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Home Office announces unlimited fines for fire safety breaches

It was recently announced that new measures will be brought forward to improve fire safety and help save lives.

This includes unlimited fines for anyone caught “obstructing or impersonating a fire inspector, as well as those who breach fire safety regulations under the Fire Safety Order.”

Announced in conjunction with the governments’ response to the Fire Safety Consultation last year, the new measures will come into force as part of the Building Safety Bill.

There will also be requirements to improve how fire risk assessments are recorded and how vital information is preserved throughout the lifespan of all regulated buildings, as well as:

  • Improve cooperation and coordination amongst people responsible for fire safety and making it easier to identify who they are
  • Strengthen enforcement action, with anyone impersonating or obstructing a fire inspector facing unlimited fines
  • Strengthen guidance issues under the Fire Safety Order so that failure to follow it may be considered in court proceedings as evidence of a breach or of compliance
  • Improve the engagement between Building Control Bodies and Fire Authorities in reviewing plans for building work
  • Require all new flats above 11 metres tall to install premises information boxes

Fire Minister Lord Greenhalgh said, “Everyone should be safe in the buildings where they live, stay or work. Our new measures will improve fire safety and help save lives, but will also take firm action against those who fail in their duty to keep people safe.”

Roy Wilsher, National Fire Chiefs Council Chair added, “Ultimately, we want to see safer buildings for residents and are committed to working constructively with the Home Office and other partners on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations and other key fire safety policy areas.”

Given the seriousness of the risks of breaches and fire safety in general, Scope would urge any building owner who may not be compliant with the new requirements to get in touch for a free consultation.

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