High rise buildings in Kent and Medway

As part of the ongoing building safety programme that arose as a result of the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Fire Safety England Regulations 2022 came into force.The Building Safety Act 2022 has also now become law. 

These new laws and regulations affect and change what owners and Responsible Persons for high rise buildings need to know and do. Buildings which are affected include

  • buildings that have two or more sets of domestic premises
  • buildings that are over 11 metres in height
  • buildings that are at least 18 metres or 7 storeys  in height 

They also affect how and what information must be submitted to Kent Fire and Rescue Service. 

For details and further information, please see below.

Learn more ...

The Fire Safety Act 2021

The Fire Safety Act 2021 came into effect on 16 May 2022 and affects Responsible Persons.

Learn about the Fire Safety Act 2021


The Fire Risk Assessment Prioritisation Tool (FRAPT) is to help Responsible Persons prioritise updating and reviewing their fire risk assessment.

Learn about FRAPT

Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

What you need to know and do.

Learn about the new Regulations

Submit your information

Learn what information needs to be submitted to KFRS and upload it.

Submit your plans and forms

Secure Information Box

Also known as Premises Information Boxes, learn what the new Fire Safety Regulations require.

Secure Information Box

The Building Safety Act 2022

The new Building Safety Act affects the duties of RPs and APs

Read about the new Act

Code of Practice

In January 2022, the new Code of Practice PAS9980:2022 'Fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of existing blocks of flats - Code of practice' (the Code of Practice) comes into existence. 

Please note the document ‘Advice for Building Owners of Multi-storey, Multi-occupied Residential Buildings’ published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has been withdrawn and is only available as an historical reference document.

The new Code of Practice PAS9980:2022 is available for download from the website of the British Standards Institution. It is intended for use by ‘... competent fire engineers and other competent building professionals tasked with advising on the fire risk of external wall construction of existing blocks of flats'.

Who else will this Code of Practice be useful for?

The Code of Practice also states: ‘... it is expected that the key outputs of this appraisal will also be useful to those for whom such appraisals are carried out and those who make decisions based upon the outcome of the appraisal. Typically, this will include:

• advice agencies
• architects
• architectural technologists
• building owners/landlords (and others with legal or functional responsibilities for management of external walls and cladding)
• building surveyors
• contractors
• façade engineers
• fire and rescue authorities
• fire risk assessors
• insurers
• local housing authorities
• managing agents or facility managers
• project managers;
• valuers and mortgage lenders '

Kent Fire and Rescue Service advise all high rise residential building owners or responsible persons to read and be aware of this Code of Practice.

Guidance for temporary change to simultaneous evacuation strategy

After the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017, guidance was published regarding initial and temporary changes to evacuation strategy for high rise buildings to ensure all residents could be alerted and evacuated. This guidance was reviewed and updated in October 2020, and was updated again in August 2022. 

Th 2022 updated  ‘Guidance to support a temporary change to a simultaneous evacuation strategy in purpose-built blocks of flats' (‘the Guidance’) contains updates and improvements. Go to the updated Guidance

Main aims of the 2022 updated guidance

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) describe the main aims of the Guidance as:

  • ‘ensuring those with responsibility for buildings fully understand the decision-making process before deciding that a change in evacuation strategy is required.
  • clearer emphasis on resident engagement.
  • an end to risk averse ‘one size fits all’ application of on-site staffing (waking watches or evacuation management) when this is disproportionate to the risk.’
Understanding the new 2022 edition of the Guidance

The National Fire Chiefs Council have produced:

Responsible persons and building owners are encouraged to view and read these.

Key changes in this guidance 

The key changes in this guidance have been summarised by the NFCC in the 'Frequently Asked Questions' which can be found on their website, as follows:

  • Addresses concerns raised about RPs and Fire Risk Assessors failing to act proportionately and take the right steps before they change their evacuation strategy, by clearly signposting readers to the newly published PAS 9980.
  • Reinforces the clear expectation that RPs will seek to reduce or remove the dependence on waking watches as soon as possible, by providing more detail within the timeline on what actions enforcing authorities expect RPs to take, and by when.
  • Discourages the risk adverse behaviour of having onsite staff where they may not be needed.
  • Clearly signposts readers to a wider range of supporting information, including Article 50 guidance they may need to consider in respect of persons who might find themselves in vulnerable positions.
  • Includes a published Equalities Impact Assessment.
  • Responds to the learnings from the New Providence Wharf Fire by incorporating a previously separate addendum into the main guide.
  • Includes updates to relevant sections following the commencement of the Fire Safety Act 2021 and introduction of the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.
  • Includes significant revisions to evacuation management content to:
  • improve distinction between where evacuation management is used to describe a job/role, and where it is used to describe a general set of duties or activities.
  • highlight that (like the decision to change evacuation strategy) a decision to have onsite staff to manage an evacuation should be informed by advice from a competent person in conjunction with a holistic review of the Fire Risk Assessment.
  • clarify that (like members of a waking watch team) any persons with appropriate training can perform evacuation management duties where they are recommended by the Fire Risk Assessment/Competent Person.

Building Safety Regulator

What is the Building Safety Regulator?

Under the new Building Safety Act 2022, a new Building Safety Regulator has been established. The new Regulator is the Health and Safety Executive who will be responsible for regulatory decisions regarding the design, build and occupation of buildings including high rise.

Learn about the new Building Safety Regulator 

For further information about the Building Safety Act, go to our dedicated pages.

Where should residents in my high rise building go for information?

Useful information for residents can be found on the websites of:

Waking Watch Replacement Fund

As a result of the Grenfell Tower Disaster, the Building Safety Fund was established in 2020 to provide funding for the removal and replacement of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings. In December 2020, the government announced the introduction of the Waking Watch Relief Fund in addition to, but not a substitute for, the Building Safety Fund.

On the 10 January 2022, the Government announced the Waking Watch Replacement Fund. This fund provided for  '...a further £27 million to fund the installation of alarms and replace costly Waking Watch measures in all buildings in England where a Waking Watch is currently in place at cost to leaseholders.' 

Applications to the Waking Watch Replacement fund closed on the 28 March 2022.  Responsible persons and building owners are encouraged to monitor government announcements regarding the fund and any future opportunities to apply. 

Details of how to apply and the application process can be found in the government guidance. 

The responsibility for applying for the fund rests with the Responsible Person for the building. Responsible Persons in Kent wishing to apply are encouraged to liaise with Kent Fire and Rescue Service in order to make sure they understand the implications of installing such an alarm. They should also ensure leaseholders are kept informed.

Need help? Contact us

If you have  questions or need advice or guidance, our Business Safety Team are here to help with free, friendly advice on making your business or regulated building compliant with fire safety regulations.

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Building regulations consultations

Enquiries for the general public and approved inspectors on planning matters and building design:

Please note: Any electronic consultation submission to us via email is restricted to a maximum file size of 35 megabytes including attachments and should not contain Zip file attachments.