This code of practice has been prepared jointly by the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) with the assistance from other organisations including the Fire Sector Federation and is intended to support new legislation and guidance proposed to be introduced by the Government in response to the recommendations in the Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. The report recommended that premises information boxes (PIBs) should be provided in all high-rise residential buildings. The report also recommended that the contents of PIBs should include various information that will be of value to firefighters during an emergency.
There were specific recommendations for owners and managers:
• to provide their local fire and rescue services with up-to-date plans in both paper and electronic form of every floor of the building identifying the location of key fire safety systems;
• to ensure that the building contains a premises information box, the contents of which must include a copy of the up-to-date floor plans and information about the nature of any lift intended for use by the fire and rescue services.
Whilst the main focus of this code of practice is to offer best practice guidance to meet the specific recommendations (as seen above) the FIA have also taken the opportunity, in the absence of any existing guidance or legislation, to consider the provision of up-to-date information to aid the emergency evacuation or rescue of people with mobility, cognitive or sensory impairment by the fire and rescue service. This guidance and an associated explanation for reaching the guidance outcomes can be found in the appendices of this code of practice. It is subject to review as the legislative and policy position emerges.
PIBs have existed in a variety of forms for many years. They have been used extensively at transport hubs, shopping centres, sports stadia, premises with fire engineered solutions, etc. Their purpose is to provide a secure, readily accessible storage facility for information for firefighters that, traditionally, included building plans showing facilities, such as control equipment for smoke control systems, service shut-off controls, etc. In this code of practice, the entire contents of a PIB are described as the Emergency Response Pack (ERP). The contents of the Emergency Response Pack, and the security of the PIB that contains it is produced for general needs blocks of flats and might be different from that applicable to other types of premises.