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Sports Grounds (Safety)

Volume 114: debated on Tuesday 7 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what alterations to the November 1985 building regulations have been made following the recommendations contained in paragraph 3.90 of the final report of Mr. Justice Popplewell into safety at sports grounds;(2) what guidance has been issued to local authorities, sporting bodies and other interested organisations regarding the criteria applied by the November 1985 building regulations to the construction of sports stands, including the materials which may be used; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 3 April 1987, c. 635]: The Building Regulations 1985 require buildings (which include covered sports stands) to be built so that the structure adequately resists the spread of fire and maintains its stability in fire for a reasonable period.The approved documents supporting the regulations give guidance on the measures that should be taken to achieve adequate fire resistance. Additional guidance is being incorporated into the approved documents as part of the current review of the technical requirements of the regulations, particularly to improve precautions in new single storey stands.Also the "Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds" (the green guide) issued by the Home Office in October 1986 advises that new stands should incorporate from the start comprehensive measures for safety including adequate structural resistance to fire, fire resisting separation from any spaces below or communicating with the stand, escape routes which are planned to keep people well clear of the smokey gases produced by a fire, a roof geometry which should restrict smoke and flame travel along the underside of the roof and internal finishes which have low flammability. In particular, the guide gives advice on the fire risk associated with the existence of voids under the seating in stands which should be excluded if practicable, or completely sealed off to stop litter accumulating in them.

Copies of the guide were sent to local authorities, independent tire authorities, certified sports grounds and all major sporting organisations; and are available from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.