A new law in Wales went into effect in January, requiring fire sprinklers in all new homes. Wales is the first country in the world to pass such a requirement.
However, homebuilders there have spent little time trying to avoid the new requirement. According to a recent story that appeared on Wales Online, this industry might be able to avoid sprinklering a number of homes due to a loophole. A government official told the news outlet that some homebuilders pre-registered for some of the building sites before 2016, "which meant they locked themselves into an earlier set of building regulations."
"My understanding is that there are many thousands of homes that are yet to be built that have effectively circumnavigated the sprinkler measures," Wales Online reported Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant saying during an assembly committee meeting. "My personal view is that is inappropriate. We'd had discussions about how and if we can close that loophole."
As is the case in North America, Welsh builders tend to balk at fire sprinkler requirements, questioning its cost-effectiveness and claiming these laws stunt the housing market. The cost and the housing issue in the U.S. have both been countered by research.
A staunch advocate for this requirement is Ann Jones; this Welsh legislator played an influential role in passing the country's sprinkler law.