Updates to Approved Document B: Fire Safety

Update to the guidance introduces a new height threshold for the provision of a second staircase in all new buildings over 18 metres.

The main update to the guidance calls for second staircases in all new tall residential buildings over 18 metres in England. This will come into force on 30 September 2026.

Existing tall buildings are also being considered as part of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry's recommendations. The Home Office is currently considering responses to their consultation on personal emergency evacuation plans, to which a response will be published in due course.

Lee Rowley, Minister for Housing, said:

The change in guidance to include two staircases for buildings over 18 metres provides clarity for developers and ensures both new and existing buildings provide safe and secure homes for all residents.

Following a public consultation, the government announced last year its intent to set a threshold height of 18 metres above which a second staircase should be provided in residential buildings – a change which reflects views of experts including the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC).

This was followed in October by confirmation of transitional arrangements which set the timeframe for the new regulations. 

Tags (Specialism/Topics)

Building Regulations Building safety Fire safety