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Compliance Services

Compliance services

Knowing what legislation you might need to comply with is often a challenge in itself.  Let alone meeting the requirements of that legislation.  Especially as the landscape of UK legislation is continually changing and being updated with new requirements.  Our team and organisation is designed to help guide our clients through these headaches and provide peace of mind that you are legally under control, so you can focus fully and clearly on your core business.

Managing fire safety and compliance with the maze of industry regulations is a real
challenge for all sectors. Equally managing risk registers and investment to address risk to
optimal effect is a rare ability. Our governance process is taken from industry best practice
across a range of sectors and then tailored to create a bespoke approach for your specific

Do you know that all life safety systems are operational in your buildings? Are you able to
demonstrate that to the appropriate authorities and god forbid a court? Often, we see
incomplete asset base information, which immediately means “No” to both of these
questions. A comprehensive life safety audit of your key asset base provides and
assessment of what is required to meet industry regulation and best practice is thus
essential to all building owners and operators. It also feeds directly into Safety Case
Assessment of buildings and the Golden Thread of Information that is required for safe
building management.

Most small premises can be fire risk assessed by the owner, occupier or a staff members.
UK Government guidance on this is provided at
You may well be able to meet this obligation yourself. But if you don’t feel confident in
following this guidance or the premises are more complicated, then please contact us.

Keeping a fire contained within a purpose built fire rated room, rooms or space is a foundational strategy for almost all buildings.  it restricts the size of the fire, restricts the flow of oxygen and thus minimises heat & smoke.  Providing:

  • More time for escape, usually by protecting escape routes
  • Smaller more manageable fires for fire and rescue to tackle
  • Smaller fires for sprinkler or gas suppression systems
  • Opportunity for the fire to burn out without further fire spread
  • Less property damage, easier and cheaper to repair
  • Containment of a key hazard away from occupants, such as a gas boiler or plant room.
  • Minimise structural damage to buildings
  • Support for a range of evacuation strategies
    • Stay put in many residential applications, key life safety control rooms, operating theatres, etc.
    • Progressive Horizontal Evacuation (PHE). Used in many large buildings, where full evacuation is impractical.  Also where occupants are vulnerable or infirm, such as care homes or hospitals.
    • Staged vertical evacuation. Where combinations of floors are evacuated as separate time based on fire risk.  Typically fire floor first, then floors above and finally floors below.


Fire doors are often highlighted as a compartment risk in many fire risk assessments.  Simply as they are visible to the assessor, are easy to understand their role in containing a fire and are frequently highlighted in the news.  But a fire doors benefit can be defeated completely by holes or service routes through the compartments around them. 


As a minimum, to effectively manage compartmentation, a building owner or occupier needs to understand:

  1. where the compartment lines need to be
  2. What fire rating is required
  3. How services penetrate the compartment & how these are protected
  4. How openings are managed (fire doors, windows, hatches, etc.)
  5. The vertical shafts rising through the building (stairs, service risers, lifts, etc.)
  6. How the Fire Alarm system should control the compartment, if fitted.


This often comes back to understanding the fire strategy of the building or at least the facility within the building. 


Our approach to fire compartmentation begins with the fire strategy, once understood we document the appropriate compartmentation lines in line with regulation and guidance at the time of build, refit and how to work towards current guidance.  This then enables the owner occupier to focus on what matters to ensure the compartment is effective.


Your fire alarm and detection system is an essential part of managing fire risk within most buildings.  Cause and effect is what is supposed to happen (effect) when the fire alarm system detects a fire (cause). 


In all buildings with any form of fire alarm and detection system it is how much of the building fire strategy is implemented to protect life or property. 


You may not be aware of it, but that pesky smoke alarm going off because the toast got burnt again is pre-programmed with a simple fire strategy to alert you to get out quickly and thus protect your life, call the fire brigade and hopefully prevent you home being burnt out. 


In even a simple commercial building, the effects can be far more complex.  Including such things as:

  • Raising alarm or pre-alarm in other parts of the building
  • Activating voice alarm systems
  • Activating powered fire alarm signage
  • Closing fire compartments
    • automatic fire doors
    • Powering closed smoke & fire dampers
    • Dropping fire & smoke curtains or shutters
  • Taking lifts out of normal service
  • Activating PEEP devices (PEEP – Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan, used for evacuation of persons with disabilities or challenges)
  • Releasing security systems to enable evacuation
  • Opening stairway smoke ventilation
  • Activating smoke extraction
  • Pressurising parts of buildings to protect them from smoke ingress
  • Turning off ventilation systems to minimise oxygen to a fire
  • Activating fire suppression systems
  • Pre-charging dry sprinkler systems
  • Activating tunnel smoke controls
  • Automatic shutdown of high hazard processes or systems
  • Triggering IT switching to key service backup hubs
  • Notification of fire to central control points or rooms
  • Prompting timely fire investigation
  • Automatically calling the fire brigade


Ultimately the question is “Does your building behave as it needs to, in order to achieve the fire strategy?”. 


