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The SEG, which has been developed by fire safety professionals, seeks to actively discourage the ongoing and prolonged use of a waking watch. The latest edition makes a number of updates and improvements to discourage buildings from having onsite staffing where this may not be needed.
This follows an extensive consultation, during which 500+ comments were received on the guidance and the accompanying Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA).
This fourth edition of the Guidance is the product of a review commissioned by the Government following the written statement by Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on proportionality in building safety. The review follows the withdrawal of the Government’s Consolidated Advice Note, and the publication of Publicly Available Specification 9980:2022 Assessing the external wall fire risk in multioccupied residential buildings (PAS 9980). It has also provided the opportunity to address feedback, concerns, and questions put forward by stakeholders, including leaseholders, in the time since the last review. Such changes can be seen in both the layout and content of this edition.
The key aims of the Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance are:
- Ensuring those with responsibility for buildings fully understand the decision-making process before deciding that a change in evacuation strategy is required.
- Clearer emphasis on resident engagement.
- An end to risk averse ‘one size fits all’ application of on-site staffing (waking watches or evacuation management) when this is disproportionate to the risk.