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Government consultation on fire safety

Wednesday 11 September 2019

The UK Government has announced proposals for sprinklers to be installed in new high-rise blocks of flats by opening a consultation to seek views on the changes to fire safety regulations.

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick has updated the House of Commons on building safety in his recent announcement:

"I want to update the House this morning accordingly on actions that I intend to take immediately. Firstly, I am consulting on changes to fire safety regulations for new build blocks of flats. We will seek to commit to requiring sprinkler systems as standard in a wider range of new flats. I am minded to reduce the height at which those sprinklers are required down to 18 metres. I'm open to hearing evidence for other relevant thresholds and I will be led by the evidence wherever that takes us."

The sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats consultation outlines the Government’s intention to amend Approved Document B to reduce the trigger height at which sprinkler systems would be required in new high-rise blocks of flats and asks for views on the trigger height options.

It also seeks views on proposals to improve wayfinding signage within blocks of flats, and to install evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services.

The consultation closes on 29 November.

Commenting on the announcement of the consultation, Lord Porter, the LGA’s building safety spokesman said:

“Residents have a right to be safe and to feel safe in their homes and automatic fire suppression systems, which can include sprinklers, can offer that strong reassurance. We are pleased the Government has listened to the LGA and fire professionals and plans to lower the height at which sprinklers are required in new buildings.

“Those living in older blocks deserve the same level of protection and the Government also needs to commit to helping councils with the costs of retrofitting sprinklers in older tower blocks, as it has done in respect of remedial work for social housing blocks with flammable cladding.

“Providing councils with £4 million to carry out the vital task of identifying tower blocks with other forms of dangerous cladding is positive. The Government also needs to make sure it fully protects leaseholders living in private buildings from the potentially crippling cost of removing dangerous cladding from their homes.”

Propertymark consumer information

Propertymark aims to protect and guide consumers helping them get to grips with what’s expected regarding landlord safety responsibilities and we have outlined the main safety concerns and legal obligations in our guide:

Landlord Safety Responsibilities guide 

Other available guides include:

Propertymark member resources

ARLA Propertymark members have access to a range of fact sheets which break down requirements in legislation throughout the UK. In terms of safety, these include:

  • Legal Responsibilities for Gas Safety
  • Gas Regulations – Danger Do Not Use Notices
  • Fitting Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Installation of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Login to the members area to discover the fact sheets available as an exclusive member benefit.

Fact sheets