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Organisations call on Government to require sprinklers in homes to save lives

Organisations call on Government to require sprinklers in homes to save lives

12 March 2019

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.

It reads:

“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.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

  1. For more information about how the RIBA has responded to the Grenfell Tower fire and further fire safety issues, https://www.architecture.com/firesafety
  2. For more information about how RICS has responded to Grenfell Tower and further fire safety issues, https://www.rics.org/uk/news-insight/latest-news/fire-safety/
  3. For more information about how CIOB has responded to Grenfell Tower and is working to support better quality in the built environment: https://www.ciob.org/campaigns/construction-quality-commission
  4. For further press information contact Elise Neve elise.neve@riba.org +44 (0)20 7307 3761 (RIBA), kbailey@rics.org / 0797 036 8996 and abooth@rics.org / 07870 905 180 (RICS) Elaine Cooper ecooper@ciob.org.uk / 07741 878419 and Dave Barnes dbarnes@ciob.org.uk / 01344 630 881 (CIOB)
  5. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. www.architecture.com. Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates www.twitter.com/RIBA
  6. RICS promotes and enforces the highest professional qualifications and standards in the valuation, development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Our name promises the consistent delivery of standards - bringing confidence to markets and effecting positive change in the built and natural environments.
  7. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) is the world's largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership. The CIOB holds a Royal Charter to promote the science and practice of building and construction for the benefit of society, and has been doing that since 1834.

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