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  5. Approved Document B - Fire safety: Further Information

Approved Document B - Fire safety: Further Information

Changes coming into effect on 6 April 2013

The 2013 edition incorporating the 2010 and 2013 amendments of AD B Vol1 and Vol2 will apply to work in England and for excepted energy buildings in Wales as defined in the Welsh Ministers (Transfer of Functions) (No. 2) Order 2009, that is not already started on 6 April 2012 or subject to a building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted before 6 April 2013.

Current versions

On 18th December 2006, Communities and Local Government announced revisions to Part B (Fire safety) of the Building Regulations and the guidance in Approved Document B.

Approved Document B (Fire safety) – Volume 1: Dwellinghouses (2006 Edition incorporating 2010 amendments)
This link is to the latest AD B Volume 1 which incorporates the 2010 amendments as a result of the Building Regulations 2010.

Approved Document B (Fire safety) – Volume 2 - Buildings other than dwellinghouses (2006 Edition incorporating 2007 and further 2010 amendments)
This link is to the latest AD B Volume 2 which incorporates the 2007 and further 2010 amendments as a result of the Building Regulations 2010.

Note:  the changes listed in the Corrigenda document to Approved Document Part B (2006 edition) Volume1 and Volume 2 which was published in March 2010, have not yet been included in the Approved Document B Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Statutory Instrument: Building and Approved Inspectors (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2006 - 3318

The changes come into force on 6 April 2007 and will affect future building work in England and Wales, such as the erection, extension or material alteration of a building, and how fire safety is designed into a building. They also include amendments to the guidance on domestic loft conversions, the use of door-closing devices in dwellings and the provision of sprinklers in tall blocks of flats.

For non-domestic buildings, the key changes include the introduction of a maximum unsprinklered compartment size for single storey warehouses, new guidance on residential care homes (including on the use of sprinklers) and a new requirement to ensure occupiers are made aware of their building's fire protection measures so as to assist with the preparation of fire risk assessments under the new Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order regime. 

A number of changes are specifically designed to make the guidance more accessible and easier to use (such as splitting the guidance into Approved Document B – Volume 1: Dwellinghouses and Approved Document B – Volume 2: Buildings other than Dwellinghouses), to provide further clarity and guidance, to introduce further design freedoms and flexibilities and/or to provide better regulation.

A Departmental Circular setting out the legislative changes and the main changes in Approved Document B has been published, together with the final Regulatory Impact Assessment for the fire safety elements of the package and a number of associated research reports.  A press release on the changes is available from the Communities and Local Government website. 

The proposed changes to Part B and AD B were the subject of a 4-month public consultation in 2005.  The proposals were subsequently reconsidered in the light of the all responses and the further evidence received.  The consultation document and the summary of responses to it are available on the Communities and Local Government website.