A national fire prevention organisation has warned that commercial buildings will require more protection against fire.
The Fire Protection Association says that proposals in the fire and rescue service white paper call on fire authorities to reorganise their services to prioritise the saving of lives rather than the protection of property.

The effect of this will be that the owners of commercial buildings will have to place less reliance on fire brigades. It says that if this leads to insurers facing bigger bills, they are likely to insist that firms meet more stringent requirements before they provide cover.

This would mean that offices cost more to construct, as additional fire safety measures would have to be designed in.

Jonathan O'Neill, managing director of the FPA, said: "If there is a move to saving lives at the expense of saving property, then fire prevention details must be robust."