Approved Document B

Approved Document B covers building regulation in England on fire safety matters within and around buildings.

In May 2020, the government published three key changes to Approved Document B, introducing new safety requirements for new residential blocks.

The changes, which came into effect in 2020, are that:

  • New blocks of flats with a top storey more than 11m above ground level should be fitted with a sprinkler system throughout the building. This represents a change from the previous threshold of 30m.
  • Wayfinding signage for the fire and rescue services should be provided in new blocks of flats with a top storey more than 11m above ground level. The amendments provide clarification on the type and placement of signage, which aims to deliver greater consistency among building owners.
  • It provides clarification on the definition of a boundary between two buildings, with a view to resisting fire spread from one building to another.

The government is conducting an ongoing review of Approved Document B and we will keep our members updated on further changes.

Read the government’s guidance on Approved Document B