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Fire chiefs warn developers to stop ignoring sprinkler advice

12 February 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Housing developers are “consistently” ignoring advice from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) on fitting sprinklers.

That’s according to a new report from the (LFB) which has revealed than an audit check of flats built or refurbished in 2016 found only two out of 15 fitted with sprinklers.

This was despite the fact that the LFB informs thousands of London developers that sprinklers are a “crucial recommendation” for their planned build, it said.

The LFB has urged the government change the law to stop developers ignoring its advice and ensure that sprinklers are a core part of fire safety measures. The call comes as the Government consults on building regulations in Approved document B that includes a crucial section on sprinklers and other fire suppression systems.

The LFB said it wants to see sprinklers fitted in:

It also called on 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.”

Comments

Let’s be realistic. If its not in the building code then it’s unlikely developers will act on a ‘crucial recommendation’.

Gary, 13 February 2019

Gary, yes that would be the 'show me where it says' approach.

Just as well there are very limited consequences (in the event of a fire with casualties) for people who make decisions like this, isn't it?

Charles, 13 February 2019

LFB fail to acknowledge the additional H&S risks to residents that fitting sprinklers will create. Very blinkered approach on their part.

Tania, 13 February 2019

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