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FSF releases Local Acts repeal guidance

The Fire Sector Federation has released a guidance note which provides advice to those who may be considering the removal of fire safety measures that were incorporated into existing buildings under the auspices of the now repealed Local Acts.

The move is in response to the introduction of The Building (Repeal of Provisions of Local Acts) Regulations 2012 SI No. 3124 and The Building Regulations &c. (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2013 SI No. 1959, which came into force on the 9 January 2013 resulting in the repeal of certain provisions of certain local Acts.

The document notes that for some existing buildings it is possible that the fire safety measures incorporated under the auspices of the local Act may have been used as a trade-off to meet building regulation compliance. For example, the provision of a sprinkler system may have been used to vary the means of escape provision, firefighting access and facilities, boundary conditions and/or fire resisting construction standards.

The document therefore recommends that prior to the removal, abandonment or decommissioning of any fire safety measure in an existing building that a full building survey is undertaken and a fire strategy should be provided that demonstrates compliance with the fire safety elements of the building regulations. In addition a satisfactory fire risk assessment should be undertaken in compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The document is available for free download from the Enforcement Workstream area of the FSF website.