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Plastics Materials (Fire Prevention)

Volume 884: debated on Wednesday 22 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, in view of the increase in the number and seriousness of fires, if he will amend the fire prevention regulations in respect of the use of plastic as at present manufactured when used for walls, windows, roof lights or furniture.

The current building regulations on structural fire precautions are written in terms of performance requirements and thus limit the use of plastics material. These regulations are kept under constant review. We recognise that, with the increasing use of a

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has for sanctioning capital expenditure for the development of port facilities in

widening variety of plastics materials in the construction of buildings, there is a need for more information about how they behave in fire, and research into this is being carried out. The control of the use of plastics furniture is a matter for the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, but I understand that similar research is being carried out into this aspect of the problem.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in view of concern about the number of serious and rapid fires, he will consider banning the use of plastic junction boxes carrying a heavy amperage, and plastic electric fittings for all but the smallest switches.

We have no evidence that these fittings are a significant fire hazard. If my hon. Friend will let me have information about the fires to which his Question refers we will consider it when deciding how to use the powers to make building regulations controlling electrical installations that will be available under Part III of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.