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Sun June 13 2021

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Beard calls for new fire safety standards to reach further

7 Apr 20 Building contractor EW Beard has added its voice to those urging the government to go further in its drive to improve fire safety in buildings.

Mark Beard
Mark Beard

Last week the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government announced that sprinkler systems and clearer emergency signage would be compulsory for all for residential buildings above 11 metres high.

But Beard’s directors think the new rules should apply to high-risk buildings, regardless of height or use.

Mark Beard, chairman of Beard, said: “Safety of building occupants ought to be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to construction. In the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, the focus has rightly been on high-rise residential buildings. The new measures proposed by the government go a long way to addressing the issues exposed by that calamity and I look forward to seeing them enacted.

“But all building occupants need to be safe and feel safe, regardless of use. The government has said it will look at extending the scope of safety standards during the passage of the relevant legislation. I would strongly welcome such a move, with initial focus on the highest risk buildings.”

He added: “The industry itself needs to take responsibility for ensuring these standards are rigorously applied in practice. This means getting it right first time, not waiting for enforcement action to be taken. At the end of the day all our reputations are at stake.”

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