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Housing Act Guide

Building Regulations And Fire Safety

When do the Building Regulations apply?

They apply to you when you are carrying out building work so compliance is only required if and when works are actually carried out  This includes the erection of new buildings, extensions and alterations.  It also includes the provision of certain services e.g. electricity, sanitation and water.  Part B of the Building Regulations sets out the requirements.  These require provision in the property for giving warning if a fire occurs, satisfactory means of escape, preventing fire spread and making sure buildings are stable as well as ensuring that there is sufficient fire separation between different parts  and access facilities to assist fire fighters.

What has to be done to comply?

The approved document for Part B explains how the objectives can be achieved.  Fire detector systems, smoke detectors, escape routes and emergency lighting may be required.  

Can I deal with this myself?

Unlikely as appropriate professional advice will be required. 

How do Building Regulations, HHSRS and the Fire Safety Order link in with each other?

In essence, the Building Regulations deal with the initial design and construction of the building and, where it applies, the Fire Safety Order or the Housing Health & Safety Rating System applies once the building is complete to deal with issues which arise from how the building is actually used and occupied.  It is important to establish whether the building complies with 1991 (or later) Buildings Regulations. Provided there has been no change in the use of the building and the building has been kept in reasonable repair, then in practice it is unlikely that further fire precautions will be required whether under the Housing Health and Safety Rating (HHSRS) Fire Safety provisions or the Fire Safety Order.

What happens if the building was built under Building regulations which pre-date the 1991 regulations?

If the building was built before the 1991 Building Regulations and has not been brought up to date to comply with them then further fire precautions work may be required. If this is the case the LACORS guidance will explain what may be required. For more information about LACORS, click here.

This document was last updated on: 17/05/2007

General Disclaimer

IMPORTANT: Our website (including the Unique Property Selector) can only give general guidance. You always need to specifically check the status of any property individually and take appropriate advice including general guidance from the local authority where it is located.

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