HC Deb 01 March 2004 vol 418 c765W
Mr. Dhanda

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to amend the building regulations in order to require the installation of ire sprinkler systems in new public leisure facilities. [156813]

Phil Hope

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is keen to improve fire safety by all reasonable means and sprinklers are part of a package of measures that can be used in buildings. Other measures include the installation of fire alarm and fire detection systems and the provision of compartmentation that restricts the spread of fire within buildings by means of sub-dividing it into compartments, separated from one another by walls and/or floors of fire resisting construction.

In the case of places of assembly, which would include public leisure facilities, the guidance document that supports the fire safety aspects of the Building Regulations, known as Approved Document B, already limits the size of fire compartments to a floor area no larger than 2,000 square metres in multi-storey buildings. These compartments can be increased to 4,000 square metres where sprinklers are provided.

However, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister recently commenced a review of the fire safety aspects of the Building Regulations and we will be considering the role that sprinklers can play in all buildings, including places of assembly, and deciding whether the current thresholds in the guidance should be amended or indeed new ones introduced.

Forward to