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IWFM Calls on FMs to Update Fire Safety Knowledge for 2023

IWFM Calls on FMs to Update Fire Safety Knowledge for 2023
20 December 2022
 

IWFM and PlanRadar have released a newly updated fire safety management good practice guide for its members.

The document covers the changes to fire safety from 23 January 2023 following the loss of life in 2017’s Grenfell Tower fire. The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) is urging the profession to get up to date with the latest statutory guidance and industry best practice.

Workplace and facilities management professionals can download IWFM’s newly updated fire safety good practice guide by visiting the building safety Insight hub on its website: www.iwfm.org.uk 

 

January 2023 Fire Safety Changes

 

Following recommendations made to the government in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1, the new regulations require Responsible Persons of high-rise blocks of flats to provide information to Fire and Rescue Services to assist them to plan and, if needed, provide an effective operational response. This includes actions such as undertaking monthly checks on the operation of lifts intended for use by firefighters and installing signage visible in low light or smoky conditions that identifies flat and floor numbers in stairwells.

Responsible Persons for high-rise buildings (at least 18 metres in height or at least seven storeys) will also have to provide additional safety measures.

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 are being laid under article 24 of the Fire Safety Order 2005. Regulations made under article 24 can impose requirements on responsible persons or others, including building owners and building managers.

The Fire Safety Order applies to all premises including workplaces and the common parts of all multi-occupied residential buildings.

IWFM’s guide aims to provide core good practice and signposting for FM professionals, those with Responsible Persons's duties, and those acting on behalf of Responsible Persons.

Sofie Hooper, Head of Policy at IWFM, said: “Workplace and facilities managers play a critical role in driving fire safety within workplaces and residential buildings. As a professional body, our own duty is to support our members when keeping people safe.

“This in-depth fire safety guidance could not be timelier with new requirements from the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 coming into force in weeks. Upskilling people and driving competence was a core pillar of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Grenfell report; providing guidance is one such route towards continuous learning and becoming more competent.”

Ibrahim Imam, CEO of PlanRadar, added: “2023 heralds a new era in fire safety and compliance, so FMs need to be on top of the new legislative detail to maintain and future-proof their buildings and assets. The focus is on increased accountability to create a safer, smarter, and more responsible industry, with tough repercussions for those who fall short. With digitisation now fundamental in the risk assessment and safety reporting process, we look forward to seeing the best practice needed to drive meaningful, positive change. This report is an essential part of the ongoing dialogue and guidance to shape the future of fire safety.”

Picture: a photograph of a tall skyscraper-style building taken from below. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 20 December 2022

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