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UK insurers backs mandatory sprinklers in high-rises

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UK insurers have voiced support for a new government policy requiring the installation of sprinklers in new residential buildings of 11 metres and above.

The government announced the change last week, amending the statutory guidance to building safety regulations.

“We welcome the Government’s update to…require sprinklers in residential blocks over 11 metres in height,” the Association of British Insurers’ Director of General Insurance Policy James Dalton said.

“The industry has long been calling for an extension of the requirement to install sprinklers and this announcement will lead to improvements in fire safety.”

“We continue to call for the installation of sprinklers in other high-risk buildings of any height with vulnerable occupants such as student accommodation, schools, care homes and hospitals.”

The UK Government also announced a new £1 billion ($1.8 billion) Building Safety Fund to remove and replace unsafe non-compliant cladding in high-rise residential buildings.

The new cladding remediation program is targetted at buildings in the social and private sector that are over 18 metres in height, and takes the Government’s total cladding repair bill to £1.6 billion ($2.9 billion). The government has previously committed £600 million ($1.1 billion) to remove aluminium composite panels in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.