UK government announce new regulations to improve building safety and £16m investment in fire and rescue
Business owners may risk unlimited fines for breaches of fire safety regulations, under new measures introduced to improve fire safety, as part of the Building Safety Bill. The government’s aim is to improve the quality of fire risk assessments, ensure the competence of the people completing them and to maintain improved historical records about the fire safety information relating to regulated buildings.
There will also be unlimited fines for anyone who obstructs or impersonates a fire inspector, with the aim of improving the safety of people in their homes. The measures will also help to improve identification and coordination between those responsible for fire safety.
The Home Office has announced £10 million investment in Fire and Rescue Authorities in England, in addition to £6 million from the Fire Covid-19 Contingency Fund. This is a boost to managing pandemic services, such as driving ambulances and assisting at testing and vaccination centres.
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.
“Our incredible Fire and Rescue Services have played a crucial role in our response to the pandemic, from assisting at vaccination centres to driving ambulances. That is why we are giving them this cash boost, so they can continue their life-saving efforts.”
Roy Wilsher, National Fire Chiefs Council Chair, said: “The NFCC welcomes the extra funding to support COVID activities carried out by fire and rescue services across England. Firefighters are responsible for administering around 1 in 240 vaccinations to the public.
“We also welcome the government’s response to its own fire safety consultation and the continued investment in fire and rescue services protection work.
“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.”