The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) have signed a joint statement calling on the Government to require the installation of sprinklers in all new and converted residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, student accommodation, schools and care home buildings of 11m in height or above. They have also called for the retrofitting of sprinklers in buildings when relevant refurbishment takes place.
The joint statement comes ahead of a Westminster Hall Debate on fire safety and sprinkler systems on Tuesday 12 March.
“As leading chartered professional bodies in the built environment, we believe further action is required to improve the fire safety of buildings in the UK.
Lives, stock and property are saved by the use of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS), which includes sprinklers. At present, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland differ in their requirements on sprinklers yet the science of fire knows no political or geographical boundaries.
Harmonising building regulations across the nation states of the UK regarding the installation of sprinklers would provide clarity to the industry and help protect the public.
We support the installation of sprinklers in all new & converted residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, student accommodation, schools and care home buildings 11m or above in height, and retrofitting to existing buildings when refurbishment occurs as ‘consequential improvements’ where a building is subject to ‘material alterations’. We also support the installation of AFSS including sprinklers below this height on a case by case basis of risk.
Each of the professional bodies will bring forward guidance for our own professionals in line with this statement in the absence of government legislation.”