Fire safety workers sitting around a laptop at an outside table

A Focus on The Golden Thread of Information and Building Safety

The golden thread of information is big news in the fire safety industry as we continue to see regulation changes following the Grenfell tragedy, namely the Building Safety Act 2022.

Resulting from Dame Judith’s review, this act has seen extensive and far-reaching consequences, with many building owners and managers finding it difficult to keep up with the changes.

As passive fire protection experts, we’re following all the latest changes to help you stay compliant with all elements of the existing and upcoming Building Safety Act 2022 changes. With a focus on the golden thread of information, we’ll cover what it is, how it affects you and how our consultants can take the hassle out of your fire safety compliance.

First, let’s briefly touch on the changes from the Building Safety Act and “golden thread” work.

What is the Golden Thread of Information?

The Government and the Building Regulations Act Committee compiled a report which defines the golden thread as:

“… the information that allows you to understand a building and the steps needed to keep both the building and people safe, now and in the future”[1]

Effectively, all duty holders (e.g. clients and principal contractors) and Accountable Persons need an accurate and digital record of information as per their legal duty from the Building Safety Bill. This information must be presented in a prescribed format and it must be accessible to all necessary people in order to manage and minimise any risks to building safety. 

While the regulations apply to all elements of a building’s design and construction, key parts of the guidance relate specifically to fire safety at a structural level:

“Building safety should be taken to include the fire and structural safety of a building and the safety of all the people in or in the vicinity of a building (including emergency responders).”

Therefore, fire safety experts are more involved than ever in the construction industry. By getting fire protection right at a structural level, such as effective use of fire doors and compartmentation, the aim is to safeguard lives and prevent tragedies like Grenfell from happening again.

Person sitting at a laptop with a phone and padlock icon. Relating to info storage and cyber secutiry

What Information Do You Need to Store?

For an accurate golden thread, there are two main types of information you need to store, as outlined by HSE England:

During the build stage: describe the building and how it complies with the necessary regulations
When the building is occupied: details of how you’re assessing the building and managing any identified risks

As a building owner or manager, you’ll also need this digital record should you ever need to make an insurance claim.

The information stored about a building must be:

  • Stored digitally and securely
  • Readily available to people who need the information, either to do a job or otherwise
  • Presented in a usable way
  • Reviewed and managed on a regular basis

It sounds counterintuitive, but you don’t want to store too much information, as this can actually make it difficult to find what you need. We’ll cover the essential information you need to know about maintaining a golden thread for building safety and how we manage this in-house at Adaston as passive fire protection consultants.

Will The Building Safety Regulator Supply a Golden Thread Template?

No, they won’t. And for good reason.

Each building has totally bespoke needs, so a template won’t work. The regulator won’t hold the information either, so it’s down to the duty holders to store information in line with the guidance.

When asked about this, Colin Blatchford from the Building Safety Regulator was quoted as saying “No one-size-fits-all and there certainly won’t be any template for it.”[2]

An Adaston fire door surveyor shaking hands with a man in a white shirt

When to Work With a Golden Thread Consultant

As the Building Safety Act is coming into force gradually, meaning many people are unclear on what the Building Safety Regulator expects of them.

Therefore, if you’re planning any construction work, it’s a good idea to enrol help from a consultant experienced in golden thread work. With increasing responsibility and legal requirements to safeguard both people and property, an independent consultant ensures all work is fully compliant and takes the onus off you to provide the audit trail.

For buildings early in the construction phase, you’ll need your golden thread to be accurate and up-to-date to enable you to progress through key gateways and complete the life cycle of the premises.

An independent third-party consultant is able to track all work from start to finish. As experts in their field, they understand the complex legal elements and will hold contractors accountable, ultimately ensuring compliance. This brings huge benefits to those needing to pass through the relevant reporting gateways, along with safeguarding the lives of those occupying the building.

How Adaston Manages the Golden Thread of Information

If you choose to work with Adaston, you’ll receive weekly or monthly inspection reports including photographs and accurate recordings. This allows you to keep track of the ongoing work, safe in the knowledge that any issues will be resolved to a high standard. If any areas of non-compliance are found, it’s our duty as your consultant to ensure they’re recorded and remedial work is carried out before any work is signed off.

In line with the government guidelines, all our work is recorded on a digital tracker, giving you that essential golden thread of information you need to protect people and property. We’re proud to say we’re a third-party accredited contractor and our work is backed by the international standard for quality management, ISO9001.

To enquire about our consultancy services and how we can keep you compliant, contact us today using the form below or send us an email:

Written by

Nic Bohanna Linkedin

Nic is the Key Client Manager at Adaston with a degree from the prestigious Durham University. With a background in management in the service industry, he now ensures all our passive fire protection services run smoothly. When he’s not at work, you’ll find him pursuing his favourite activities of hill walking, a game of golf, or enjoying a nice cold pint.

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