Industry figures say that the minimum acceptable standards needed to be made clearer


Those who flout fire safety regulations should be put in prison, a Building round table discussion has been told.

Steve Cooper, director of fire engineering consultancy Tenos, said: “The industry can be trusted to self-regulate provided there are sanctions – if you’ve made a mistake, you go to prison.

“At the moment, people cut corners and buildings are not fit for purpose, but nobody is taken to task. If criminal sanctions and fines are involved, they will take notice.”

The round table, on the implication of this May’s Hackitt report into fire safety and building regulations, also heard that the minimum acceptable standards needed to be made clearer.

Stephanie Canham, national head of projects and construction at law firm Trowers & Hamlins, said: “Legislation is the only way to create certainty about what needs to be done.”

And Steve Douglas, co-chief executive of social housing consultant Altair and former chief executive of the Housing Corporation, said government needed to spell out what regulations were acceptable.

He added: “If it’s a requirement, it becomes a level playing field and everyone has to do it.”