The aim of Regulation 38 of the Building Regulations 2010 (as amended) is to ensure that the person responsible for the building has sufficient information relating to fire safety to enable them to manage the building effectively. Compliance with Regulation 38 will be achieved when the person responsible for the building has all the information to enable them to do all of the following:
- Understand and implement the fire safety strategy of the building
- Maintain any fire safety system provided in the building
- Carry out an effective fire risk assessment of the building
Regulation 38 puts onus on the person carrying out the work to give fire safety information to the responsible person no later than:
(a) where the building, proposed building or extension to which the building work relates is not occupied during the building work, the date of completion of the work or the date of occupation of the building or the extension, whichever is the earlier;
(b) in any other case, the date of completion of the work.
In addition the responsible person must give the person carrying out the work a notice acknowledging receipt of the fire safety information and confirming the information provided is sufficient to enable them to understand, operate and maintain the building (and the fire safety systems in it) after the building work in question.
Essential Information to be Provided to the Responsible Person
An as built plan of the building should be produced showing all of the following (where applicable):
- Escape routes – This should include exit capacity (i.e the maximum allowable number of people for each storey and for the building)
- Location of fire-separating elements (including cavity barriers in walk-in spaces)
- Fire doorsets, fire doorsets fitted with a self-closing device and other doors equipped with relevant hardware
- Locations of fire and/or smoke detector heads, alarm call points, detection/alarm control boxes, alarm sounders, fire safety signage, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, dry or wet fire mains and other firefighting equipment, and hydrants outside the building.
- Any sprinkler systems, including isolating valves and control equipment
- Any smoke control systems, or ventilation systems with a smoke control function, including mode of operation and control systems
- Any high-risk areas (eg. Heating machinery, places of special fire hazard
In addition, details should also be provided for all of the following:
- Specifications of any fire safety equipment provided, including routine maintenance schedules
- Any assumptions regarding the management of the building in the design of the fire safety arrangements
- Any provision enabling the evacuation of disabled people, which can be used when designing suitable personal emergency evacuation plans
For complex buildings additional fire safety information would normally be necessary, please refer to Approved Document Part B Vol 2 Pargraphs 19.5 and 19.6 for more information.