Our approach to cause and effect begins with understanding how the fire strategy requires the building and its systems to operate in a fire condition.  We then test the system with your incumbent licensed fire alarm and detection contractor to understand if it is operating as intended.  Which provides a simple GAP analysis to correct any issues.  The outcome is aimed at answering the question above, enabling you to focus back on your core business. 

Oh no another acronym.  ME&P stands for Mechanical, Electrical and Public health.  It is an abbreviation typically used in the design of internal services in buildings.  This covers a wide range of building systems, including:

  • Electrical panels
  • Cable sizing
  • Electrical load assessment
  • Chilling systems (water & air cooled)
  • Boiler systems
  • District heating and cooling mains
  • HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning)
  • Pumping systems

Our team contains professionals who have developed from this field into fire engineering and risk management.  As such we have an excellent pool of knowledge and competence to integrate these systems with fire risk.  Also to understand specialised hazards presented by technical processes or systems.  Including:

  • Energy centres & boiler houses
  • CHP (Combined Heating & Power)
  • FEGP (Fixed Electrical Ground Power)
  • Medical devices (CT scanners, Linac Bunkers,
  • Gas storage systems
  • Generator & backup systems
  • HV Sub station
  • Fuel farms
  • Plant rooms
  • Hot smoke extraction
  • Building pressurisation systems
  • Infection control systems
  • Laboratories

As such we can support design teams in assessing fire risk around technical ME&P systems. 

The Building Regulations in the UK is based on the Building Act 1984.  This act was enhanced by the Building Regulations 2010.  These regulations set out the required standards for building work.  Guidance on a legally accepted way to achieve this is set in a series of 15 approved technical documents.  Approved document B covers Fire Safety and is split into Volume 1 – Dwellings and Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellings.  Both volumes break fire safety down into legal requirements.  These are:

  • B1: Means of warning and escape
  • B2 Internal fire spread (linings)
  • B3: Internal fire spread (structure)
  • B4: External fire spread
  • B5: Access and facilities for the fire service

These documents also cover guidance on:

  • Regulation 6(3) & 7(2): relates to flammability classification of external materials
  • Regulation 38: Fire Safety Information

The current version of approved document B is available at

Recently this legislation has been supplemented further by the Building Safety Act 2022, which received royal asset in June 22 and is in the latter stages of implementation at the time of writing (June 2023).  This act focuses on four key areas:

  • Part 2: The Regulator and its general functions
  • Part 3: Building control
  • Part 4: Higher risk buildings
  • Part 5: Other provisions about safety, standards, etc

Part 1 is an introduction and part 6 is a general section covering a range of issues.  This act is available at

The Building Safety Act 2022 is one package of regulation and industry reform to the 2017 Grenfell tower disaster and the findings from its inquiry to date.  The current inquiry status is available at  

The Building Safety Act 2022 identifies three gateways for high-rise residential buildings  that require specific documentation, design or confirmations before construction can proceed.  The act also defines proceeding without approval from the appropriate regulating body is in some cases an offence.  The gateways and their relevant legislation are:

  • Gateway 1 – Planning – Town and Country Planning Act 1990
  • Gateway 2 – Design – Building Safety Act 2022
  • Gateway 3 – Use – Building Safety Act 2022

Our interpretation of this is overlaid on the RIBA Plan of work below.

The RIBA Architecture plan of work 2020 is an industry recognised approach to design, construction, commissioning, handover and use of buildings.  it is available from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) website on

At each of the gateways above there are specific fire safety deliverables.  These include:

  1. Gateway 1 – A Fire statement used to consider fire safety matters in relation to land use and planning matters. See
  2. Gateway 2 – Inclusion of fire aspects in the detail design formally submitted to the building control approval body. This typically requires a fire strategy to be developed and coordinated with the architectural and building services design. 
  3. Gateway 3 – Verification that what has been built meets the fire strategy and the detail design approved at Gateway 2. It also requires sufficient information is provided to fully populated the golden thread of information required for the building operator to safely manage structural integrity, fire safety and H&S in the building. 

As gateways 2 & 3 are not currently in force, we are actively working with building control professionals and newly appointed Building Safety Regulator on satisfying the requirements of these gateways.  WE anticipate that significant secondary legislation and guidance documents will be published as the Building Safety Act is adapted into full use.

