Regulation 38 Audits
Under Regulation 38 of the Building Regulations for England and Wales a package of fire safety information must be provided to the Responsible Person at the completion of a project or when the building or extension is first occupied. The ‘as built’ information should include all fire safety design measures in appropriate detail and accuracy to assist the Responsible Person in operating and maintaining the building safely.
The Principal Contractor is responsible for providing the information to the appointed representative on time. Typical recipients are likely to be the client’s surveyor or architect, fire engineer, CDM Co-ordinator or building project manager responsible for the sign-off of the building, who should verify that everything is correct and complete before handing over to the Responsible Person.
The Responsible Person, in turn, should provide this information to the building’s Fire Risk Assessor in an easily accessible format in order to satisfy the requirements of the Fire Safety Order.
Dame Judith Hackitt in her recent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety (called ‘Building a Safer Future’) has identified that Regulation 38 has not been adhered to in the past and Regulation 38 audits are provided to ensure that a ‘Golden Thread’ of information is provided in the detail and format required in order to facilitate the structural fire components of a building being adequately managed and maintained thereafter.
Using fire doors as an example of the level and detail to be provided – a fire door assembly is made up of components required to make it perform correctly, including door leaf, frame, seals and essential building hardware as detailed in the door’s specification, so this information is essential to ensure that future inspections, maintenance and repairs maintain fire door compliance. An audit of what is supplied would ensure that precise information on each fire resisting door is recorded and provided in an electronic format that can be used for subsequent inspections for the life of the door.