SFG20 content aligns with Building Safety Act & Fire Safety Regulations
Faced with a barrage of new regulations, it is not surprising that many building owners and managers are anxious about their ability to cope and make sure their buildings are compliant especially when there are so many other distractions, like rising energy costs, to worry about.
It can be tempting to take a ‘head in the sand’ approach when confronted with the sheer volume of detailed change, but users of the industry standard for building maintenance SFG20 should feel reassured.
The technical team behind SFG20 has already analysed the regulations in detail and updated the relevant service and maintenance schedules included in the web-based content provided to SFG20 subscribers.
This includes new Fire Safety (England) Regulations which come into force on January 23rd and include stringent new legal requirements for anyone responsible for fire safety in high-rise residential buildings (HRRBs). This was greeted in many quarters as a challenging start to the new year following three other significant legislative and regulatory changes last year in the shape of the new Fire Safety Act, the Building Safety Act, and updates to Part B of the Building Regulations.
Nobody was arguing that we don’t need a far more stringent fire safety regime following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, but the ability of the sector to absorb all this change and embed it into day-to-day operations is a legitimate concern.
The regulations close several important loopholes including the introduction of a stricter regime for checking fire doors and a requirement to improve the information provided to building residents. They also place greater responsibilities on building duty holders to produce detailed documentation covering external wall design, floor and building plans, along with a fire safety strategy, which must be available to residents and the fire service.
HRRBs were defined in another new piece of regulation last December – the snappily titled Higher Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations – as being residential buildings, care homes and hospitals that are at least 18 metres high or have seven storeys.
However, the government has been clear that the new rules will eventually be extended to all types of building and will be overseen by the office of the new Building Safety Regulator which has considerable enforcement powers.
The SFG20 team moved quickly to work out what a building owner, manager or building user needs to do to ensure compliance with all the legislative changes in the past 12 months. They listed the specific maintenance tasks involved including additional items such as providing a secure information box, wayfinding signage, evacuation alert system and a fire safety management plan.
Four completely new schedules are now available in the SFG20 core library, and four existing schedules have been updated to improve clarity and terminology and bring them in line with the legislation. The team has also cross-referenced 15 existing schedules with the new maintenance schedules for multi-occupied, multi-storey buildings where further maintenance may be required.
SFG20 was created by FM experts more than 30 years ago and has evolved into a highly sophisticated and adaptable online system, which is built around a library of around 1,300 maintenance schedules.
The new fire safety updates are just part of an overall dynamic approach which tracks changes to all building related legislation and health and safety rules. This helps users create customised maintenance schedules that don’t just keep them compliant but also saves precious time, effort, and money.
The main principle behind the SFG20 approach is to move away from costly reactive maintenance to a more efficient, blended maintenance strategy which includes proactive planned maintenance. Being able to cope with critical changes to regulation is very much in line with this approach– which also helps to maximise the life expectancy of essential building services equipment.
Maintenance schedules are colour-coded by criticality, so users can see if they have fallen behind on any statutory or compliance-critical maintenance. This is hugely valuable peace of mind at a time when keeping buildings operating safely and efficiently has never been under greater scrutiny.
So rather than having to wade through all the details of the regulations yourself, trust SFG20 to do the work for you and embed the changes and key responsibilities into your existing maintenance schedules.