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The Building Safety Bill – What This New Legislation Means

This month, has seen the first draft of the Building Safety Bill published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) for pre-legislative review. Following the devastation of Grenfell, the bill is intended to introduce major reforms around the safety in residential buildings that are either 18 metres or more in height or more than six storeys tall. It comes in the wake of the Hackitt Review, which was started after the Grenfell Tower tragedy. We ask Debra Date, Head of Block Management, what this means for Bold & Reeves and our clients.

What does The Building Safety Bill mean?

It’s the first proper step in modernising fire safety in the UK. The old fire safety bills were really not fit for purpose, especially for taller buildings. A lot of blocks and buildings have previously just adapted the old legislation. However, buildings have so much new technology since it was first rolled out and isn’t taken into account or updated with that in mind. A Victorian, for example, would not have thought of a residential building being 20 stories high! The new bill is the first step in really addressing modern buildings, particularly taller buildings, and taking a more holistic view on fire safety.

Is this a reaction to the disaster of Grenfell?

Yes, it is. The Hackitt Review was a direct response to that tragedy and the new bill is a response to the review. Grenfell was actually compliant to the fire safety rules of the time, but obviously these regulations were not fit for purpose. It showed how much the regulations and legislation weren’t safe. They were fatal.

How does this affect Bold & Reeves?

The bill doesn’t affect us immediately. The legislation focuses on taller buildings, but it’s important that everyone who is involved with the health and safety of buildings keeps up to date with new legislation and complies with it, such as with fire risk assessments and things like that.

At Bold & Reeves, we’re working with our fire safety advisors and fire risk assessors to make sure that we uphold this new legislation. And when we discover any health and safety risks, we ensure that we’re not missing anything and that we’re doing our best to make our residents are as safe and as happy as possible.

How does this affect Bold & Reeves clients?

In general, it just gives our clients peace of mind that we’re always up to date with legislation. For example, once client asked if they need to install sprinklers? While in some cases that might be a great idea, in other cases it really isn’t because there might be 10 other better systems in place. It goes without saying that we’re always on hand to answer any questions around fire safety, so feel free to get in touch with us if you’re unsure about anything.

If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Bold & Reeves: