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Following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, several changes have been implemented in the United Kingdom to address fire safety and prevent similar incidents. Some of the key changes include:
  • Building regulations and fire safety: The government has made revisions to the Building Regulations and associated guidance to improve fire safety standards in high-rise residential buildings. This includes amendments to Approved Document B, which provides guidance on fire safety measures in buildings.
  • External wall systems: There has been a focus on the safety of external wall systems, particularly those incorporating cladding materials. The government has provided guidance and advice to building owners and has taken steps to ban the use of combustible materials in the external walls of new high-rise buildings.
  • Retrofitting measures: Building owners have been encouraged to retrofit existing buildings with fire safety measures. This includes measures such as the installation of sprinkler systems, enhanced fire detection and alarm systems, and improved compartmentation to prevent the spread of fire.
  • Independent expert panel: An Independent Expert Panel was established to provide advice on fire safety measures and building materials. The panel has been tasked with assessing the safety of high-rise buildings and making recommendations on remedial actions.
  • Social housing reform: The government has taken steps to improve the regulation and oversight of social housing. This includes reviewing the governance and performance of social housing providers and proposing reforms to ensure that tenants’ voices are heard and their concerns addressed.
  • Fire Safety Act 2021: The Fire Safety Act 2021 was enacted to clarify the responsibilities of building owners and managers for fire safety, specifically addressing risks associated with external walls and fire doors in multi-occupancy residential buildings.

It’s worth noting that these changes are not exhaustive, and the full extent of the reforms and their implementation may vary. The Grenfell Tower fire has had a profound impact on fire safety practices and regulations in the UK, with ongoing efforts to improve and strengthen fire safety measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

SHA have resolved cladding issues relating to a few of our properties to address the new Building Regulations and Fire Safety.