The independent review, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of EEF, the Manufacturers’ Organisation, will look at the current regulations and fire safety with a focus on the regulatory system around design and construction as well as the on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety. It will also review compliance and enforcement issues and the experience of international regulation in this area.
The BSA has urged that the review contain a broad focus to ensure that resilience and property protection is part of the discussion. The full BSA response to the call for evidence can be downloaded here.
Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA, believes this long overdue review must also consider the wider impacts of fire by looking at the impact on businesses, productivity and the economy.
He said: “The BSA has long campaigned for more robust solutions to be explored within the regulations for the long-term protection of property as well as life safety. We urge that the review be in-depth and fully-comprehensive, allowing for the consideration of a building’s resilience and longevity. Fires damage and destroy businesses on a regular basis. Home Office figures show that there have been 22,800 fires in industrial and commercial premises in the past three years.”
He added: “We strongly believe that systems such as automatic fire sprinklers should be considered more readily as a viable option right across the built environment – not just in tall residential buildings, but in commercial and industrial buildings as well as hospital, schools, retail and leisure. Preserving our buildings and infrastructure is paramount and should be considered as an essential element of fire safety. Now is the time for our government to look at current regulations and recommendations with fresh eyes and provide not only additional protection for life, but also resilience for the built environment.”
The results of the review are expected to be published in a final report in spring 2018.