Consultation

The rise of the Secure Information Box

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In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the subsequent inquiry and Dame Judith Hackitt’s report, a significant transformation has taken place in the law surrounding building safety across the UK.

The introduction of the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (which became legislation in January 2023) marked a significant milestone, heralding a new era of heightened safety measures and responsibilities, particularly for high-rise and multi-occupied residential buildings.

These regulations, while stringent, are a proportionate response to the risks posed by fires in high-rise buildings. They extend beyond high-rise residential buildings, also imparting responsibilities on medium and low-rise buildings where necessary. In addition, the regulations introduced newly enforceable responsibilities for building owners or managers, referred to as “responsible persons,” under the Fire Safety Order.

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The responsibilities of responsible persons

The regulations state that:

For high-rise residential buildings (a multi-occupied residential building at least 18 metres in height or 7 or more storeys), responsible persons must:

  • Share electronically with their local fire and rescue service (FRS) information about the building’s external wall system and provide the FRS with electronic copies of floor plans and building plans for the building;
  • Install wayfinding signage in all high-rise buildings which is visible in low light conditions;
  • Establish a minimum of monthly checks on lifts which are for the use of firefighters in high-rise residential buildings and on essential pieces of firefighting equipment;
  • Inform the FRS if a lift used by firefighters or one of the pieces of firefighting equipment is out of order for longer than 24 hours and;
  • Keep hard copies of the building’s floor plans, in addition to a single page orientation plan of the building, and the name and UK contact details of the responsible person in a Secure Information Box (SIB) which is accessible by firefighters.
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So what is a Secure Information Box?

In emergencies, every second counts. Formerly known as Premises Information Boxes, which were non-mandatory, the role of the Secure Information Box (SIB) is to provide firefighters with everything they need to know to help them make decisions quickly – from floor plans and access routes to information about vulnerable residents, and materials used in the building’s construction.

Typically, an SIB should contain information* that could make the difference between a successful rescue operation and a catastrophe:

  • Log book
  • Orientation plan
  • On arrival information
  • Building materials
  • Floor plans
  • Firefighting locations plan
  • Residents’ information including disabled / vulnerable residents
  • Significant fire safety issues
  • Current evacuation strategy
  • Key contacts

The design of an SIB is crucial in that it must be strong enough to withstand attempts at tampering, ensuring that the sensitive personal data within remains protected. Plus each box must have its own unique key (the Fire Service will hold a master key for all such boxes).

The presence of a Secure Information Box (SIB) is no longer just recommended. Failure to comply carries severe consequences.

For responsible persons, this could now mean legal action, fines, or even imprisonment. And for new buildings, it translates to a potential delay in occupancy or development progress – and scenarios where residents are left without homes and developers without returns on their investments.

And let’s not forget, failure to comply has potentially fatal consequences too.

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Our commitment to design, build and service quality

At Safety Letterbox, we understand that an SIB is not just a box; it’s a guardian of data security and human safety. Our SIBs are built to the highest security standards, ensuring they remain accessible and intact even in the most challenging situations.

They weigh 21 kilos, made from 2mm and 4mm thick steel, with multi point locking. As with all our products, our SIBs are tested and certified to stringent security standards and are Secured by Design STS205 Resistance Class BR2, so they are fully tamper-and-vandal-proof.

In addition, we ensure that we follow strict protocols for delivery. All products are sent by recorded delivery to the responsible person, with a controlled and secure record keeping process for any issued keys, leaving a full audit trail.

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You can’t take risks when it comes to fire safety

If you’re serious about taking responsibility for the safety of your building and residents, or worried about the consequences of non-compliance, then talk to The Safety Letterbox Company. We’ll ensure your Secure Information Box solution is 100% compliant with regulations, and deliver a high quality, UK-manufactured, robust and reliable product, with equally dependable customer service.

* A full list of recommended SIB contents can be found within the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

SIB installed at Metalbox

Enquire about our Secure Information Box

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No-obligation consultation

We welcome the chance to discuss your project and we can share all that is current in terms of standards and product options totally free of charge.

Simply complete and submit the form and we will get back in touch to talk through your requirements.

We also provide Autocad drawings as required – it’s all part of the service!

safety letterbox mailbox Grid Icon

No-obligation consultation

We welcome the chance to discuss your project and we can share all that is current in terms of standards and product options totally free of charge.

Simply complete and submit the form and we will get back in touch to talk through your requirements.

We also provide Autocad drawings as required – it’s all part of the service!

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