Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Saturday, 19 December 2009

Sprinklers in new homes proposal

Firefighters tackling blaze
The MPs' decision paves the way for sprinkler laws to be devolved to Wales

A 'Welsh law' to require builders to install sprinkler systems in all new homes in Wales has won the support of MPs after a request by an AM.

The Welsh Affairs Committee said the assembly should be given powers to require builders to install sprinklers.

It followed a request for the legislative competence order (LCO) from Vale of Clwyd AM, Ann Jones.

The move now opens the way for a draft order to be introduced in parliament, which is expected in the new year.

If approved, the powers would be devolved to the assembly, and new legislation could be drawn up over fire sprinklers by politicians in Cardiff Bay.

"This is the best Christmas present I could wish for," said Ms Jones.

Ann Jones said the proposal was a way of making Wales safer through devolved powers

"I'm delighted that the Welsh Affairs Select Committee have overwhelmingly backed my proposals to see sprinklers installed in all new homes built in Wales.

"Hopefully, there will be Privy Council approval for the LCO early in the new year which will enable the assembly government to determine the law."

North Wales' Chief Fire Officer, Simon Smith, who is also chairs the Chief Fire Officer's Association in Wales applauded the decision.

Improving fire safety

"This could possibly be the single greatest opportunity to protect the Welsh people in their own homes and drastically reduce deaths due to house fires in Wales.

"It could also have a massive impact in protecting the environment as well as saving millions of pounds for the economy in Wales, money that can be reinvested into improving services for our all communities.

"Although the process has taken a long time to reach this point, the important thing today is that the approval has been given and that's excellent news in relation to the safety of the people of Wales."

In its report on the LCO proposal, the Welsh Affairs Committee said the purpose of the order was clear, and consistent with the assembly's existent powers.

It also commended Ms Jones on her "enthusiasm and tenacity" in pursuing negotiations on the order.

Committee chairman, Dr Hywel Francis MP, said: "We are pleased to support this important Order which will pave the way for new laws to improve fire safety in all new residential properties in Wales."

Print Sponsor

Support for compulsory sprinklers
10 Oct 07 |  Wales
Bid for sprinklers in new homes
13 Sep 07 |  Wales

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