The ABI has called for changes to fire safety regulations following the Grenfell Tower disaster and an independent review

The ABI has called for changes to fire safety regulations, which it claims are “outdated” and “confusing”. It also urges a clear framework of responsibility for those involved in protecting buildings from fire.

Building regulations are currently 11 years old and the ABI’s call for change follows the Independent Review on Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

What changes are the ABI calling for?

  • An immediate end to the use of combustible materials on the outside of new and refurbished buildings and limiting the use of combustible material on the inside.  
  • Development of more robust testing regimes to prove materials are not combustible, and to replicate how these materials are used in real world conditions.
  • Much more clarity on the roles and responsibilities of all those involved in managing the fire safety of a building.
  • Improving fire protection measures including mandating the installation of fire sprinklers for new schools, care homes and warehouses over 2000m2

 ABI director of general insurance policy James Dalton said: “It is time to end the outdated fire safety regulation of buildings that are putting lives at risk. Grenfell represents a systemic failure of the protection of buildings from fire in this country.”

 “The ABI has been calling for changes to buildings regulations since 2009 that would improve fire safety and it is terribly sad it took such a tragic event to bring about change.”

 “This review marks a seminal opportunity to recommend substantial change that will fundamentally improve fire safety in England’s buildings, but also, as a consequence, make these buildings more commercially attractive risks to insurers, increasing competitiveness and benefitting customers through an associated effect on premiums.”

In June it emerged that the ABI had warned the government about the dangers of cladding in May, a month before a fire ripped through Grenfell Tower and left at least 71 dead.