grenfell-tower

10 Years after Penhallow: Have we learned anything?

It is now 10 years after Penhallow, which has been described as the worst British hotel fire for 50 years and I think that it is important to look back at what we have learnt from this tragic failure of our fire safety laws. To add to this we now have the Grenfell Tower Fire that will surely be the worst fire that the UK has seen in living memory. I am also including some of the fire safety failures that I found during my recent undercover inspection of hotels in the South West for the BBC to illustrate the problem.

The Penhallow Hotel Fire 2007 For those who may have forgotten what happened this was an article that I wrote following the fire The Penhallow fire: accident, arson or imcompetence? The one part of this tragic incident that has remained with me over this period is this statement given by one of the witnesses at the inquest. She told the inquest how she saw one of the victims, 80-year old Joan Harper, trapped in her blazing room. She said that firefighters with just one engine and no firefighting ladder were to ill-equipped to come to the rescue. Describing the moment firemen did arrive at the scene, she is quoted as saying: Everybody was shouting at the fire brigade to save the lady, but they did not take any actions to save her When I saw their single fire engine with one hosepipe, this just reinforced my despair. They did not have the capability to deal with the fire. Tragically, this was not the only fatality as Peter Hughes jumped from a third story window and his 86 year old mother Monica Hughes also perished. At the inquest there were also many other factors that came to light including a poor fire risk assessment, poor access, lack of water, lack of equipment (high rise ladder) and the FRS (Fire and Rescue Service) being sent to the wrong address. Following this incident the FRS went around the country informing interested parties about this fire and when I asked them about aspects such as being sent to the wrong address they replied that they had no knowledge of this but these items are clearly in the inquest records both written and recorded.

The Grenfell Tower Fire 2017 Whilst obviously I cannot say a lot about this fire I think it is important to say that, if what has been reported in the media is true, then there are a number of similarities to the Penhallow Hotel Fire particularly in respect of people being trapped in the building and late arrival of a high rise ladder.

10 Years of Fires So what have we learnt in the last 10 years as we are always informed following these tragic incidents that we must learn from these tragic fires so they never happen again . Clearly when we find out what happened in the Grenfell Tower Fire there does need to be some major changes and Brexit should give us the opportunity to make these changes but I wonder if the will and impetus is there to make the radical changes that in my opinion are needed. Another important aspect that has come to light since the Grenfell Tower Fire is the subject of how we investigate serious fires and it is my view that I have stated many times that we need to establish a more robust, independent and open system that people can trust and respect. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 Whilst Fire Certificates issued under the Fire precautions Act had their drawbacks I think that on balance it was a far better system than Fire Risk Assessments that in my opinion don t really work. There are many reasons for this and one of them is how the legislation is enforced. Figures released to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act showed the number of specialist staff in 26 fire services had fallen from 924 to 680, a loss of 244 officers between 2011 and 2017. Between 2011 and 2016, the government reduced its funding for fire services by between 26% and 39%, according to the National Audit Office, which in turn resulted in a 17% average real-terms reduction in spending power. Together with cuts to the FRS we have to look at how FRA are carried out and with no real standard assessment in place and poorly defined competency levels this was a recipe for failure. I found these words from a very well respected hotelier during the BBC investigation very interesting: I wish that the old system of fire certification with annual inspection was still in place.

The interesting thing here is that back in the 70 s/ 80 s each Fire Brigade interpreted legislation differently from area to area. The problem now is that consultants and operators interpret differently which of course in turn leads to a plethora of interpretations. In addition it is hard enough being a good hotelier let alone an expert in Health and safety/fire/food safety etc etc as well, however we do try to comply coupled with contracted professional guidance. Whilst the RRO appears on the surface to offer a better solution to our fire safety needs by placing the onus on the responsible person in practice I don t think that it works for the following reasons: Poorly defined standards. Poorly defined competency levels Poor enforcement and training/experience. Lack of clarity and transparency by enforcing authorities. Fire Deaths The latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 294 people died in fires in England during 2015, an increase of 21% compared with the 242 deaths recorded in 2014 and the largest increase since figures were published in 2001-02. The rise comes after a decade in which the long-term trend in the death toll from fires fell, from a peak of 469 in 2003 and obviously don t take into account the Grenfell Tower Fire. Significant Fires There are a number of significant fires that I think highlight why the system doesn t work and these are just four that highlight the tragic loss of life, our heritage and to fire service personnel.

