Repeal of the London Buildings Acts

Meeting: 
MQT on 2013-05-22
Session date: 
May 22, 2013
Reference: 
2013/1682
Question By: 
Navin Shah
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Have you considered how the repeal of the London Buildings Acts will adversely impact on fire safety?

The Coroner at the Lakanal House inquest has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government recommending that his department encourages providers of housing in high rise residential buildings to consider the retro fitting of sprinkler systems. What are you doing to support the coroners' recommendations?

Answer

Answer for Repeal of the London Buildings Acts

Answer for Repeal of the London Buildings Acts

Answered By: 
The Mayor

LFEPA officers have had extensive dialogue with the Department and Communities and Local Government on repeal of the London Buildings Acts. As a result there was a change to the original plans for the repeal, meaning that equipment installed under the London Buildings Act to meet life safety requirements will still need to be maintained. However, there are some important remaining concerns, namely:

• High rise student accommodation would no longer require the installation of sprinklers. • Underground car parks would no longer require the installation of sprinklers • Only very large warehouses will now require sprinklers.

LFEPA officers have asked for these measures to be included in the existing statutory guidance which is called 'approved document B'. Fire safety officers continue to strongly recommend the use of sprinklers in individual building design consultations in situations where enforcement powers are not available.

LFEPA policy is to encourage the installation of sprinklers where there is a risk based case for doing so. This is set out in the LFEPA sprinkler position statement. An on-going project for LFEPA is to work with local authorities and other housing bodies and encourage them to install sprinklers in the homes they manage. The project also includes the collection of data on actual performance of sprinkler installations, during real fires, to provide further evidence to developers of the value of these systems.