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Posted on 13/03/2019
UK consultation on building fire safety regulations

The UK Government has launched a public consultation, open to 1st March 2019, on “Document B” (1) of the building regulations. This consultation is a “call for evidence” to inform the review of UK building fire safety, as part of a wider review of fire safety, concerning high rise buildings (following the Hackitt report, see pinfa Newsletter n°92, and the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry) but also “any issues affecting fire safety in all types of building”. The consultation does not however concern specific buildings such as hospitals and schools. The UK Government has already announced a ban on the use of combustible materials in external walls of new residential buildings over 18 m high (see pinfa Newsletter n°95). The current online consultation proposes the following areas for consideration, but specifies that other questions can also be submitted: specific challenges of care homes and specialised housing, compartmentation, risk of fire spread between buildings (space separation), trigger building height thresholds for fire safety requirements, means of escape, sprinklers, fire service access, basements, new construction techniques, products and designs, construction industry implementation and quality control, smoke emissions and smoke toxicity. The consultation also raises the question of whether building regulations should target only life safety, or whether they should also address property protection from fire (economic loss).

UK Government public consultation “Technical review of Approved Document B of the building regulations: a call for evidence”, open to 1st March 2019 https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/technical-review-of-approved-document-b-of-the-building-regulations-a-call-for-evidence
(1) “Document B” provides statutory guidance on achieving compliance to paragraphs B1 – B5 of Schedule 1 of the UK Building Regulations 2010.
(2) the UK Government has announced a separate review of Building Bulletin 100 – Design for Fire Safety in Schools BB100, for early 2019.

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