What are the Building Regulations in Wales For Fire Safety?
In the wake of the Grenfell disaster of 2017, which has been referred to as one of the UK’s worst modern disasters, modifications were made to the Fire Safety Order, first created in 2005. The Fire Safety Act 2021 applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales and it is important to understand the legislation. So, what changes have been made? How does this affect building regulations in Wales?
Building Regulations in Wales
On October the 1st, the Welsh government confirmed that the first part of the Fire Safety Act 2021 came into force. Fire safety assessments of all buildings were taken place, including the inspection of external walls and fire doors. Coinciding with these checks, the Welsh government released a document as guidance to show how this act changes and applies to building regulations in Wales.
The order states that there is a “Responsible Person”, who must carry out assessments for fire risks and safety precautions in areas such as rooms, lobby areas and staircases. This person can vary depending on the building; whether you run the company or are self-employed. If this is you, you will have control over safety precautions in the event of a fire and can be held responsible if accidents occur.
Building regulations in Wales also apply these precautions for fire safety. The “Responsible Person” should undertake risk assessments, including the review of the premises and identifying escape routes in the event of an emergency.
What Should You Consider?
Remember, you need to consider your sprinkler system for further modifications. Building an extension, for example, is a great way to improve your home by expanding the living spaces with conservatories or orangeries. Even converting the loft into an extra bedroom or office can improve the home’s value and increase storage. However, you need to consider how this will affect your fire sprinkler system. In the building regulations in Wales document, they state that alterations will have to be done in a way that maintains the same level of fire sprinkler protection in the extension as the rest of the home. In the case of garages, fire sprinkler requirements only apply to rooms that are accommodated, excluding garages.
Before making any changes, consult with a professional fire sprinkler installation company. RAD Fire Sprinklers will work with developers to find the best solution that meets all building requirements.
Why Install a Domestic Sprinkler System?.
The Grenfell Tower fire was a tragedy that took 72 lives. In the aftermath, various claims were made including by its contractor, stating that a domestic sprinkler system would have saved the tower. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sprinklers have reduced the rate of fire deaths by 87%. They should be considered in all buildings, so these mistakes are not repeated.
There are many benefits to installing sprinkler systems in buildings across the UK. Sprinkler heads minimise the level of damage during such outbreaks. When a fire is detected, the individual sprinkler head will be activated, only in areas where the fire is. They will not all go off at the same time, meaning that water is not wasted and the rest of your property will not suffer any water damage. This compared to if a fire engine was called, saves gallons of water and will deal with the blaze in a timely fashion.
At RAD Sprinklers, we work alongside a wide range of industries, providing advice, and designing and installing sprinkler systems in commercial and residential buildings. Our services cover the London and South East area, however, we are kept fully informed on the fire safety requirements, including the building regulations in Wales. For more information, read our services page.
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