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Thursday 17 May 2018

Smoke Control Association backs Hackitt Review call for government to make immediate start on improving Approved Documents

The Smoke Control Association (SCA) has broadly welcomed the recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report, ‘Building a safer future – Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’.

In particular the SCA supports the recommendation for government to carry out a radical design and content review of the current suite of Approved Documents, that there should be one over-arching Approved Document and that government should engage with industry as a matter of urgency.

The SCA submitted proposals and met with the review team to discuss ways of improving smoke control guidelines within Approved Document B of the Building Regulations.  These included:

• More prescription of performance requirements for smoke control installations. The guidance should offer minimum objective-based requirements on a sliding scale, depending on the type of building and the risk presented.

• The guidance should have clearly prescribed references to product standards such as the EN12101 suite, so that equipment installed is tested and certified as fit for the purpose intended. 

SCA chairman David Mowatt commented: “Following Dame Judith Hackitt’s report, the government must now seize the opportunity to tackle critical flaws in Approved Document B and make vital changes that will be felt throughout the industry. Clearer and more specific guidance will improve safety across the board.”

The SCA also welcomed the recommendation for the construction sector and fire safety sector to work more effectively to deliver building safety and to develop continuous improvements on competency levels.

Earlier this year the SCA introduced stringent criteria committing existing and new members to requirements for installer training, insurances, safety and quality assurance. A third party competency scheme for installers, accredited by International Fire Consultants, tailored to the needs of the industry and based on the requirements of BS7346 Part 8 2013 will be launched during 2018.  Joining this scheme will be a core requirement of membership of the SCA where appropriate.

The Smoke Control Association  is an independent body of experts all involved in various aspects of the smoke control sector. The Association works in many fields including the publication of guides related to smoke control systems and products.

The SCA is part of FETA – the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations – a UK body representing the interests of over 400 manufacturers, suppliers, installers and contractors within heating, ventilating, building controls, refrigeration and air conditioning.

David Mowatt, Director of Lareine Engineering is Chairman of the SCA.