Sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats

29 November 2019

We’ve responded on behalf of the sector, welcoming the Government’s proposals to reduce the trigger height for sprinkler provision in new high-rise blocks of flats, among other fire safety measures.

About the proposals

In its consultation on sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats, the Government is proposing to: 

  • Reduce the trigger height at which sprinkler systems are required in new high-rise blocks of flats, from 30 metres to 18 metres. 
  • Improve wayfinding signage within blocks of flats. 
  • Install evaucation alert systems for use by the fire and rescue services. 

We also recently welcomed the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry Phase 1 Report, and we're currently working with our members to consider what the recommendations in the report could mean for housing associations.

A number of the recommendations in the report are closely linked to these consultation proposals, such as ensuring all floor numbers in high-rise buildings are clearly marked and visible. 

Our sector response

We've gathered feedback from our members and submitted a response on behalf of the sector. 

In our response we: 

  • Call for a risk-based approach to buildings that fall outside the scope of the proposals, which takes into account other factors besides height when assessing a building's risk. 
  • Identify areas where we believe the proposals need further consideration. For example, we're calling on the Government to consult with the sprinkler industry prior to finalising the transition period. This would help to mitigate the risk of cost and demand spikes that could render some building programmes unviable. 
  • Outline the challenges our sector could face in adopting these proposals, so that we can work with the Government to overcome there. 
  • Commit to engaging further with the Government and other partners to achieve effective future regulatory change.  

Although the scope of the consultation does not extend to existing buildings, we also highlight some views our members have shared about how these proposals could be applied to existing stock.