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Secure Information Box - Legal Requirements

Fire & Security

What Is Changing from January 2023?

As of the 23rd of January 2023, it will be a legal requirement for existing high-rise residential buildings, over 18 meters to have a secure information box installed on the premises.

The new regulation will require, by law, a responsible person to install an approved secure information box inside or outside the high-rise building. The following information will also be required to be 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

Your local fire and rescue service should be granted access and the boxes. They should be maintained, and their contents kept up to date in line with the duties imposed by the regulations and the Fire Safety Order.

Why Is It Changing?

During a fire, secure information boxes are easily identifiable repositories for documents by the fire and rescue service.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report highlighted that the lack of on-site information available to the London Fire Brigade could have made their response even harder if the layout of the building had been more complex. The Inquiry meant that now all owners and managing agents of all high-rise residential buildings are required by law to ensure that the building contains a secure information box.

Where Should They Be?

The regulations state that the box needs to be fit for the purpose that is intended and should be reasonably secure from vandalism and unauthorised access. The information held in the boxes should only be documents that are of use and interest to the fire and rescue service. Access should be provided to the fire and rescue service!

Chapters 2-4 of “The Code of Practice for the Provision of Premises Information Boxes in Residential Buildings” created jointly by the FIA and the NFCC sets out good practices on secure locations where you should install information boxes:

The regulations do not require a responsible person to include in the box any personal or sensitive information about residents.

Under the Fire Safety Order responsible persons already have a duty to maintain in an efficient state and in efficient working order and in good repair any facilities, equipment or devices used by fire-fighters.

As a minimum, the regulations require a responsible person to inspect the secure information box annually and ensure that its contents are up to date.

Get in touch, to find out more!