Fire safety: Approved Document B March 2024 amendments

Approved Document B March 2024 Amendments COVER

These March 2024 changes to Approved Document B – the government’s building guidance covering fire safety – make clear that a second staircase is required in all new tall residential buildings over 18 metres and confirm the end date for the transition period to the new rules.

The document sets out amendments to guidance previously published in 'Approved Document B: Fire safety, Volume 1 – Dwellings' and 'Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellings, 2019 edition incorporating the 2020 and 2022 amendments'. The change in guidance to include two staircases for buildings over 18 metres aims to provide clarity for developers and ensure both new and existing buildings provide safe and secure homes for all residents.

The amendments confirm the end date of the transition period for the rules as 30 September 2026 and reveal that evacuation lifts will not be a requirement. The guidance specifies that interlocked stairs should be considered as a single escape route and “do not constitute an alternative means of escape”. Amongst other updates, it also now separates provisions for vertical escape and horizontal escape.