Last edited 20 Sep 2021

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How to comply with the Building Safety Case: Fire and Emergency File


[edit] Building Regulations

Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, claiming 72 lives, the Government commissioned the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt. In May 2018, Dame Judith’s final reportBuilding a Safer Future’ made 53 recommendations to rectify the failings of the current legislation. Key recommendations for the new building and fire safety regime include:

The Government published its response to the ‘Building a Safer Futureconsultation setting out plans to ensure history is not repeated. Subsequently, the Fire Safety Bill was made law on 29th April 2021, setting out where responsibilities lie for reducing the fire risk in multi-occupied residential buildings. A draft Building Safety Bill was published in July 2020, in which the BSR is a key element. It’s expected to receive Royal Assent by July 2022.

Between gateways 2 and 3, The Fire and Emergency File [FEF] is expected to be a requirement for all higher risk buildings and one of the core information deliverables of the future Building Safety Case. This article answers the key questions we are regularly asked; What is it? Why is it needed? Who is responsible for it?

(1) The Hackitt Review recommends all buildings over 18 meters in height or containing more than 6 storeys are classed as higher risk.

[edit] What is the Fire and Emergency File?

The Fire and Emergency File builds on the existing regulation 38 requirements and forms part of the Golden Thread of Information [GTI], the backbone to the new information requirements under the Building Safety Regulations. It sets out the critical fire safety information for the building to help the building owner better understand how to effectively manage their building in respect to fire and emergency situations.

The scope, structure and format of the Fire and Emergency File should be agreed between the client, Principal Designer and Principal Contractor. A standard FEF, as a minimum, will contain the following;

[edit] When should it be produced?

The Fire and Emergency File builds on any fire statement produced at Gateway One [pre-planning] but is initiated at Gateway Two [pre-construction] by the client. The file is passed over to the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor during the design and construction phase to update and finalise the critical fire safety information of the building in time for PC. At Gateway Three [pre-occupation] the client is responsible for issuing the completed FEF to the building owner so they can complete a pre-occupation fire risk assessment to enable building occupation to commence.

FEF Image 1.png

[edit] Why is it important?

The FEF is critical to ensure anyone carrying out design, construction or refurbishment work on a building has a complete and accurate record of the fire strategy and systems for the building and its residents. This will provide the future building owner with an ongoing digital record of the key building safety aspects, helping them understand why the fire and other safety precautions have been provided.

[edit] Who is responsible for producing it?

For new build projects the FEF is initiated by the client and passed over to the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor to be updated and finalised. The file is then issued to the client at PC and transferred to the building owner along with the digital record. Together, this provides the golden thread of information needed to manage the building safely and the required evidence to inform the Building Safety Case. The FEF must be transferred when building ownership changes to ensure the thread of information continues throughout the building lifecycle.

For existing buildings there may be little, or no existing building information in place. The duty holder will therefore need to undertake an information gathering exercise to build the digital record of the building’s safety systems.

Key Dutyholders.jpg

Client, Principal Designer, Principal Contractor, Owner/Superior Landlord

[edit] Key Takeaways

--Createmaster 13:53, 20 Sep 2021 (BST)

Designing Buildings Anywhere

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