Fire safety at work - purpose built flats

Most fires occur in domestic dwellings, therefore it was recognised that a block of flats as a building containing many such dwellings had the potential for a higher risk to people should fire break out. The standards used in the construction of blocks of flats have been embodied in Building Regulations, which, now as then, ensure that adequate fire safety provisions are incorporated when they are constructed. 

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO) came into force in October 2006. It brought the common parts of blocks of flats within the scope of mainstream fire safety legislation for the first time. 

The Fire Safety in Purpose-Built blocks of Flats guide (PDF 2.8MB) is intended to meet the needs of housing providers and enforcing authorities for guidance tailored to purpose-built blocks of flats. These buildings are only a small part of the scope of other guidance documents. This guide is intended to assist responsible persons to comply with the FSO and the Housing Act 2004. Accordingly, it is expected that enforcing authorities will have regard to this guide.

The guide is to ensure adequate fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats, regardless of age. Practical advice is offered on how to assess the risk from fire and how to manage fire safety in such buildings. The guide also includes case studies based on the commonly found issues in blocks of flats, with suggested fire safety solutions.

Fire safety in purpose-built flats