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The Government has announced a range of building safety measures including the launch of a consultation on fire safety and building regulations.
The decision was made to introduce regular electrical safety checks in the buy to let sector. However, details have yet to be released outlining the full scope of the required inspections, the regulatory and enforcement regime, and who will be deemed competent or authorised to make the checks. Clarification is also needed surrounding potential exemptions and when the requirement is likely to come into force.
The Secretary of State for Communities, James Brokenshire MP, said that there will be a full-scale technical review of fire safety guidelines within and around buildings, known as ‘Approved Document B’, this autumn. The aim is to update existing guidance in order to reflect modern building practices and technical and scientific innovations.
In addition, a residents panel will be established to ensure that safety requirements proposed will be grounded in the experience of those living in high rise buildings. Dame Judith Hackitt will also chair an Industry Safety Steering Group to drive the culture change needed to improve safety and hold industry to account
Speaking at the launch of the consultation, James Brokenshire said: ‘There is nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their own homes. That is why I am announcing a package of measures focused on improving building safety, having listened carefully to the concerns which have been raised. Dame Judith’s report sets out the right framework to improve safety, but I will not hesitate to go further than the recommendations where I deem it necessary. That is why I am going further than my original commitment to simply clarify the guidelines, by commencing an end-to-end technical review of the fire safety aspects of building regulations in the autumn.’