HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 cc127-8WS
Mrs. Iris Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what building regulations relating to fire escapes apply to(a) dwellings and (b) offices with three or more floors in Northern Ireland; [132089]

(2) what requirements relating to fire escape equipment are placed upon property developers building multi-floored (a) dwellings and (b) offices in Northern Ireland. [132090]

Mr. Paul Murphy

The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 came into operation on 1 April 2001 and, with certain exemption, they apply to new buildings and existing buildings being altered or undergoing a material change of use, As such, they apply to dwellings and offices with three or more floors.

The regulations impose mandatory requirements and Part E of the regulations relates to fire safety. Regulation E2 (c) (Means of escape) requires that a building must be so designed and constructed that in the event of a fire there is adequate means of escape, which can be safely and effectively used at all material times.

In addition Regulation 5 of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations (NI) 2001 sets out the conditions to which employers must ensure emergency routes and exits in the workplace comply and the Fire Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1984 stipulates that District Councils should consult with the Fire Authority before approval is granted for certain planning applications.