The Government consulted on its proposals to implement this recommendation in its Fire Safety Consultation (carried out in 2020). The Government responded to the consultation last year (link).
In the last thematic update (published in September 2021), we reported that the Government had intended at the time to lay regulations under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 later that year to implement this recommendation. Ahead of laying these regulations, Section One of the Fire Safety Act 2021 had to be commenced. The Fire Safety Act was commenced in full on 16 May 2022. Commencement of the Act has allowed the Government to lay The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (available on legislation.gov.uk).
Under the Regulations, the responsible person for a high-rise residential building must prepare a plan for each floor of the building. This plan should show, alongside the layout of the relevant floor, the location of all lifts and main fire-fighting equipment for the building. Where the layout for two or more floors are identical, the responsible person can produce a single plan (as long as they clearly indicate the floors to which that plan relates). The responsible person must send these plans electronically to their local fire and rescue service.
In addition to this plan, the responsible person for a high-rise residential building must, under the Regulations, prepare an additional hard copy single page building plan to show the environs of the building, as well as the location of fire-fighting facilities and information useful to the fire and rescue service.
Also, under the Regulations, the responsible person for a high-rise residential building must install a secure information box in or on the premises. This secure information box should contain hard copies of the building floor plans, the single page building plan and the UK contact details of the responsible person and any other individual the responsible person considers appropriate.
In addition to this, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) consulted on the proposal to recommend secure information boxes in new blocks of flats through an update to Building Regulation guidance document Approved Document B (ADB). DLUHC intend to amend ADB to recommend that secure information boxes be installed in all new high-rise residential buildings.
The Regulations will become law after a period of 40 days from 18 May subject to parliamentary approval. This will happen on 8 July 2022.
In order to allow responsible persons and the Fire and Rescue Service time to prepare and for supporting guidance to be published on the new duties imposed by the regulations, the new duties do not commence until 23 January 2023.