Secure Information Box
What is a Secure Information Box
An Secure Information Box (SIB) (also known as a Premises Information Box- PIB) is a secure storage box that holds crucial information for the use of firefighters.
Under the new Fire Safety Regulations, the information that should be contained in the box is set out in the Code of Practice for the Provision of Premises Information Boxes in Residential Buildings (the Code) published by the Fire Industry Association and the National Fire Chiefs Council.
Responsible Persons are urged to read the Code and follow the guidance it provides. The Code sets out detailed information regarding the location and security of a SIB, signage, what information and documents should be kept in the SIB, and how the box and what it contains it should be maintained. It also deals with the sharing of information when necessary.
Which buildings does the Code apply to
The Code applies to new build blocks of flats of 11 metres or more in height and to existing blocks of flats :
- which are 18 metres (or 7 storeys) and above in height
- those below 18 metres (or 7 storeys) in height but of '...additional complexity' in terms of their layout, access, and other factors
- student accommodation which are designed like flat blocks with a top storey floor height of 11 metres or above
See Section 1 of the Code for full details.
Changes in the law and SIBs
As a result of the Independent Grenfell Tower Inquiry, changes are to be made to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO).
The Government have summarised these changes as follows:
'The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will make it a legal requirement from 23 January 2023 for existing high-rise residential buildings in England to have a secure information box installed on the premises.
The regulations will require the responsible person to install a suitably secure information box in or on their high-rise building. They will also be required to provide in the box:
- Their UK contact details
- The UK contact details of any other person who has the facilities to and is permitted to access the building as the responsible person considers appropriate
- Copies of the building’s floor plans – which identify specified key fire-fighting equipment
- A single page block plan - which identifies specified key fire-fighting equipment
Access should be given to the fire and rescue service. Boxes should be maintained, and their contents kept up to date in line with the duties imposed by the regulations and the Fire Safety Order.'
Please note: Secure Information Boxes (SIB) are also known as Premises Information Boxes (PIB). For the purposes of this webpage they will be referred to as Secure Information Boxes.
The siting, security and signage of Secure Information Boxes
Please select the following drop-down boxes for further information relating to siting, security and signage of SIBs
Siting of the SIB
The SIB should be kept in a place where KFRS can easily find and get access to it. The Code suggests siting where the Fire and Rescue Services are most likely to arrive. Responsible Persons should liaise and consult with KFRS if they are not sure regarding the location.
Note: if the premises are large with multiple entrances, more than one SIB aay be needed. Please liaise with KFRS.
There are various factors that should be taken into account when siting the SIB which are set out at Section 2 of the Code which Responsible persons should be familiar with.
Accessing the Secure Information Box
All Kent Fire and Rescue Services (KFRS) fire appliances carry a Gerda box key for access.
If other boxes are in use, plans should be put in place to ensure fire crews can access the information in their box. A key safe can be positioned next to the box and the code passed to the fire service mobilising system.
Security of the SIB
Because of the nature of the information contained in the SIB it is very important that it is secure to avoid unauthorised persons accessing the box, or vandalism.
RPs should refer to Section 3 of the Code for details about the level of security needed,
Signage of the SIB
The SIB should be clearly signed. Section 4 of the Code sets out details of the owrding and style of the sign that should be used and directional signs where necesary. RPs should refer to the Code for further detials.
Contents of a Secure Information Box
The contents of the SIB make up the Emergency Response Pack for use by firefighters in the event of an incident. The contents will be specific to and for each building and its residents, but should always contain the following as a minimum:
- building plans - for full details see the Code, in particular Appendix A
- log book – this book should be kept in the SIB and record events that relate to the SIB such as emergency use – for details of what should be recorded in the book and an example see Appendix A – section 1.2 of the Code
- ‘Off the Run’ notice – for an example of an Off the Run Sheet see Appendix A - section 1.4 of the code
- Summary of information
- Orientation plan, Building layout plan, Firefighting facilities location plan, and Simple layout plan (if not already contained in the Orientation plan) – further information can be found on our Plans page and detailed information and examples of the plans required can be found at Appendix A – sections 1.4 to 1.8 of the Code
together with information relating to residents who have mobility, cognitive or sensory impairment(s), significant fire safety issues and description of the evacuation strategy in use.
Responsible Persons should refer to Part 5 of the Code where they will find detailed information about the requirements for each of the contents required for the Emergency Response Pack to be contained in the SIB
Maintaining the SIB and the Emergency Response Pack
The SIB and its contents should be inspected, maintained and updated regularly by a competent person, including post incident checks, monthly checks and annual checks.
For full details of the maintenance required, please see Section 6 of the Code.
Sharing information with KFRS
It is important that RPs work with KFRS as well as other parties such as fire insurers and enforcing authorities.
In particular RPs should notify KFRS of any 'significant change' to the building operation including changes to fire safety issues such as compartmentation and external wall systems, firefighting installations and evacuation strategy. Please see Section 7 of the Code for further details.