Satisfying new fire safety requirements under the Building Safety Act
Satisfying new fire safety requirements under the Building Safety Act

Following the Grenfell Tower disaster, new safety measures have been introduced for high-rise residential buildings. As a result, the Building Safety Act (BSA) was revised in 2022 to guarantee the well-being of the British public and strengthen fire safety measures.

This legislation changed the way new buildings are constructed, and also applied to existing high-rise buildings, with property owners needing to comply with the Building Safety Act before October 2023.

From April 2024, there has been several further developments to the act that property owners and landlords also need to keep up with.

So, we thought we’d break down the key elements of the Building Safety Act, the changes brought into place since 2023 and how you can take advantage of a retrofit fire safety solution to stay safe and avoid high costs.

 

What is the Building Safety Act (2022)?

Originally introduced in 1984, the Building Safety Act was significantly amended in 2022 to help people feel safer in their homes by changing the way high-rise buildings are designed, constructed and managed.

To put it simply, the Building Safety Act established more regulations and responsibilities for both the construction industry and existing property owners in regards to fire safety.

Most notably, addressing defective and flammable cladding on high-rise buildings was the most significant regulation brought into place to avoid another disaster like the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Building Safety Act currently applies to buildings in England that have:

  • Height of at least 18m or seven or more stories
  • At least two residential units

Higher-risk buildings now require a ‘Mandatory Occurrence Reporting System’ to ensure that any risks which could have a potential impact on fire and structural safety are recorded and resolved.

Responsible figures must prove they have the right measures in place in the high-risk buildings they oversee. Those who do not meet their duties can ultimately face criminal charges.

 

What has changed in the Building Safety Act since October 2023?

Since last October, new measures have been implemented to improve cooperation and coordination among those responsible for fire safety.

 

Building Safety Regulators

From April 2024, high-risk high-rise buildings will be accessed by a ‘Building Safety Regulator’.

The regulator will be assigned to oversee safety and standards, encourage industry competence and ensure that the new regulatory framework is being carefully followed.

The buildings under review will be called upon to provide a ‘Safety Case Report’ that summarises any major fire and structural hazards. Any provisions in place that keep the occupants safe will also be taken into account during the evaluation.

An area which will receive significant scrutiny is external cladding or facades, as the air gap behind them creates a potential space for fire to spread. Rather than removing cladding, building owners will be keen to identify ways to retain it but make it safe in the eyes of the new regulations.

Once the regulator is satisfied, a completion certificate will be issued to declare the structure safe.

 

Dutyholder roles

The act also introduces new dutyholder roles that assign responsibilities for figures involved in a construction project. This includes the client, the principal contractor and the principal designer.

The act establishes a list of duties for all contractors and designers that must be met. If it is found that certain responsibilities are not met, the appropriate dutyholder can be asked to address the issue.

Assigning dutyholder responsibilities ensures that all parties involved in the construction and maintenance of a building are doing their part to maintain safety for its residents.

 

Injectaclad – the simple solution to satisfying the Building Safety Act

If you’re a property owner or developer due to be assessed by a Building Safety Regulator, you may be concerned about whether or not your high-rise is compliant.

In the past, high-rise buildings have commonly been installed with unsafe cladding or facades which are now no longer compliant with the new fire safety regulations. This poses challenges to property owners who are confronted with potential major structural changes.

However, our Injectaclad solution is a quick and easy way to help resolve fire safety concerns…

 

How can I use Injectaclad to protect my building?

With the patented Injectaclad system, you gain peace-of-mind knowing your high-rise complies with fire safety legislation under the Building Safety Act.

Injectaclad is an acrylic-based barrier that is ‘injected’ into the wall cavities that divide each floor or section. When exposed to high temperatures, the barrier expands, creating a blockade that prevents fire from spreading further.

The fire barrier then delivers a two-hour protection window that gives building occupants more time to safely evacuate and more time for the emergency services to tackle the fire.

As well as providing excellent safety benefits, the Injectaclad system is very cost-effective in comparison to the removal of unsafe cladding or any major structural changes.

Additionally, with the simple installation method, there can be minimised disruption to the residents of the building!

 

How Injecta Fire Barrier can help

As the UK’s first independent approved installer of the highly innovative Injectaclad cavity fire barrier system, we are working across the UK to help high-rise buildings improve fire safety and comply with the Building Safety Act.

With our wealth of experience and a team who are committed to the highest standards, we can install the industry-leading fire safety product in residential, commercial, industrial and public edifices.

Once a project has been completed you will be provided with a Firearrest report, this is the digital software platform we work with and video evidence all of the installation which is uploaded onto the building’s drawings so precision of pin points is met.

https://firearrest.com/

After this an IFC Certicate is issued, this is the Independent UKAS accredited and internationally recognised provider of high quality and customer focussed third party certification.

https://www.ifccertification.com/

When working with us, you can ensure that the Building Safety Act is appropriately navigated and your Building Safety Regulator is satisfied. But most importantly, you can have peace of mind knowing your residents are kept safe!

More information about the Building Safety Act can be found at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2022/30/contents/enacted

More information about Injecta Fire Barrier can be found at https://injectafirebarrier.com/