Published September 10, 2019
The Royal Institute of British Architects insist fire sprinklers should be fitted to all residential buildings regardless of size or age.
The chair of the RIBA‘s advisory on fire safety claims the recent fire at at Worcester Park proves the Government regulations imposed in the aftermath of Grenfell don’t go far enough.
Group chair Jane Duncan claims new regulations including the mandatory fitting of sprinklers and the banning of timber materials should now be introduced to cover smaller developers such as the Hamptons.
Jane Duncan said: “It is very sad to see another terrible fire occur.
“I am relieved to hear there has been no loss of life, but the loss of all personal possessions is awful for those involved and my thoughts are with them.
“While we have welcomed the government’s ban on combustible materials for residential buildings over 18m, this four storey building fire demonstrates that the application of this regulation may need to be extended.
“The RIBA has consistently argued for sprinklers to be a requirement in all new and converted residential buildings, and to be retrofitted in existing residential buildings above 18m when they are being refurbished.
“This fire demonstrates the need for sprinklers in residential buildings, and fire warning systems in individual flats, not just in communal parts.
“However, while important, sprinklers should not be used to compensate for other crucial fire safety measures.”
The fire at Worcester Park fire took some 125 firefighters to bring the blaze under control, which almost entirely destroyed the timber-framed Hamptons development. It is the second this year to strike a timber structured building.
In June, a 20-flat building in Barking was destroyed by fire, with experts later concluding that its timber balconies posed a “significant hazard.” Two people were treated for smoke inhalation and up to 18 families were evacuated from their homes.
The developer behind the Hamptons, Berkley Group, said: “We continue to support the LFB in their investigation into what happened. In the meantime, our priority remains to make sure residents are properly looked after.”
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