The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, which came into effect in January of this year, introduced a wide range of reforms to ensure the safety of residents living in buildings all over England. To monitor progress, the new regulations also created a Building Safety Regulator role and launched a Making Buildings Safer campaign to guide the industry forward.
In this blog post, we look at the role of the Building Safety Regulator and map out the next steps for responsible people in the construction industry.
Who Is the Building Safety Regulator?
The need for a Building Safety Regulator was identified through the inquiry into the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. The aim of the Building Safety Regulator is to improve transparency and accountability in the industry while ensuring the safety of people in and around buildings with regards to the risks from the building and overall improving the building standards.
The new Building Safety Regulator will also oversee the ongoing safety and performance of the buildings in scope. He will do so by monitoring the performance of local building control bodies and understanding and advising on both existing and upcoming building standards. Additionally, he will also work with industry professionals and regulators to uphold and raise the standards of design, construction, and management of these buildings.
Next Steps for the Construction Industry
The government has just launched the Making Buildings Safer campaign to educate responsible people about the changes and get them to register their high-rise residential buildings, starting from this month. The persons responsible for the safety of existing high-rise buildings in England (currently there are about 12,500 such buildings) have six months to register with the new Building Safety Regulator i.e. by October 2023. This is the first and the most crucial step towards implementing the new fire safety standards in England and making buildings safe for all residents and users.
This campaign also clarifies the roles that vital accountable persons and principal accountable persons play in making these residential buildings safer for residents and provides guidance for each role. Additionally, it highlights the legal duties for building owners and managers, to help them prepare for the regulatory changes ahead.
The campaign and registration process will soon be followed by building controls of high-rise developments and certifications of occupied high-rise buildings by the new Building Safety Regulator.
Those who fail to register their high-rise residential buildings that fall within the scope by October 2023 will be investigated and could face prosecution.
To learn more about the next steps and to register your high-rise residential building(s) with the Building Safety Regulator, please check the official page of the campaign here: https://buildingsafety.campaign.gov.uk