The Welsh Government announced today that all new homes in Wales will have to be fitted with automatic fire sprinklers from September 2013.
The new law will finally be introduced over six years after first being proposed by Labour AM Ann Jones, who won a backbench ballot to introduce legislation in June 2007.
Environment Minister John Griffiths said today he was pressing ahead for the scheme despite a BRE Global report showing that it will not be cost-effective.
"We must seek to prevent avoidable death and injury from house fires and need to accept that there is a cost to introducing sprinklers into new properties," said Mr Griffiths.
He added: "Wales will be at the forefront of reducing fire risk and cutting the number of avoidable deaths and injuries caused by fires in residential premises."
According to UK fire statistics, there are an average of 2,168 fires, 17 deaths and 503 injuries in fires in residential premises in Wales every year.
The law, which is supported by the Fire Brigades Union and various sprinkler campaigners, will apply to all new homes built in Wales as well as new care homes and university halls of residence.