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Press release

11 MAR 2019

RICS demand the government make sprinklers mandatory

RICS has signed a joint statement, standing alongside the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), calling on the government to require the installation of sprinklers in all new and converted residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, student accommodation, schools and care home buildings more than 11m in height. The bodies have also called for the retrofitting of sprinklers in buildings when relevant refurbishment takes place.

The joint statement comes ahead of a Westminster Hall Debate on fire safety and sprinkler systems, held on Tuesday 12 March.

The statement signed by all parties reads:

“As leading chartered professional bodies in the built environment, we believe further action is required to improve the fire safety of buildings in the UK.

Lives, stock and property are saved by the use of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS), which includes sprinklers. At present, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland differ in their requirements on sprinklers yet the science of fire knows no political or geographical boundaries.  

Harmonising building regulations across the nation states of the UK regarding the installation of sprinklers would provide clarity to the industry and help protect the public.

We support the installation of sprinklers in all new & converted residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, student accommodation, schools and care home buildings 11m or above in height and retrofitting to existing buildings when refurbishment occurs as ‘consequential improvements’ where a building is subject to 'material alterations’. We also support the installation of AFSS including sprinklers below this height on a case by case basis of risk. 

Each of the professional bodies will bring forward guidance for our own professionals in line with this statement in the absence of government legislation.”