A Guide to the Digital Requirements of Fire Safety Compliance

Symetri’s guide on the digital requirements of the Fire Safety Act and upcoming fire safety information standards

A Guide to the Digital Requirements of Fire Safety Compliance

Just before 1.00am on the 14th of June 2017, a fire broke out in the kitchen of a fourth floor
flat at the 23 storey Grenfell tower block in North Kensington, West London, leading to one of the UK’s most tragic and worst disasters of modern times. The fire was started by a faulty fridge-freezer on the fourth floor. It spread rapidly up the building’s exterior, bringing fire and smoke to all the residential floors. It is understood that the fire set light to the flammable exterior cladding through the gaps around the flat windows.

Within minutes, the fire had raced up the exterior of the building and then spread to all four sides. By 03:00am, most of the upper floors were well alight. Seventy-two people lost their lives, and hundreds were left homeless as a result of the fire.

As a result of the tragedy, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry was set up. Phase 1 was issued in October 2019 concluding in Chapter 26, “there was compelling evidence that the external walls of the building failed to comply with Requirement B4(1) of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010”. Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry concluded that the building’s exterior did not comply with regulations and was the central reason why the fire spread. Phase 2 of the inquiry is still ongoing.

In parallel with the Inquiry in September 2017, as part of the Government’s response, the government commissioned Dame Judith Hackitt to review the Building Regulations and Fire Safety Act and in particular, their impact on Fire Safety.

Now known as the Hackitt report, the recommendations were wide and far reaching. In December 2018, the Government undertook to implement the report in full. From these recommendations, a new fire safety act was introduced in April 2021, the government published the Golden Thread Report in July 2021 which will be a subset of the proposed Building Safety Bill currently going through parliament, and a new British Standard code of conduct ‘BS8644-1 Digital management of fire safety information’ has just finished
consultation.

In this whitepaper, we look at the digital implications of the report’s recommendations.

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A guide to the digital requirements of fire safety compliance

 

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