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Fire Brigade urges developers to stop ignoring advice on sprinklers | Construction Buzz #204

13 Feb 2019

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has said that housing developers are “consistently ignoring” its advice on fitting sprinklers.

According to a new report by the London Fire Brigade, an audit of purpose-built flats built or refurbished in 2016 discovered only two out of 15 blocks spot checked had sprinklers fitted. As a result of this, the LFB wants the law to change to stop developers “ignoring” its advice and ensure that sprinklers are a core part of fire safety measures. The call also comes as the government consults on building regulations in Approved document B that include a crucial section on sprinklers and other fire suppression systems.

LFB is calling for sprinklers to be fitted in:

  • All purpose built blocks of flats (or all blocks over six storeys at the very least)
  • All homes where vulnerable people live
  • All buildings housing vulnerable residents such as care homes or sheltered accommodation
  • As well as covering new builds, LFB wants the government to look urgently at new regulations to require sprinklers to be retrofitted in older residential blocks and any building housing vulnerable people

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “To ignore Brigade fire safety advice is reckless and the Government needs to act now to stop that happening. Developers should be required to include sprinklers in more buildings and especially in purpose-built residential blocks and homes of the vulnerable.

“Our spot check shows that the building industry cannot self regulate on sprinklers and so the government must step in. Although we are telling developers that sprinklers will save lives, in most cases we can’t force developers to fit them and it’s very difficult to follow up on whether our life-saving advice was incorporated into the build.

“Sprinklers are not a luxury, they save lives. For over ten years, we have lobbied for more buildings to have sprinklers it’s a simple way to save more lives.”

Source: PBC Today

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