The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has welcomed the draft Building Safety Bill, published on 20 July, as a promising first step in improving the safety of the built environment. The ASFP explains that the new Bill puts in place the underpinning law that will enable change to happen but highlights that the subsequent detailed secondary legislation will be key to its success
ASFP notes that the Bill states that the Building Safety Regulator ‘may at any time make proposals to the Secretary of State for the making of regulations.’ Thus the Bill puts the provisions in place to allow for change but there remains a great deal of work to be undertaken thereafter to ensure that the Bill actually follows through on its promise.
The Building Safety Regulator will also be responsible for oversight of the competence and performance of building control. The Bill provides the framework for this but the regulator or a designated body will develop the details.
Similarly, the Bill creates the concept of a ‘safety critical product’ and gives the Secretary of State the power to make regulations to place safety critical products on a statutory list. However, it does not create the list or define what products may or may not be included on it.
ASFP CEO Niall Rowan states:
‘We welcome the draft Building Safety Bill as an important first step in building safety reform but, the implementation and development of the detailed secondary legislation will be key to its success in implementing all the recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s report ”Building a Safer Future”.
‘While the Bill establishes the overarching framework it does little to define how these regulators will operate, the requirements they will define and impose and how they will enforce.
‘The Building Safety Bill must be applauded for its vision and aspiration to herald a new era of building safety which is strictly enforced. Its publication is welcome step forward and the ASFP looks forward to working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and with industry stakeholders to ensure that it lives up to this early promise.’