The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government have published the amendments to Approved Document B (Fire Safety) 2019 edition:

– Volume 1 – Dwellings
– Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellings

The amendment document can be viewed through the following link:

Amendments to Approved Document B

Transitional arrangement:

The changes in the amendment booklet take effect on 26 November 2020. The amendments do not apply in any case where a building notice or an initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, a local authority and either the building work to which it relates has:

– Started before that day; or
– Is started before 29 January 2021

Note that the amendments relate to buildings and building work in England only.

Summary of main changes:

Scope: The amendments will apply to building works in a block of flats or mixed-use buildings containing flats with a top floor more than 11m above ground level. This includes the erection of new buildings, material alterations, material changes of use and extensions as set out in Regulation 3 of the Building Regulations 2010 (as amended).

  1. Sprinklers:

A reduction in the trigger height from 30m to 11m. Blocks of flats with a top storey more than 11m above ground level should be fitted with a sprinkler system throughout the building. (Note: Sprinklers should be provided within the individual flats, they do not need to be provided in the common areas such as stairs, corridors or landings when these areas are fire sterile).

  1. Wayfinding signage for the fire service:

To assist the fire service to identify each floor in a block of flats with a top storey more than 11m above ground level, floor identification signs and flat indicator signs should be provided.

  1. A typographical error has been corrected in both Volumes 1 and 2:

Purpose Group 2 is now included in reference to ‘residential’ buildings in the guidance on boundaries. A notional boundary should be assumed between two buildings on the same site where one or both of the buildings are in the ‘residential’ or ‘assembly and recreation’ purpose groups (purpose group 1, 2 or 5).