Due to the Building Safety Act, enforcement of building regulations is being moved under a new role within the HSE (Health & Safety Executive).  This role is titled the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) and is currently being organised within the HSE.  All building control professionals and authorities will be governed under the BSR.  As such, all enforcement will be enforced by the BSR on behalf of the HSE.  

AcuFireUK provide support to project teams in developing designs at all stages of the RIBA plan of work.  This includes gateways 1 & current best practice for gateway 2.  We are actively developing our approach to Gateway 3 in line with available best practice and through development of information for the Golden thread of information.  We are working with Risk warden in this field, their website is available at

And another industry acronym.  The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) 2005 is the primary legislation applying to fire safety in operational buildings.  Also known as the Fire Safety Order (FSO).  It applies to all buildings in England and Wales, including all workplaces and the common parts of buildings containing two or more domestic premises. 

If places legal duties on anyone in control of the premises.  This person is known as the Responsible Person (usually the owner or landlord) and requires them to undertake risk assessments, maintain general fire precautions and so far as reasonably practicable ensure the safety of any employees and others to ensure the premises are safe.  The act is available at

In 2021 this was supplemented by the Fire Safety Act 2021.  Which clarified that external walls, flat entrance doors and structure of buildings are covered by the FSO and must be accounted for in fire risk assessments.  Information on the FSA:2021 is available at

Recently this legislation has been supplemented further by the Building Safety Act 2022 where it applies to existing buildings.  This act received royal asset in June 22 and is in the latter stages of implementation at the time of writing (June 2023).  This act is available at

The Building Safety Act 2022 is one package of regulation and industry reform to the 2017 Grenfell tower disaster and the findings from its inquiry to date.  The current inquiry status is available at 

The BSA requires that a safety case be carried out on existing buildings to enable a more comprehensive assessment of risk and fire precautions.  Thus enabling the responsible person to undertake appropriate works to manage the safety of employees and others as far as reasonably practicable.

AcufireUK provide services in support of the RRFSO:2005 and the other legislation described above.  Under the RRFSO we support safety cases, fire risk assessment, assessing mitigations for “so far as reasonably practicable”, undertake As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) assessments and work with clients to ensure they are meeting their obligations under this act. 

The fire safety Act 2021 supplements the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005. It clarifies that external walls, flat entrance doors and structure of buildings are covered by the RRFSO:2005 and must be accounted for in fire risk assessments.  Information on the FSA:2021 is available at

This clarifies the specific duties the responsible person for fire under the RRFSO:2005 has, especially in relation to high rise residential buildings.

The fire safety act 2021 act is one of several acts passed as a result of the Grenfell fire and its inquiry. 

The building safety act is a very far reaching change in UK legislation. It is aimed at creating major reform in the industry to raise standards of fire, structural and H&S across all building stock.  This is being done through reform within the regulating bodies.  There are 6 parts to this act, which are broadly defined as:

  • Part 1: Introduction
  • Part 2: The Regulator and its general functions
  • Part 3: Building control
  • Part 4: Higher risk buildings
  • Part 5: Other provisions about safety, standards, etc
  • Part 6 Miscellaneous

Part 2 is aimed at the creation of a new regulating body under the HSE.  This office is called the Building Safety Regulator and have jurisdiction to bring enforcement actions on designers, construction companies and operators where breaches of building regulations or other related acts have occurred. 

Part 3 outlines reform of the Building control bodies across the UK.  Building regulations were administered through local authorities and through a system of licensed inspectors called approved inspectors.  In October 2023 this system will move under the jurisdiction of the HSE via the Building Safety Regulator.  All building control personnel are being centralised into this structure and previous licensed approved inspectors are required to re-apply.

Part 4 relates to higher risk buildings.  Higher risk buildings are defined as buildings which are at least 18m in height, or have at least 7 storeys, and have at least two residential units.  This part applies to both existing and new buildings.  There is draft additional secondary legislation that clarifies further the definition of Higher Risk buildings.  This is currently going through parliament review.  It is available here at  Existing higher-risk buildings are required to undertake a safety case assessment to establish all the information a building operator and / or Responsible Person need to manage the risk of fire spread and the structural safety of the building.

Part 5 covers a range of issues but includes tighter controls over materials used in construction and further ability for the building safety regulator to regulate construction materials and their manufacturers. 

