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Written Statement - Consultation on the implementation of the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011

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We want your views on proposed regulations to make sprinklers and fire suppression systems compulsory in new and converted homes.
Carl Sargeant, Minister for Housing and Regeneration

I am pleased to announce today  that I am launching a 12 week consultation on our proposals to introduce new regulations to implement the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011 (the Measure).

The Measure, originally introduced by Ann Jones AM, was passed by the National Assembly for Wales in February 2011. It enables Welsh Ministers to introduce regulations to make automatic fire suppression systems, such as fire sprinklers, compulsory in all new and converted residential premises.  This includes new and converted houses, flats, residential care homes, halls of residence and certain hostels.

In this consultation I propose to make changes to the Building Regulations, along with changes to technical guidance in relevant Approved Documents. I have also set out a revised Cost Benefit Analysis and a full Regulatory Impact Assessment.

Our proposals have benefitted from the expert advice and guidance from our Domestic Fire Safety Measure Working Group, including representatives of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee for Wales, the Fire and Rescue Service and the Fire Brigades Union, the Building Control profession, the fire protection sector, water companies, house builders, care home representatives and others who have an interest in these proposals. I would like to thank the members of the Working Group for the advice and guidance that they have provided.

We must address the number of deaths and injuries from fire in homes which remains too high. Appropriately designed and maintained fire suppression systems save lives and prevent injuries to householders and firefighters, as well as reducing damage from fires. These proposals therefore represent a significant step in taking forward fire safety in Wales.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.