Reality Check: Why don’t all high-rises have sprinklers?
A sprinkler system is one of the most effective tools available to prevent the spread of fire in tall buildings. Grenfell Tower and thousands of others in the UK do not have sprinklers installed. Reality Check explores the reasons.Regulations in England mean that only buildings constructed since 2007 and which are taller than 30m are required to have sprinklers fitted. This requirement wasn’t applied retroactively so did not apply to Grenfell Tower, which was built in 1974.Existing high-rises in England must have them fitted if a fundamental change is made to the structure or use of the building.These regulations are the same in Northern Ireland. In Scotland all new residential buildings taller than 18m must be fitted with sprinklers. In Wales since last year, all new and refurbished residential accommodation must have sprinklers. Nowhere in the UK is it a requirement to retroactively fit sprinklers in existing buildings.