IFE: Supporting members through legislative change

This blog first appeared on on the IFE website.

Today (23rd January 2023), the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will take force, implementing the recommendations made in phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry. The inquiry has highlighted important steps that need to be taken to improve fire safety and response and recommendations for change have included the following examples:

  • The information made available to the fire and rescue services on the design and construction of the external walls of high-rise residential buildings (HRRBs)
  • The regular inspection and testing of lifts designed for use by firefighters, fire doors and self-closing doors
  • The markings of floor levels in lobbies and staircase landings

The Fire Safety Consultation, led by the government, proposed to implement the recommendations from the inquiry and as a result, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 were created to enforce these changes and sit alongside amendments made to the Fire Safety Order.

Who does this apply to?

The new regulations apply to new and existing multi-occupied buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises, with enhanced obligations applying to buildings of differing heights. These new enforcements will pose further responsibility for Responsible Persons (RP) of buildings under this category, ensuring greater accountability and eliminating blame culture.

The guidance has been split into three tiers. The IFE continues to advance professional development resources to ensure our members are confident and able to adapt to these new changes. To support our members, we have created a guide summarising the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 to help navigate the changes; another testament to IFE’s dedication to maintaining the high levels of ethics and standards that drive advances in fire safety. This document is available to members now via MyIFE.

Ensuring competency across the building lifecycle

The IFE recognises the impact of these new enforcements, however, through the roles and responsibilities of RPs being clearly identified, steps toward rebuilding trust in the fire safety of residential buildings are imminent. This level of accountability is vitally important. Communities need to be confident that everything possible is being done to keep the buildings they live in as safe as possible, providing complete transparency when issues arise.

As the international professional body for fire, we are committed to creating clear competency frameworks and accessible career development pathways for all. For the IFE, competency is about more than knowledge and qualifications, it is about maintaining the high levels of ethics and standards that drive advances in fire safety, life protection and innovation around the world. As such, our Fire Risk Assessor register continues to showcase leading professionals in the sector, requiring a rigorous set of vetting procedures to ensure competency and experience and we have set out a clear roadmap to help those with responsibility for fire safety to build their knowledge.

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