Specialist supplier AEI Cables has highlighted the need for the highest quality of cabling for use in sprinkler systems being fitted as part of new fire safety initiatives for high-rise buildings.
New blocks of flats of six storeys or higher could require sprinkler systems under new Government plans being considered in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has outlined plans to improve safety regulations after the fire at Grenfell Tower high-rise block in June 2017, which resulted in the deaths of 72 people.
Under current guidelines, sprinkler systems are required for buildings of 30 metres – approximately 10 floors – or higher, but ministers are proposing to decrease this to 18 metres, approximately six floors.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) have made a call for the installation of sprinklers to become mandatory in all residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, schools and care homes taller than 11 metres. The same organisations have also called for sprinklers to be retrofitted where possible.
Latest national research carried out by the National Fire Chiefs’ Council and the National Fire Sprinkler Network reveals that the danger to life, injuries and damage to buildings is ‘significantly reduced’ when sprinkler systems are fitted.
Graham Turner, of AEI Cables, said: “While the approach to sprinkler systems is positive news, the need for reliable continuous power to sprinkler systems using the highest quality cabling meeting all relevant standards is a key component of this approach.
“Many buildings such as tower blocks, hospitals, schools, shopping malls, airports and those areas with large numbers of people moving about need cabling which will continue to operate in a fire and provide power for the highest fire protection of 120 minutes.”