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Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
December 1, 2022

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Government launches pilot scheme for medium-rise buildings requiring fire safety remediation measures

The Government has launched a pilot scheme for medium-rise buildings in England – those between 11-18 metres – which will provide funding for the remediation or mitigation of fire safety risks linked to external wall systems.

While the Building Safety Fund has been in place for some time to provide funding for remediation measures and fire safety defects, the Fund is only available for those buildings over 18 metres.

Those in buildings below 18m have regularly raised concerns and highlighted that their buildings may also pose significant fire risks, but were not being included in many of the Government’s support packages to fix defects.

The scheme says that those in buildings between 11-18m in height “may be able to apply for a grant” in the following months to address fire risks related to external wall systems where a responsible developer can not be identified. Those applying should be responsible for the building’s external repairs and maintenance, and it should be a residential or mixed-use building with at least one flat with a long lease.

In June this year, the Government announced new fire safety guidance in England for medium-rise building. All new residential buildings over 11m had to incorporate a Secure Information Box for fire and rescue services, as well as a restriction on the combustibility of materials used in and on the external walls of residential buildings between 11-18m.

How to know if your external wall system has life-safety fire risks

The advice given by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is that a survey may have been done which shows the external wall system has defects that “may pose a risk to life”.

It also advises that those planning to apply for the new grant should not get a fire risk appraisal of external walls carried out before applying, with DLUHC currently in the process of setting up a panel of fire risk assessors.

Those responsible for applying should also check whether the building’s original developer has signed the developer’s pledge – whereby the developer may have already committed to fixing building safety defects.

Find out more about the pilot scheme, here.

 

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