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Building Regulations (Fire)

Volume 202: debated on Thursday 23 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what account was taken of the weight of responses to the Building Regulations (Fire) Consultation Document issued in March 1990 concerning periods of fire resistance, compartment size and non-conbustibility in producing the 1992 edition of the Building Regulations Fire Safety Approved Document.

The Department received some 220 responses to the consultation document on proposed amendments to part B (Fire Safety) of the Building Regulations 1985. The comments were fully and carefully considered and we concluded that it would be appropriate to make some changes to the guidance before publishing it as an approved document. Certain fire resistance periods were increased, as we were persuaded that those proposed may not have taken sufficient account of possible risks to firefighters. Provisions for certain building elements to be constructed of materials of limited combustibility were reintroduced for hospitals and fire fighting shafts, where for different reasons people may be expected to remain in the vicinity of a fire for longer than would normally be expected. We also accepted the suggestion that it would be more appropriate to consider compartment volume rather than floor area when deciding on maximum permitted compartment sizes in buildings used primarily for storage purposes. This takes account of the increased fire load associated with high stacks of stored goods.