The building safety act 2022 received royal asset in June 22 and is in the latter stages of implementation at the time of writing (June 2023).  It is available at


The Building Safety Act 2022 is one package of regulation and industry reform to the 2017 Grenfell tower disaster and the findings from its inquiry to date.  The current inquiry status is available at 

A building safety case is a document that contains the information an owner, operator and / or responsible person needs to manage the risk of fire spread and structural safety in higher-risk buildings.  Higher risk buildings are defined in the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA:2022) as buildings which are at least 18m in height, or have at least 7 storeys, and have at least two residential units.  This part applies to both existing and new buildings.  The HSE have information on safety cases available at

Broadly safety case information will comprise:

  1. Building information
  2. Identification of building safety risks
  3. Risk prevention & protection information
  4. Safety management systems

This is then compiled into a safety case report for the ongoing management of high rise residential buildings.  The responsible person for occupied High-rise residential buildings are required to take “all reasonable steps” to prevent building safety incidents and to reduce the severity of any incidents if they occur.  Taken from These actions are anticipated to be unique to each building depending on its circumstances and its occupants.  Thus this legislation overlaps significantly with the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 (RRFSO:2005), which governs fire safety in all buildings once constructed.

Safety management systems refer to a formal framework that is designed to manage building safety risks in relation to the spread of fire and / or structural failure.  Guidance on broadly groups this into a Plan Do check Act recurring cycle governed and overseen by the leadership team and senior managers of the organisation.  This process is driven primarily by risk assessment by competent professionals.  There are multiple safety management systems available.  Those identified on the HSE website include:

Historically safety cases have been used to assess major building risks within buildings and make recommendations to manage risk so far as reasonably practicably.  This often then leads onto business case development and capital allocation to implement major risk mitigation actions.  For example such risk mitigation actions could include installing a fire alarm and detection system in common user areas, replacing cladding, controlling BBQ fires on balconies, upgrade of lifts for use in evacuation or firefighting, upgrading fire compartmentation, etc. 

One of the major findings of the Grenfell inquiry was the loss of key fire safety information during that building’s operational life.  The maintenance of this information, ongoing maintenance of its systems and the need to support a well-functioning safety management system has resulted in the golden thread of safety information.  The intent of the golden thread is to provide building operators with appropriate information as the buildings is operated throughout its lifecycle.  (Add in link to the golden thread of information section).  As safety cases identify the key information required to manage fire spread and structural safety in higher risk buildings, that information must be held in appropriate format and digital system to provide that information through the buildings lifecycle. 

AcuFireUK Limited support clients in the development of safety case information for buildings across our sector experience.  (add link to our sectors).  We also work closely with Risk Warden ( ) to provide what we consider to be the brand leading golden thread and ongoing compliance tool for buildings. 

As with many other aspects of Building safety information, the original fire strategy for the building is often lost over time.  Many existing buildings do not have a clear understanding of how the building support safe evacuation and what systems must work together to achieve it.  As a result ongoing maintenance requirements of key building system are not understood or prioritised.  Which can lead to buildings not meeting the functional requirements for life safety.  Examples of issues that can occur include:

  • Compartment integrity is lost from works done over the years. Leading to fire spread putting far more people at risk
  • Fire alarm links to key life safety systems can be cut. Leaving the building unable to release fire doors or take lifts out of service for example.
  • Ventilation system might remain on, feeding oxygen to the fire and accelerating its growth
  • Dry risers lose integrity and fail when put under pressure. Removing potentially lifesaving water to fight a fire.
  • Smoke extraction systems might fail to operate. Leaving occupants inadequate time to escape
  • Sprinkler systems might fail to operate, allowing fire growth outside what fire and re3scue can safely handle
  • Fire could spread from floor to floor up a building. Or alternatively to other buildings or nearby materials
  • Gas supply may continue to supply, adding fuel.
  • Gas storage systems might become unstable
  • Refuge or lift communications might fail, leaving occupants trapped with no ability to summon rescue.

Fire strategies can be established by working back from installed systems, guidance at the time of design, architectural layouts of the building, reverse engineering of fire control systems, etc.  This provides building owners with both key information to meet their obligations under the building safety case (include link to building safety cases) and the golden thread of information (include link to golden thread). 

Typically compiling a retrospective fire strategy also identifies elements of the first three parts of a building safety case, namely:

  1. Building information
  2. Identification of building safety risks
  3. Risk prevention & protection information

This supports building owners and operators in prioritising key fire safety actions and mitigations that should be implemented.  In effect creating a clear business case for capital investment on risk reduction measures. 

AcuFireUK conduct retrospective fire strategy works across the sectors we operate in (add link to sectors). 

