September 20, 2019
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Following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, the government launched an independent review of building regulations and fire safety leading in December 2018 to a call for evidence on the technical review of Approved Document B of the Building Regulations. While this review is ongoing the Government has identified certain issues that can be addressed more quickly.

Currently there is a requirement for sprinkler systems to be fitted to new blocks of flats more than 30m above ground level. Responses to the initial consultation and call for evidence suggest that there is a feeling that the current trigger height is too high and as such the Government has launched a consultation on reducing the trigger height.

A trigger height of 18m is suggested which would be in line with the ban on combustible materials in external walls and the proposed scope of the building safety regime.

The consultation is also seeking views on proposals to improve wayfinding signage within blocks of flats, and on installing evacuation alert systems for use by Fire and Rescue Services.

This consultation runs until 28th November 2019, you can find full details on the GOV.UK website at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/sprinklers-and-other-fire-safety-measures-in-new-high-rise-blocks-of-flats

Please note this consultation applies to England only, there are separate regimes for the rest of the UK.