The Grenfell Tower Inquiry noted in the Phase 1 that “A sound understanding of the materials used in the construction of any high-rise building is essential if the fire and rescue service is to be properly prepared to carry out its function in relation to that building.
The details about the design and materials of the external walls will help forewarn the fire and rescue service and enable them to plan for incidents accordingly.
The regulations go further than the inquiry by asking the responsible person to provide information on the level of risk associated with their external wall structure. This will be useful for both operational firefighting and fire safety inspection purposes.
The Fire Safety Act 2021 has clarified that where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises the fire risk assessment should include an assessment of that building’s external wall system.
For most high-rise residential buildings, we expect that responsible persons will already know what their external wall systems are comprised of, and what steps (informed by their building’s fire risk assessment) they have already taken to mitigate this risk. For example, where the material of a building’s external walls is masonry and there is no risk of external fire spread, a simple statement to that effect is all that is required.
Where this is not the case, or where a more in-depth external wall system assessment is required, the responsible person should arrange an assessment relevant to the building’s circumstances. Once completed they should share the relevant details of that assessment with the fire and rescue service, alongside the mitigating steps they have taken as a result of this assessment.
Our team are always readily available for any questions you may have…
Get in touch today!
T: 020 3826 9999