There have been quite a few developments in the world of health and safety recently.
This month, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has become the new statutory consultee for building safety on planning applications and in May the 2021 London Plan Policy was introduced which includes new advice to developers about fire safety and Fire Statements.
Since the introduction of the 2021 London Plan Policy, we have seen a lot more clients turning to us for help to produce Fire Statements in line with section D12 for low rise buildings and extensions.
A Fire Statement is a standalone document, submitted alongside a planning application, which defines the fire safety objectives and performance requirements of a development and the methods by which these objectives will be provided or satisfied.
The Fire Statement should show the provisions made for the safety of occupants and protection of property as well as the provision of suitable access and equipment for firefighting in light of the London Plan fire safety policy requirements.
The Fire Statement should:
• Feature a schedule of relevant plan titles and reference numbers which specifically relate to and are linked to elements of its contents
• Include excerpts from the plans as required to assist in its usability as a standalone document. For example, the illustration of space identified for the appropriate positioning of fire appliances
• Marry up relevant consent references. Major development proposals should demonstrate within the Fire Statement how the proposals respond to and contain information on the requirements of the London Plan Policy
• Be easy to follow, given that it will be a document members of the public can access.
We liaise with our clients and their design team to ensure we have all the information we need to put together a comprehensive Fire Statement for their development.
Although this is a relatively new requirement it is well within our experienced team’s comfort zone. We have extensive experience of working with the construction trade to manage health and safety requirements on developments and a huge amount of experience when it comes to Fire Risk Assessments.
For anyone who doesn’t know what a Fire Risk Assessment is, it is required in the UK for non-domestic properties and for the communal areas of rented properties. The regulations require the Duty Holder to ensure a suitable and sufficient assessment is undertaken. Where the business employs five people or more the significant findings must be recorded.
A fire risk assessment must be carried out to identify any existing risks. The identified risks and subsequent safety measures that you put in place must be passed onto employees and anyone else that may be affected. There must also be emergency plans in place in case of a fire and fire safety instruction and training for staff.
Local fire and rescue authorities carry out inspections of premises to ensure that they are compliant and that you are fully undertaking your duties. The officers can issue notices that inform you of the changes required to improve the standards of the building; failing to comply with these can result in fines or even prison.