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Firemen's Ladders (High Buildings)

Volume 888: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many residential buildings in England and Wales exceed the height of ladders available to the local fire brigade; and if he will make a statement;(2) what regulations exist to require special fire precautions in residential and office buildings the height of which exceeds the length of the locally available fire brigade ladders.

The information requested about the number of buildings is not available.The Building Regulations currently in force require special structural fire precautions in high office or residential buildings when they are first erected, when there is a material change in their use, or when any alterations or extensions are carried out.Requirements for the provision of adequate means of escape in such buildings are either contained in the Building Regulations or can be imposed under powers provided in the Public Health Act 1936, the Housing Act 1961, or the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963.

1964–51965–61966–71967–81968–9
Acreage under glass*4,0233,9884,2664,2314,378
of which, percentage heated7978767574
Value of total glasshouse † output (£million)—
at current prices41·443·644·148·052·3
at constant prices‡49·049·349·852·453·1
1969–701970–11971–21972–31973–4
Acreage under glass*4,5094,5434,5934,7094,927
of which, percentage heated7475757573
Value of total glasshouse † output (£ million)—
at current prices54·956·658·866·377·6
at constant prices‡55·856·657·260·863·2
*Including plastic structures.
† Including plastic structures, frames, etc.
‡ Average 1969–9 to 1971–2 prices.
Estimates of the value of output from heated glasshouses cannot readily be made.

These requirements are based on the principle that the occupants of the building should be able to make their own way to safety unaided, before the arrival of the fire brigade.