Regulations for the fitting of sprinkler systems to all new and converted residential properties in Wales will be introduced in September 2013.
The announcement made on 30 May coincides with the publication of a cost-benefit analysis by BRE Global which suggests that while sprinklers are cost-effective in new care homes and halls/dormitories, fitting them is not cost-effective for all new residential premises in Wales.
The regulations will be developed under the scope of the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011 passed on 16 February 2011.
Welsh Government environment minister, John Griffiths, said:
“We must seek to prevent avoidable death and injury from house fires and need to accept that there is a cost to introducing sprinklers into new properties.
“These proposals are significant and important in taking forward fire safety. Wales will be at the forefront of reducing fire risk and cutting the number of avoidable deaths and injuries caused by fires in residential premises.”
Work is due to begin on the development of regulations and the technical requirements necessary to introduce the Measure which will be subject to public consultation.
According to UK fire statistics (2001 to 2010) there are an average of 2,168 fires, 17deaths and 503 injuries in fires in residential premises in Wales every year.