Welsh Government reform fire safety in high-rise buildings

Fire safety in high-rise residential buildings remains in the news. On the 21st May 2019, the Welsh Housing and Local Government Minister, Julie James, will consider new legislation to replace the current Fire Safety Order and a new building control process.

This is part of the Welsh government’s response to the Building Safety Expert Group’s Road Map, released in March 2019, for improving fire safety in high-rise residential buildings. The Group was established following Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent report in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

The Hackitt Report

The Hackitt report recommends that all buildings over 30 metres tall, whether residential or not, should be subject to a new regulatory system. However Welsh Government Minister Julie James states that the new regulations should should apply to buildings no more than 18 metres tall.

“We will also consider whether the new system could feasibly apply to other types of higher-risk buildings, such as those where vulnerable people sleep” said Julie James.

“We have a strong record of working to improve fire safety in people’s homes; we led the way in requiring sprinklers in all new and converted homes. Since responsibility for fire was devolved in 2005, the number of fires in dwellings has fallen further and faster in Wales than anywhere else in the UK.

“The Building Safety Expert Group recommendations take a pragmatic and considered response to resident safety. We are taking forward this work at pace and while a number of areas, including possible legislation, will require more in-depth analysis, I will make a definitive announcement on a proposal for buildings in scope in the autumn.

“I want to thank the group for their time and their careful consideration of a wide range of difficult issues. We will not compromise on effective delivery for the sake of ‘quick fixes’ that fail to produce a safer result for residents.

Our thoughts

If you’re considering the current fire safety measures at your premises, get in touch. We offer a range of online and face-to-face fire safety training courses & we can recommend Fire Safety Experts who can assist you with your documentation and needs assessment.

What do you think should be done to improve fire safety in high-rise buildings? Have you put in place additional fire precautions at your home and workplace since the Grenfell fire in June 2017?

Leave a comment below.

Chris Garland.
Founder and lead instructor at Chris Garland Training.
Chris Garland

Read more about fire safety in our fire safety blog series;

Welsh Government reform fire safety in high-rise buildings

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