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10 SEP 2019

RICS response to Worcester Park Fire

"We are saddened to hear of the Worcester Park fire, but relieved that on this occasion nobody was hurt."

Hew Edgar, RICS Head of UK Government Relations and City, spoke of the implications of the incident:"That said, losing all your belongings in such a terrible fire will be devastating for the residents and families that lived in this four-story building in South-West London.

"RICS called on the government for sprinklers to be installed in buildings with a minimum height of 11m in May 2019, along with RIBA and CIOB, and if our recommendation had been passed, some or all of these 23-homes may have been saved.

"Earlier this month, the government announced that the minimum height for when sprinklers are required will be reduced – from the current 30 metres (approximately 10 floors) - to 18 metres (approximately 6 floors).

"However, we do not feel this suggested minimum height is enough and we will be responding to the government consultation - which is open until 28 November 2019 - to re-emphasise our 11m recommendation as the minimum height for when sprinklers should be required in a high-rise building.

"It is frustrating that it has taken over two years since the tragedy of Grenfell to finally achieve a fire safety consultation on sprinklers. We will continue to press for a much safer risk-based approach to be taken on all buildings to ensure occupants are as safe as possible."