Sprinkler systems may be necessary for all new apartment buildings over 11 meters tall in Northern Ireland.

The suggestion was made during a consultation on updating building regulations by Stormont's Department of Finance. It would harmonise Northern Ireland with the rest of the UK, where new fire safety regulations were put in place as a result of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. 

Five stories would typically make up an 11 m tall building. The proposals do not call for retrofitting already-existing structures.

On the distribution of fire safety information at the conclusion of the construction stage and the handover of a building prior to occupation, other regulations are being consulted.

While Wales has had strict regulations in place since 2016, England and Scotland only implemented their sprinkler regulations in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

'Sprinklers can provide multiple benefits in terms of personal protection of individuals, limiting the spread of fire, protection for property and fittings, and protection for means of escape,' according to the Department of Finance.

These modifications will increase life-saving precautions for locals, firefighters, and rescuers during an emergency.

The deadline for the consultation is September 25.

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