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Buildings (Safety Standards)

Volume 979: debated on Thursday 21 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue guidance to local authorities on the need to ensure the strictest possible safety standards in the construction and management of high-rise blocks in order to avoid falls from windows as have occurred recently; and if he will issue without delay a new departmental circular on safety in the home and a more effective code of practice concerning building regulations, and the fitting of effective safety catches.

It is the responsibility of local authorities to ensure that proper safety standards are observed in the design of windows in high-rise blocks. and, as part of good management practice, to ensure that tenants are alerted to any potential danger.The Department has given advice in design bulletin 13 on "Safety in the Home", and the BSI code of practice 153 (1969) deals with the fitting of window safety catches. I have no reason to believe that this guidance is unsound; nor do I believe that this is a proper subject for a building regulation.