Laura Sharman 18 July 2018

MPs call for sprinklers to be fitted to all high-rise residential buildings

The Government should provide funding to enable councils to fit sprinklers in all high-rise residential buildings to avoid another tragedy like the Grenfell Tower fire, MPs have argued today.

In a new report, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee also called for an extension to the proposed ban on combustible cladding and extensive changes to building regulations to improve fire safety.

It also calls for a ‘robust’ system of oversight and meaningful sanctions, adding the two should not be seen as mutually exclusive.

Chair of the committee, Clive Betts, said: 'We are now more than a year on from the catastrophic events at Grenfell Tower, yet despite an Independent Review of building regulations, we are still no closer to having a system that inspires confidence that residents can be safe and secure in their homes.

'We agree with the Independent Review that there is a need for a fundamental change of culture in the construction industry, but there are also measures that can and should be introduced now.

'We welcome the intention of the Government to ban combustible cladding, but the proposals do not go far enough. A ban on dangerous cladding must be extended beyond new high-rise constructions, to existing residential buildings as well as other high-risk buildings.’

Responding to the report, Lord Porter, Local Government Association (LGA) chairman, said: 'The evidence from real fires in real tower blocks shows that using combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise buildings kills people.

'We continue to strongly urge the Government to ban the use of any combustible materials - including cladding panels, insulation and other materials - on the external walls of high-rise and high-risk buildings.'

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