Views sought on amending Building Regulations

Date published: 05 July 2023

The Department of Finance has launched a consultation on amending Building Regulations in relation to fire safety measures in a range of building types, predominantly residential buildings.

The consultation is seeking views on amending Part E (Fire safety) and supporting guidance in Technical Booklet E (Fire safety). This includes implementing a number of recommendations from the Phase 1 report to the Public Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy. These changes will improve life safety measures for residents and fire and rescue service personnel during a response. 

The consultation is seeking feedback on the introduction of two new regulations. The first will require the provision of fire safety information at the completion of the construction stage and handover of the building prior to occupation. This information should assist those in carrying out their fire safety responsibilities in the post construction phase. The second regulation would require the installation of automatic fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers in certain types of residential buildings. Sprinklers can provide multiple benefits in terms of personal protection of individuals, limiting fire spread, protection for property and fittings and protecting means of escape.

The consultation also seeks views on extending the coverage of automatic fire detection and alarm in all new dwellings to include installation of a smoke alarm in all habitable rooms. Clarification is also proposed on the minimum fire detection and alarm system required when a dwelling is subject to extension and/or alteration work. There is also new guidance in relation to smoke ventilation in the common escape routes of buildings containing flats and a series of measures to assist the Fire and Rescue Service during any response to a fire. 

The consultation runs until 25 September 2023. Further details can be found at on the Department of Finance webiste - Consulation Fire Safety Changes to Local Building Regulations. 

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