The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012's Part E (Fire Safety) is up for revision, and the Department of Finance is proposing changes that would only apply to new building work requests after the amendments take effect and would improve medium and high-rise residential buildings, student housing, and care facilities.

The new laws will also apply to other types of buildings, such as large assembly and recreation structures with a storey over 7.5 metres and all relevant locations as outlined in the Fire and Rescue Services (NI) Order 2006. 

Several recommendations from the Phase 1 report into the Grenfell Tower tragedy will be implemented as part of the plans. Most of the measures bring Northern Ireland into compliance with other devolved nations on matters relating to access and facilities for the fire and rescue service as well as fire safety issues affecting flat blocks. 

systems for fire suppression and safety information The consultation is based on two new regulations: 1. A requirement to provide information on fire safety upon handover of the building prior to occupancy and at the conclusion of the construction stage.Those fulfilling their post-construction fire safety duties should find this information useful. 2. The need for certain residential buildings to have automatic fire suppression systems, like sprinklers. 

Sprinklers can offer many advantages, including personal protection for people, preventing the spread of fire, protection for fixtures and property, and protection for escape routes. Fire alarms and ventilation for smoke Additional opinions are being sought regarding the expansion of automatic fire detection and alarm coverage to include the installation of smoke alarms in every habitable room in all new homes. 

A clarification of the minimal fire detection and alarm system necessary when a residence is undergoing extension and/or alteration work is also proposed. New guidelines regarding smoke ventilation in common exits from apartment buildings are also available, along with a number of actions to support the Fire and Rescue Service during any fire response. 

View the Consultation on Fire safety changes to the local Building Regulations

Our eNews provides regular insight into industry trends, news headlines, and product and service information. For news articles parallel to those mentioned above, sign up for our eNews. Click here to sign up: Subscribe to our enews (