Three key changes to building safety requirements affecting new residential buildings have come into effect from 26 November 2020.
The changes to Approved Document B, look to improve fire safety matters within and around buildings but they only affect new buildings at this stage, although campaigners hope they will eventually be made to apply to existing homes.
In brief, the changes are:
Blocks of flats with a top storey more than 11 metres above ground level should be fitted with a sprinkler system throughout the building. This represents a change from the previous threshold of 30 metres.
Wayfinding signage for the fire and rescue service should be provided in blocks of flats with a top storey more than 11 metres above ground level. The amendments provide clarification on the type and placement of signage, which aims to provide greater consistency for building owners.
There is new clarification around the definition of a boundary between two buildings, with a view to resisting fire spread from one building to another.
By Patrick Mooney, Editor