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UK public sector embraces new £150m fire safety framework

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Fire safety experts join £150m UK public sector framework

More than 70 fire safety specialists have been selected for a new £150 million UK-wide public sector fire safety framework, aimed at enhancing safety standards across various organisations.

The Fire Safety (FS2) Framework, orchestrated by LHC Procurement Group, will involve 72 companies to provide comprehensive fire protection and safety services for housing associations, local authorities, and other public sector bodies.

The framework’s introduction is timely, aligning with the need for organisations to comply with the Building Safety Act 2022 and Associated Legislation 2023.

These regulations, reinforced by the Building Safety Regulator which became operational on 1 October 2023, set new standards for building safety and fire prevention, particularly in higher-risk buildings.

Enhanced fire safety services under new framework

Building upon its predecessor, the FS1 framework, the FS2 framework expands its services to include both passive and active fire prevention measures.

This includes enhanced capabilities for fire detection, alert systems, and suppression technologies to meet the stringent requirements set by the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and the Fire Safety Act 2021.

Clive Feeney, group managing director of LHC, highlighted the evolution of building and fire safety protocols over recent years: “The pace and scale of change around building and fire safety in the last two years has been unmatched for decades.

“FS2 arrives at a pivotal point for housing associations and local authorities looking for high-level expertise to navigate legal requirements following the introduction of the Building Safety Regulator in October 2023 and the new building control regime now in place, plus recent updates to fire safety regulations.”

Feeney further noted the collaborative efforts in developing FS2, which focused on tailoring the framework to meet specific public sector needs, significantly enhancing the availability of regional suppliers, particularly small and micro companies, which make up 76% of the appointed firms.

FS2: A boon for regional development and safety

FS2 is structured around eight workstreams across four main areas: consultancy and risk management, fire safety installations, fire safety servicing and maintenance, and cladding remediation.

The framework is not only a significant development for fire safety but also a boost to local economies, supporting community projects and creating regional employment opportunities.

With an allocation of £110 million for England, £15 million for Wales, and £25 million for Scotland, the framework is accessible via direct award and mini competitions through LHC’s business units across the country.

It aims to serve a diverse range of public sector entities, including housing associations, local authorities, hospitals, schools, leisure centres, museums, and universities.

For more information on the FS2 framework and its services, visit the LHC Procurement Group’s website.

IFSJ Comment

The establishment of the FS2 framework marks a significant step forward in the UK’s commitment to enhancing fire safety across the public sector.

This framework meets both the immediate legal requirements whilst preparing the ground for future safety enhancements.

By incorporating a broad spectrum of fire safety services and focusing on regional growth and community support, FS2 is poised to make a lasting impact on the public sector’s approach to fire safety and building management.

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