Welsh Government seeks input on amending fire safety in building regulations

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The Welsh Government is inviting public feedback on proposed changes to Part B (Fire Safety) of the Building Regulations.

These changes primarily revolve around the use of combustible materials and the implementation of safety systems in specific building types.

This comes as a follow-up to amendments made in 2018 restricting the use of certain combustible materials in high-rise buildings.

Building regulations: Proposed changes to combat fire risks

Following their 2018 consultation, the Welsh Government is looking to expand on the previous bans by:

  • “Amend[ing] the ban of the use of combustible materials in and on external walls of buildings, including building types covered, attachments such as blinds, shutters and awnings”.
  • Proposing a specific prohibition on “the use of metal composite panels in and on the external walls of all buildings”.
  • Implementing an “Evacuation Alert System (EAS) in accordance with BS 8629 in all new blocks of flats (Purpose group 1(a)) with a floor 18m or more above ground level”.
  • Introducing “Secure Information Boxes in all new blocks of flats with a floor of 11m or more above ground level” and “floor identification and flat wayfinding signage within all new blocks of flats with a floor of 11m or more above ground level”.
  • They also plan to reference BS EN 13501 and BS 476 fire classifications used in Approved Document B (AD B) and “amend regulations 6 and 7 of the Building Regulations 2010 to permit the use of materials achieving the class A2fl-s1 or A1fl”.

Public feedback matters

The government is actively seeking feedback from the public on these proposed changes.

Those who wish to participate can send their responses to the dedicated email or the given physical address, which is listed on their official website.

For more details and to contribute your views, click here.

IFSJ Comment

Continuous review and amendments to existing regulations are crucial.

The Welsh Government’s proactive approach to seeking public feedback and being transparent about proposed changes ensures that the concerns of those most impacted – residents and building professionals – are taken into account.

The emphasis on the use of non-combustible materials and safety systems not only aligns with global fire safety standards but also demonstrates a commitment to public safety.

This ongoing dialogue is a testament to the importance of community involvement in shaping safer living and working environments.

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