The golden thread of information is defined as:

‘The golden thread is both the information that allows you to understand a building and the steps needed to keep both the building and people safe, now and in the future’, source The Building Regulations Advisory Committee: golden thread report, available at

This concept has been introduced as part of the Building Safety Act 2022, which puts a legal duty on duty holders and accountable persons for higher-risk buildings to create, obtain, store and share documents in a prescribed format (clause 88).  This information must be readily available to the Building Safety Regulator (clause 89).  It must also be provided to newly appointed accountable person(s), (clause 90). 

Secondary legislation is expected to support and further clarity the BSA 2022.  Following this further guidance is anticipated to support this principle.  However a British Standard is already available which supports the golden thread of information.  This is BS8644-1 Digital management of fire safety information for design, construction, handover and emergency response – Code of practice.  Available from

As with a building safety case, the key information required to understand and keep the building and people safe will vary from building to building and use to use.  We believe that the best way to approach this subject for an existing building is to assess available information.  If no fire strategy is available or is inadequate to safely manage the building, then develop retrospective fire strategy.  This leads well into a building safety case if the building is higher-risk.  Key building information is thus identified and can be populated into an appropriate digital system.  

At AcuFireUK Limited we work with Risk Warden (add in link, which we consider to be a brand leading digital system for both golden thread and ongoing management of building compliance, including fire risk assessment, asset management, maintenance, governance, etc.

Risk warden is a commercially available cloud-based property risk and compliance management software platform.  Which supports governance, data capture, key safety information and compliance analysis.  It is positioned a s a single source of truth for managing building safety.  There website is on this link,

At AcuFireUK Limited we work actively with Risk Warden which we consider to be a brand leading digital system for both golden thread and ongoing management of building compliance, including fire risk assessment, asset management, maintenance, training, etc.

How can we support you?

At Acufire we provide a professional and reliable service. You can contact us via telephone, or email, whenever you have any questions or require any support. 

Our services include:

Why Choose us for Compliance Services?

At Acufire, our services are fully tailored to the needs of our clients. Our team has comprehensive knowledge of current building compliance, freeing time for you to concentrate on growing your business. We’ll spend time to properly understand the needs of your business so that we can best serve you.


Fire Safety Orders are applicable to employers, business owners, landlords, and all occupants of business premises. If you run a small business, then you do have to follow all current fire safety regulations. You are responsible for the fire safety of yourself, your employees, and your premises, as well as any other persons on them.

Emergency lighting needs to be checked and tested every month to assess its functionality, and the results must be recorded. It should also be checked yearly by a trained individual. Acufire test emergency lighting, check emergency routes, smoke ventilation systems, fire extinguishers and electrical supplies.

Fire risk assessments are mandatory to protect yourself, your employees, and/or business from the potential effects of a fire. There is no stated frequency at which these assessments must be made, but the law stipulates that they must be made ‘regularly’. We recommend best practice is an annual review, with a new Fire Risk Assessment every 3 years.

DEC’s are mandatory for all businesses and an energy assessor such as Acufire can help you obtain certification for your building. We will assess the total energy consumption and provide all certification.

Acufire boasts of a wide range of compliance services to help you and your business. Our services include:

Keeping statutory records up to date – Our highly experienced team of professionals will help your business ensure sure that all statutory paperwork and related records are kept updated.

Assessment of compliance to statutory instruments – The evaluation of your current building systems to ensure that you are compliant with legally critical to life safety or business legislation

Fire cause and effect verification – Ensuring your building or facility fire alarm operates to cause the required building effects, in line with your buildings fire strategy

Energy compliance – Ensuring the necessary inspections and advice is given to the business owner to meet the government’s business energy legislation

ISO 50001 Audits – auditing and or preparation for audit of those seeking or retaining ISO50001 accreditation

Compliance asset surveying – Identification of building assets that require statutory maintenance or inspection

Preparation of building log books or compliance folders – compiling all legal information into a compliant log book for proving compliance and ongoing maintenance

Developing or Supporting statutory governance – Creating proven business governance processes for all key statutory obligations. To ensure key legal, health and safety and compliance risks and obligations are managed effectively. In addition to the services listed above, we can also offer chartered engineering consultancy that can help with your internal processes or governance. Our services enable you to focus on your core business needs, whilst we take some of the admin off of your hands.

Business opportunities – We can help you to achieve your business goals by creating opportunities as a result of regulatory changes.

Risk mitigation – We can help reduce the effects of risks faced by your organisation, whilst reducing potential regulatory action and financial penalties.

Cost efficient – With our compliance services, we provide high value for money, reducing costs and the disruption that would be faced in the event of a fire incident.

Peace of mind – Through the use of our compliance services, you are free to focus on the core of your business. We provide unbiased and independent evaluation and bench-marking of all regulatory guidelines.

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