The government has proposed another staircase to make the buildings more secure | Daily News Byte

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  • The government is mulling rules to make second staircases mandatory in new residential buildings above 30 metres
  • The proposals also include sprinkler systems for all new care homes
  • Fire safety measures put in place since the Grenfell Tower disaster have been put in place today

Buildings will be made safer under government proposals set out today (December 23), including mandating a second staircase for sprinkler systems for new tower blocks and new care homes.

It is the latest move to update the statutory guidelines that underpin building regulations for new buildings to ensure the safety of people who live and work there. The Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities will consult on its plans over the next 12 weeks.

It includes imposing regulations on staircases, which means that new tower blocks over 30 meters will require more than one staircase.

The department is also considering making sprinklers mandatory in all new care homes, regardless of height, to improve the safety of vulnerable residents and help firefighters evacuate.

Local Government and Building Safety Minister Lee Rowley said:

There are undoubtedly still lessons to be learned from the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the Department of Housing is committed to working with the sector and residents to find out what more needs to be done to make new homes safer across the country.

The consultation is the next step in the department’s work to improve building regulations and ensure they are as clear and effective as possible.

Other measures considered as part of the consultation include removing references to the National Classification (BS 476) from Approved Document B. This means that the current dual system will end and construction product manufacturers will be required to test their products to British Standards. European standards version.

The Government will also call for evidence for research in Approval Document B covering the materials and products used in external walls. In practice, the Call for Evidence will seek views from industry on what content should be covered and how best to improve the clarity of the guidance provided in these paragraphs.

Since the Grenfell Tower fire, the department has undertaken to update and improve fire safety guidance to prevent it from happening again. The Department has already made several important changes to the Building Regulations and its guidance. As of 2017 the department has:

  • Implemented ban on combustible materials for residential buildings, hospitals and student accommodation above 18 meters and provided new guidance for residential buildings between 11-18 meters.
  • Banned the use of metal composite materials of the type used at Grenfell on all buildings
  • A major program of guidance clarification work was undertaken
  • Reduced threshold for provision of sprinkler from 30m+ to 11m+ in new blocks of flats
  • Provisions for wayfinding signage for fire fighters in new blocks of flats above 11 meters
  • Provisions for evacuation alert system in new residential buildings above 18 meters height

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