Fire Sector Federation welcomes new regulator to improve building safety

The Fire Sector Federation has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a new national construction products regulator to ensure that building materials are made safely.

The move follows the recent testimony to the Grenfell Inquiry that shone a light on the dishonest practice by some manufacturers of construction products, including deliberate attempts to game the system and rig results of safety tests.

The national construction products regulator will have the power to remove any product from the market that presents a significant safety risk and prosecute any companies who flout the rules on product safety.

Dennis Davis, Executive Officer, Fire Sector Federation, said, “We welcome the announcement of a national construction regulator, which is backed by an independent review of testing regimes.

“Some of the testimony our members have heard in the Grenfell Inquiry has been deeply disturbing and we welcome the announcement of a national construction regulator as a key step in the process of maintaining public confidence in the safety of our buildings.

“The Inquiry highlighted the importance of the whole product assurance cycle and the need to review and identify the areas for improvement. The product assurance process, made more complicated by the introduction of new post Brexit arrangements, must be linked to third party assessment to extend beyond standard compliance to meet a broader goal that establishes fit for purpose in every application.

“The Federation established a product assurance group last year to examine the issues related to standards of assurance of fire safety products and their applications in the built environment. We look forward to continuing our ongoing dialogue with the Minister for Building Safety, Fire and Communities in this area to raise the integrity of the whole product cycle so that the right product is installed in the right way for the right purpose.”

The new regulator will operate within the Office of Product Safety Standards with £10m in funding to establish the new function. The Government has also commissioned an independent review to examine weaknesses in previous testing regimes for construction products.