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Public Buildings: Fire Prevention

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what standards are used to test the combustibility of composite cladding panels used in the walls and roofs of new public buildings, with particular reference to schools and hospitals; and if she will make a statement. (191443)

The Building Regulations 2000 (as amended) apply to building work, typically the erection, extension or material alteration of a building. Part B sets out requirements for fire safety and is supported by guidance in Approved Document B which sets out appropriate levels of fire performance for materials, products and structures when tested to relevant British or European standards.

Fire performance is tested using either the relevant parts of British Standard, BS 476 or using the tests specified in the relevant part of European Standard, EN 13501. The necessary level of performance that should be obtained will depend upon the type of building, the nature of the construction product and where it is located.

Specific guidance on meeting the fire safety requirements of the Building Regulations in the design and construction of schools is given in Building Bulletin 100 which is published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and on hospitals in Health Technical Memorandum 02-05 which is published by the Department of Health.