The government has clarified building regulations fire safety guidance following the Hackitt review and is now seeking views on the revisions.
The recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt have resulted in a consultation to seek views on government revisions. The consultation document and review of Approved Document B can be viewed here. Approved Document B is a part of the building regulations guidance in England covering fire safety in buildings.
However, for the purposes of our readers the most important announcement is that regarding electrical safety checks. The government has announced that in addition to the consultation and review of Approved Document B there will also be a package of additional measures to improve fire safety:
- Establishing a panel, made up of residents, to ensure proposed safety improvements are grounded in the experience of those living in high-rise buildings;
- Dame Hackitt will chair an Industry Safety Steering Group to drive the cultural change needed to improve safety and to hold the industry to account;
- Working with a small group of organisations from the industry to pilot safety improvements in line with the Hackitt recommendations; and
- Introducing a mandatory requirement on landlords in the private rented sector to ensure electrical installations in their properties are inspected every 5 years.
At present this is all the information we have on the proposed 5-year electrical installation checks. The situation is confused because the government ran a consultation between February and April on electrical safety checks in privately rented properties. However, no response to this consultation has been made. It is unclear whether the fire safety announcement with its reference to electrical checks is a response to this consultation or if there is another one to come. However, given the focus on safety at the moment it is likely that electrical safety checks will become law relatively soon. As further information is received we will update this post.