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Fire Safety: Warehouses

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations she has received on the use of sprinklers as fire resistors in warehousing facilities; and if she will make a statement. (205775)

The recent review of the fire safety aspects of the building regulations looked at the case for sprinklers in warehouses. We undertook supporting research on the issue and a full public consultation. Following consultation, it was decided that a limit for the maximum unsprinklered compartment size for single storey warehouses should be set at 20,000m2 and/or a height of 18m where previously no such limit existed. This new maximum compartment size was included in the 2006 edition of Approved Document B which came into effect in April 2007.

Since then we have had a number of representations suggesting that this maximum compartment size should be reduced such that smaller warehouse buildings would also be provided with sprinkler protection. However, we have no plans to revisit this part of the building regulations in the near future.