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Fire

Building Safety Bill welcomed

The Building Safety Bill, to overhaul building regulations in England and Wales, has been welcomed by the physical security product manufacturer ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland.

Introduced in the House of Commons on July 5, the bill covers how high-rise residential buildings should be built, maintained and made safe. The safety measures outlined in the new bill address the concerns raised in the Hackitt Report, in response to the Grenfell Tower fire of summer 2017. Building owners will be required to manage safety risks, with clear lines of responsibility for safety during design, construction, completion and occupation of high-rise buildings. They will also need to demonstrate that they have effective, proportionate measures in place to manage safety risks. Those who do not meet these obligations may face criminal charges.

A new Building Safety Regulator will oversee a new, stricter safety regime for high-rise residential homes. These developments will require Principal Designers and Principal Contractors responsible for safety, as well as ‘gateway points’ when risks to health and safety will be considered. The bill will now have to pass through the Houses of Commons and House of Lords to pass into law.

Eryl Jones, Manging Director of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, said: “This bill marks an important step in ensuring building regulations are right for the future, while establishing new safety standards for the built environment. The correct specification of door hardware, which meet essential health and safety demands, should be a non-negotiable. We are pleased that the new bill will help shine a light on some of these key issues.

“First of all, while fire safety has always been critical, incidents such as the Grenfell tragedy have highlighted how this issue can no longer afford to be an afterthought. Fire doors are one of the most important safety features in a building, and regular inspections and maintenance regimes are critical.

“Secondly, inclusive design and accessibility is an issue that we feel incredibly passionate about. Building owners and developers should be demanding solutions, including door opening products, that meet these needs every single time. People must be able to access, use and exit buildings easily and independently, and those designing, constructing, specifying products for, and maintaining these buildings have a duty of care to make sure this is the case.

“One measure we have taken to help educate key stakeholders in the supply chain is a comprehensive white paper, demystifying what the guidelines governing inclusive design state, while making clear why this is an issue that building owners and developers should care cabout. It also covers how decision makers can ensure products that meet the necessary fire safety standards are specified too. This can be downloaded for free from www.assaabloyopeningsolutions.co.uk/inclusivedesign.

“We believe the Building Safety Bill will play a landmark role in changing building regulations for high-rise structures for the better, placing health and safety at the heart of these environments. Furthermore, we’d hope that these changes and focus filters throughout the construction industry as a whole, making all buildings safer.”

Photo by Mark Rowe: Grenfell from Ladbroke Grove Tube station.


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