Hackitt announcement welcomed

The British Board of Agrément has welcomed the government’s announcement that it is to implement all recommendations put forward by the Hackitt review.

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) also broadly welcomes the government response, and the planned review of Approved Document B (fire safety).

The review recommends that fire safety is considered early in the design process and that there are mandatory sign-off procedures at the crucial ‘gateway points’ of: planning permission, permission to build, and permission to occupy.

There is also a focus on improving levels of competency throughout the construction process, and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government aims to improve product test standards and ensure clarity in marketing.

ASFP said it is pleased to see government support for third-party certification schemes for products, which it believes are key to improving the quality of fire protection products, but notes that this should also extend to installers since this is where many of the current problems lie.

ASFP CEO Niall Rowan said: “The association welcomes the government’s aim to implement Dame Judith’s recommendations as we strongly agreed with her conclusions; many of which reflect what the fire community, including the ASFP, has been saying for some years. We also welcome the announcement of a full review of Approved Document B, which we believe is long overdue.”

He continued: “We understand the recommendations of the Hackitt Review were detailed and wide-ranging, since they called for a complete overhaul of the building regulatory system. We look forward to working with government and other stakeholders to achieve the extensive and lasting culture change necessary to ensure the safety of our existing and future built environment.”

BBA chief executive Claire Curtis-Thomas said: “The industry has continuously argued for tougher standards and by introducing clearer guidance, including establishing a new Standards Committee to advise on construction product and system standards and regulations, we can continue to work with the government to enable rigorous oversights are put in place for those undertaking building work, which will in turn provide a stronger voice for residents.

“The BBA believes that a culture change must be instituted, helping to create a more responsible building industry, from design through to construction and management.”