Eyton Solutions is a leading fire safety consultancy committed to helping businesses navigate the complexities of fire safety regulations. Recently, we've seen a shift in attitudes towards fire door certification due to new legislation such as the Building Safety Act. A recent study from the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Fire Door Alliance shows that despite growing awareness, significant challenges remain to overcome.
What is the Building Safety Act?
The Building Safety Act 2022 is a milestone legislation in the United Kingdom that aims to reform the building control system, introducing stronger regulatory powers for construction products with new market surveillance and enforcement. The act makes ground-breaking reforms to give residents and homeowners more rights, powers, and protections. The legislation is intended to improve the design, construction, and management of higher-risk buildings and came into force on April 1, 2023.
How Does the Building Safety Act Impact Fire Safety Compliance?
The Building Safety Act 2022 significantly impacts fire safety compliance, particularly for high-rise buildings and tower blocks. It establishes stricter regulations, including comprehensive fire safety assessments and mandatory incident reporting requirements.
This Act places a greater responsibility on construction companies and building owners to ensure the correct safety measures are in place. This includes the need for building safety remediation works to relevant buildings. It also introduces new roles and responsibilities related to high-rise residential properties.
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, fire safety in non-domestic premises, including workplaces and the non-domestic parts of residential buildings, is already regulated. However, the Building Safety Act 2022 further intensifies these regulations, aiming to deliver fundamental reform to improve the safety of residential and mixed-use buildings.
Third-party certification of fire doors is considered a valuable way to ensure compliance with the law. Despite an observed decrease in such certifications, research suggests that two-thirds (66%) of respondents are more likely to seek certification due to the Building Safety Act.
However, it's important to note that this legislation also brings about challenges. Developers, owners, landlords, and other stakeholders must understand their responsibilities under this new legislation. Ongoing education and support from various stakeholders, including government, employers, and fire safety consultants, is necessary to bridge the gap between awareness and action.
Growing Awareness, Falling Certification
An encouraging trend that was identified in the survey is the increasing awareness amongst stakeholders about the benefits of third-party fire door certification. More than half of respondents now actively look for this certification when selecting fire doors. This is a positive development and shows that the message about the importance of fire door safety is being heard.
However, despite this growing awareness, the proportion of certified fire doors in use has surprisingly dropped. Additionally, two-thirds of respondents indicated they were more likely to seek certification as a result of the Building Safety Act, yet the uptake of third-party certified fire doors has not increased accordingly.
The Importance of Traceability
A noteworthy 92% of respondents considered the traceability of a complete fire door assembly important. This is a significant statistic, highlighting the need for transparency and accountability in the supply chain. It also underscores the importance of third-party certification, which provides assurance of a product's quality, performance, and traceability.
The Need for More Education and Support
Our study also revealed a lack of understanding about the new legislation. About 30% of respondents were unsure or did not understand their responsibility concerning the Building Safety Act. A similar number (33%) believe that more information from the government would improve their understanding of their responsibilities.
Moreover, 39% want more input from employers, while 55% expressed the need for better training support. These statistics highlight the urgent need for ongoing education and support from various stakeholders, including the government, employers, and fire safety consultants like us at Eyton Solutions.
How can Eyton Solutions help?
At Eyton Solutions, our mission is to make fire safety compliance easier for businesses. We offer a range of services and products designed to equip businesses with the tools they need to stay on top of the ever-changing regulations.
From comprehensive fire risk assessments and fire door inspections to training courses and third-party fire door certification – we can help your business achieve all-round fire safety compliance and peace of mind. To find out more about our services, please get in touch with us today.
The Building Safety Act has undoubtedly led to increased awareness about fire door safety. However, there is still a gap between awareness and action. At Eyton Solutions, we believe that businesses can be better informed of their responsibilities and the right steps to take towards compliance through education and support. This is why we’re dedicated to helping our clients stay on top of all relevant regulations and provide a comprehensive range of fire safety services.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business, please contact us today.