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High Rise Flats: Fire Extinguishers

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the building regulations requirement that new buildings over 11 meters are fitted with sprinklers, if his Department will make an assessment of the merits of ensuring existing buildings over 11 metres are fitted with sprinklers.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

We plan to publish in May an update to Approved Document B that will include a provision for sprinkler systems and new high-rise blocks of flats over 11 metres tall.

The Government has been clear, building owners are responsible for making sure that any existing residential building has the appropriate fire safety in place, including the retrofit of sprinklers where necessary. Sprinklers are only one of the fire safety measures which can be provided in an overall fire safety package and an appropriate level of fire safety can be achieved without the need to retrofit sprinklers. Building owners should take advice from competent professionals and decide whether or not to retrofit sprinklers.

For buildings in scope of the new building safety regime, the Accountable Person will be required to demonstrate how they are managing fire and structural risks on an ongoing basis.

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