Statutory fire safety legislation is primarily concerned with the protection of people from death or injury in fire. The United Kingdom fire safety in buildings is controlled under various statutory instruments.


The main requirements arise from:

  • England and Wales – The Building Regulations 2000 (as amended)
  • Scotland – The Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 1990 (as amended)
  • Northern Ireland – The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994
  • Fire precautions Act 1971 (as amended)
  • Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended 1999)
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994


Building Regulations

The Building Regulations apply to the design and construction of new buildings and also to existing buildings if a material alteration or material change of use is being made. It is the building regulations that are likely to have the main impact on the required fire performance of external cladding systems.

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each have their own building regulations and each country has its own set of guidance documents for fire safety. It is important to recognise that the guidance applicable in Scotland can be significantly different to that applicable in England and Wales or Northern Ireland.

For more information on building regulations, click here.

Fire Precautions Legislation

The Fire Precautions Act and Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations are primarily intended to ensure that an acceptable level of safety is achieved during occupation of the building.

Generally this legislation will not have a direct effect upon the design of the structure or the specification of external cladding systems.

Construction materials complying with current building regulations would normally be acceptable but there may be circumstances where additional fire precautions are appropriate (e.g. during maintenance procedures).

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 (CDM) relate to all aspects of construction and affect all those concerned in the construction process. The CDM regulations impose specific obligations on designers to consider matters relating to safety during construction and subsequent maintenance of the completed building.

The FPW and CDM regulations require that any foreseeable risks associated with the construction and the continuing operation of a building are identified and effectively managed and controlled.

Guidance on appropriate management procedures should be incorporated into the project’s operational and maintenance manual.





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