§ Mr. Michael Morris
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if the review of policies concerning fixed glazing and fire safety which was announced in the Adjournment debate of 3 May has been completed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir George Young
The Government Departments concerned have completed a review of policies relating to fire safety and glazing in the light of reports into the circumstances of the three fatal house fires in Hayes, Brent and Nuneaton earlier this year. Little evidence has emerged from the review to suggest that the presence of either double glazing or other forms of fixed glazing has been a significant factor in causing or contributing to fatal casualties.
However, in certain circumstances occupants' safety could be at risk as a result of the installation of certain types of domestic glazing. We have concluded that the best way forward would be to give greater publicity to the potential hazard and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department proposes to do so after consultation with the trade and fire service interests.
My right hon. Friend and I welcome the initiative already taken by the Glass and Glazing Federation in recommending to its members and agents that means of escape considerations should be drawn to the attention of customers.
I have considered, in consultation with the Building Regulations Advisory Committee, measures to control window design or installation for means of escape. In the light of its advice, and the review generally, I do not propose to introduce building regulations for these purposes.