The Clandon Park Fire 2015 I looked at this investigation https://www.ifsecglobal.com/clandon-park-fire-questions-from-national-trust-member/ because I was a National Trust Member and would like to have seen what the NT investigation had to say and because I had some concerns about the FRS Report but even though I registered an official request and complaint the NT has never made this information available about what steps they took to protect our heritage neither did they address my complaint. Whilst there was no life loss in this fire it shows how difficult it is to get answers to questions raised by the media and public. The Cathedral Green Fire (Royal Clarence Hotel) 2016 This hotel was destroyed by a fire that started in Cathedral Green in Exeter and again it raised questions from the media and public that would not be answered. This was the article that I wrote https://www.ifsecglobal.com/royal-clarence-hotel-fire-destruction-uks-oldest-hotel/ unfortunately, we still don t have answers to these important questions. Lakanal House Fire 2009 Tragically, six people, including three children, died on the 10th and 11th floors. It is reported that those who died had been told to stay in their homes by 999 operators, who believed fire safety measures would be sufficient to prevent flames and smoke from reaching them . Southwark council admitted it failed to address fire risks at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south-east London, in the years leading up to the UK s worst ever tower block fire up to the 3 July 2009. Atherstone on Stour Warehouse Fire 2007 On 2 November 2007 a major fire occurred at a warehouse near the village of Atherstone on Stour in Warwickshire. Four firefighters from the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service were killed whilst tackling the blaze.

This was the largest loss of life for a fire brigade in the United Kingdom for 35 years. BBC Inside Out South West Investigation This is the third investigation that I have carried out for the BBC and this does not convince me that the level of fire safety is improving in fact quite the opposite. The BBC asked me to look at two hotels that had recently appeared on the Enforcement Register and the first one was so bad that I notified the FRS of my concerns because of a missing fire door at the head of the stairs and a fire exit that would not open. The second one had done some fire safety improvement work but still had many problems including combustible rubbish and compressed gas cylinders stored under an external fire escape, poor fire compartmentation and poorly fitting fire doors. The third hotel was one that I could see had carried out a lot of fire safety work but needed improvement because of poor housekeeping, unprotected escape routes, fire doors wedged open and poor electrical installation. It was also good that the hotel owner was very cooperative and agreed to action the items that I had raised. The fourth hotel was one that had not been covered in the TV programme but one that I had stayed in and this was a hotel that had a great 150 year history together with many fire safety problems these were just a few: Hotel bedroom fire door with lock removed Corridor fire door poorly fitting at head Poorly fitting fire door in corridor Unprotected window adjacent to external fire escape This is where both fire escapes meet note the portable building and ventilation plant under the common bridge and staircase. There were a lot more problems that I noted but I think that you can understand my concerns I did write to the hotel and the FRS and the hotel responded indicating that they wanted to resolve the problems. Clearly, this hotel would have had a Fire Certificate under the FP Act together with a number of Fire Risk Assessments under the RRO so how did we get to this position?

1. Looking at the hotel and the standard of fire safety I can clearly see what was done under the FP Act to gain a Fire Certificate and this would probably have included bedrooms fire doors and separation of the main stair case to allow people to by pass it.

2. It is rather more difficult to establish what has been done under the RRO as the standard does not appear to have changed a great deal but there may have been some upgrading of the fire alarm and automatic fire detection but this is just a guess.

3. Clearly, the biggest problem here is where to two fire escapes converge above the portable building and the associated ventilation plant below the one stair case as any fire here may render both escape routes useless. Unfortunately, in my travels I find many hotels with similar problems and this is why I feel that the RRO is not working.

During the course of the BBC investigation I stayed in 2 hotels and visited two more and all four had problems of varying concern including one where the FRS took 7 bedrooms out of use following my report because a fire door had been removed at the head of a stair case and a fire exit would not open. I was interesting to note that this hotel had recently been the subject of enforcement action. Where to now for fire safety? The last 10 years have seen some significant failures of our fire safety standards that have clearly not given us the level of fire safety that I feel are required in this day and age.We have seen significant failures in both life and property safety in the UK and whilst it is hoped that the outcome from the Grenfell Tower tragedy will provide an answer I think that with Brexit on the horizon we need to think about how we can overcome these problems with a more open and transparent fire safety regime that people can have confidence in. Having started my career in the age of fire certificates I am well aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this form of control and wonder if a combination of fire certificates and risk assessments may provide a better solution. This could take the form of a combined building control and fire certification authority that certified the building structure and approved the occupiers operational plan for its use. I does appear inconsistent in this day and age when we can go to a restaurant and find out its hygiene rating or buy a car and find out its crash rating but have no idea of the fire safety level of buildings that we stay/work in together with no way of establishing this. It would be nice to think that this information could be obtained by Freedom of Information (FOI) requests but the FRS are constrained by the Data Protection Act and are also using the response that they cannot provide this information because it may be used for acts of terrorism. I was recently trying to establish how many fire risk assessments that selected FRS had carried out in hotels and how many were found to be unsatisfactory and I was surprised at the variation in replies whilst a number gave me their figures, one indicated that they did not record this information and one required a payment of 450 for the information.

I would have personally thought that this was fairly basic information that should be easily available. I think that now is the time that the fire safety profession needs to get behind a scheme to improve fire safety to protect people and our heritage and not just to protect individual organisations or interests. Free Download: A Technical Guide to Fire Detection and Alarm Systems Fire legislation, which is written for the purpose of life safety, requires duty holders in non-domestic premises to assess fire risks and put in place arrangements for the prevention of fire and to protect people from fire when it occurs.

