The government has released information about its independent review into fire safety and building regulations, to be carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The review will be led by Dame Judith Hackitt, and will aim to make recommendations that will ensure there is a ‘sufficiently robust regulatory system’ for the future.
The government says it will have a specific focus on multi-occupancy high rise residential blocks and aims to assurance residents the ‘complete system’ is working to ensure the buildings they live in are safe – and remain so.
Earlier this week, the last of seven fire tests on different wall cladding systems were completed, with the independent review also seeking to address whether the government’s cladding system testing programme identified any potential systematic failures.
Running parallel with the statutory inquiry
The review will work closely with other government departments and will seek the input of relevant stakeholders. It will make recommendations based on the evidence gathered.
The independent review will report jointly to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, and it will run alongside the work of the statutory inquiry which is headed up by Sir Martin Moore Bick. An interim report of the review will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Home Secretary in Autumn 2017.
Specifically, the government says the review will:
- Map the current regulatory system (i.e. the regulations, guidance and processes) as it applies to new and existing buildings through planning, design, construction, maintenance, refurbishment and change management;
- Consider the competencies, duties and balance of responsibilities of key individuals within the system in ensuring that fire safety standards are adhered to;
- Assess the theoretical coherence of the current regulatory system and how it operates in practice;
- Compare this with other international regulatory systems for buildings and regulatory systems in other sectors with similar safety risks; and
- Make recommendations that ensure the regulatory system is fit for purpose with a particular focus on multi-occupancy high-rise residential buildings.
Fire safety: RLA guidance for landlords
The RLA has produced an overview of fire safety in the PRS, which can be accessed here.
It has also launched a new online fire safety course, available from £16 for members and £20 for non-members. For more information and to book click here.