rescue service of any material changes made to them. Under the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, “Responsible Persons” are also required to provide additional information to their local fire and rescue service in relation to the level of risk of spread of fire that the external wall structure (its design and materials) pose and the steps they have taken to mitigate these risks.

This information must be provided using the local fire and rescue services portal in an electronic form and will come from a Fire Risk Appraisal of the External Wall (FRAEW) for the building in question. The Fire Safety Act 2021 has clarified that where a building contains 2 or more sets of domestic premises the fire risk assessment should include an assessment of that building’s external wall system and the need for an FRAEW in accordance with PAS9980.

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