Duties of Responsible Persons for buildings which contain two or more sets of domestic premises (usually the landlord).
The following new duties also apply when your building contains two or more sets of domestic premises:
Provision of information to residents
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. We have already mandated specific instructions that you must provide to your residents under the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, but these new requirements go further to enhance the provision of information and help residents feel informed and involved. It is also important that you record your name and a UK address in the fire risk assessment to make it easier for enforcement authorities to identify you and, where necessary, take enforcement action.
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.
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 and 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.
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. It may be helpful to provide both sets of information as a single package so that all necessary information is in one place and format for residents.
Requirements contained within the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.
Other changes to fire safety legislation
As well as introducing new requirements for Responsible Persons, the Building Safety Act amends two other articles of the Fire Safety Order:
Article 32 of the Fire Safety Order sets out a number of offences that may be committed by a Responsible Person in relation to their duties under the Fire Safety Order.
Section 156 of the Building Safety Act has increased the level of fine for offences in relation to the intentionally deceptive impersonation of a [fire] inspector, failure to comply (without reasonable excuse) with specific requirements imposed by a [fire] inspector (such as by not providing a copy of the fire risk assessment when requested), and failure to comply with requirements relating to the installation of luminous tube signs, from Level 3 (£1,000) to Level 5 (unlimited). The new level of fines will only take effect from the date the new legislation comes into force (i.e. if an offence is committed before 1 October 2023 where these fines are applicable, then the previous level of fines would be used).
This aligns the level of fine possible for these offences with all other offences and provides an increased deterrent against non-compliance.