Fire safety in apartment buildings 

 

Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers. As a responsible landlord we have an extensive ongoing programme in place to check our buildings and carry out any work required, to ensure that we comply with government regulations and guidance. 

Following the Grenfell tragedy, the government commissioned an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. This led to the introduction of a new Building Safety Bill, which received Royal Assent to become an Act of Parliament in May 2022. 

What is covered in this new Building Safety Act?

The Act particularly focuses on high-risk buildings where the spread of fire or structural defects could lead to the loss of life.  

High-risk buildings are defined by their height and use. This means that all buildings that are at least 18 metres in height or have at least seven storeys, with a minimum of two residential homes, are specifically covered under the new regulations. Care homes are also included.  

A key aspect of this new legislation is resident engagement which will be overseen by a new Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  

What will it mean for me?

In practical terms, these new government regulations and guidelines have been developed to ensure your safety in the event of a fire in your building.  

The new Building Safety Regulator will oversee the safe design, construction and occupation of high-risk buildings so that residents are safe and feel safe. It will be independent and give expert advice to residents and local regulators, landlords, building owners and the construction industry.  

Setting out a stronger role for residents, the Regulator aims to ensure that residents’ voices are properly heard and listened to. Residents will also be entitled to receive core information about their building’s safety, with the right to request more details.  

What are you doing to ensure the safety of customers living in high-rise buildings?

In line with our safety-first approach, we are appointing Building safety managers for each of our 500+ complex buildings. These managers will be responsible for ensuring the safety of the buildings they manage and its residents. 

They will actively engage with residents, encouraging them to get involved and raise any safety concerns they may have, and keep them informed about building safety in an open and transparent way.  

By working together you can help us to keep you safe.  

What happens next?

Although the Building Safety Bill is now an Act of Parliament, the final phase of the regime is expected to come into force within the next twelve to eighteen months, so please look out for further updates here and also in our customer e-bulletins and newsletters.  

We will also be sharing who your building safety manager is on here very soon, so please regularly check back for updates. 

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