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British Safety Council chief: Grenfell should mark turning point in fire safety

The chief executive of the British Safety Council opened its annual conference this week by detailing the body s plans for the future, and his hopes for the sector. Mike Robinson said that a lot had happened in the world since the Council had met last year, including the start of the Brexit process, the general election this summer, the Grenfell Tower disaster, and the election of Donald Trump. Speaking on Grenfell, and following the Council s joint letter to the prime minister last summer on stopping deregulation, Robinson said personally about how the disaster, which happened near to its offices in Hammersmith.

He said: This tragic event had negatively impacted on many peoples lives. I can only hope that it marks a turning point for fire safety in high rise buildings. Brexit On Brexit, Robinson said it was still far from clear what would happen at the end of the process, but that it may actually have a positive for health and safety. He said: With the uncertainty around Brexit, it creates an environment where there is actually an opportunity to look at good safety management. Robinson also detailed concerns about the rising levels of personal debt, stating the the financial pressures of not only low-paid but medium paid workers in the country is a big issue. Council developments Speaking about the Council, Robinson said the roll-out of the mental health construction scheme, Mates in Mind, had an ambitious aim to reach two-thirds of the entire industry of 2.5 million workers, and had got off to a great start since its launch a few weeks ago. On setting up the Mumbai office, he said that the Council wants to have an impact in a country where there are still 48,000 deaths from work . Training was another key element for Robinson going foward, and he claimed to be annoying Microsoft by shifting away from PowerPoint and traditional presentation techniques to immersive technology which he hopes to bring next year to the Council s suite of certificates. Free Download: A Technical Guide to Fire Detection and Alarm Systems Fire legislation, which is written for the purpose of life safety, requires duty holders in non-domestic premises to assess fire risks and put in place arrangements for the prevention of fire and to protect people from fire when it occurs.

This guide provides an overview of the need to know information for fire detection and alarm systems and your legal requirements, key actions, key terms and more.

Click here to download now Related Topics Securing UK borders: An examination of the implications of leaving the EU for UK border management Brexit boosts fire industry exports but raises costs and tightens margins Brexit: What are the security and resilience implications?

Help us lobby the EU to make our buildings safer: Fire Safe Europe

Fire Safe Europe is urging people to sign a petition imploring the EU to take concerted action to remedy shortcomings in building regulations, their enforcement and fire safety practices. Why is this important? Fire kills 11 people every day in the European Union (EU).

Apart from major tragedies, like the Grenfell Tower fire in London, we don t often hear about them. Yet there are 5,000 fire incidents each day in the EU, and they affect communities deeply. Lives are lost, people are injured, jobs, businesses, firefighters, and the environment are affected. We assume that new buildings are more fire safe, but they are increasingly highly insulated and airtight, with more combustibles, which makes fires grow faster than ever before and become more hazardous. Whereas in the 1950s, it took about 25 minutes for a room to be engulfed in flames, now it takes 3-5 minutes. Fires affect EU citizens, and you have an opportunity now to ask the EU to improve fire safety in buildings. Why do we need to act now? After the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the European Parliament has taken the initiative to start a debate on fire safety in buildings. This debate will happen on Wednesday 13 September 2017: This is your chance to ask for fire safety in buildings to be improved.

Sign today , and help us make our buildings safer for all. A little more information We are Fire Safe Europe, a European alliance which aims to raise the profile of fire safety in buildings and we are asking the European Institutions to: Make changes to ensure that tests to evaluate the performance of facades in a fire are based on real life situations where fires can be large scale. Introduce requirements to test the toxic smoke from construction products, and to label those products with their results so that builders and consumers can make informed choices. Develop a European Fire Safety Strategy: Many EU policies impact fire safety, a focussed strategy would enable the EU to have a coordinated approach to fire safety in buildings. Building fires affect people: there are at least 5,000 fire incidents each day in the EU. Each year in Europe, approximately 70,000 people are admitted to hospitals with severe fire related injuries. Worldwide, children make up 30% of injuries and fatalities caused by fire. Firefighters are especially heavily impacted. Building fires affect the environment: Fires cause massive amounts of air pollution.

They deplete materials and increase carbon emissions, a major challenge for sustainable resource management. Building fires have a cost: ‘ 126 billion is eaten up by fire damage each year. For European countries, it is 1% of their GDP. Fire can lead to major infrastructure, data and stock loss, less productivity, staff unemployment, and even bankruptcy. About Fire Safe Europe Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) is a broad and unique cross-sectorial alliance of fire experts, fire fighters, European associations, and international companies, including construction manufacturers and material suppliers of insulation, cable, concrete, ceiling, and fire protection equipment. FSEU s mission is to improve fire safety in buildings for European citizens. Free Download: The key to mitigating cybersecurity risks Exploiting IoT technology without creating cybersecurity vulnerabilities is one of the defining challenges in today s security landscape.

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Dates announced for tall building fire safety events

FIRE EVENT The recent fires in Grenfell Tower (London) and The Torch (Dubai) have highlighted the need for improvements in tall building design, construction, management and firefighting. The Tall Building Fire Safety Network, which offers regular courses and conferences on tall building fire safety management in locations around the world, has announced a full schedule of events for 2017/18. The 5th International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference will take place between 19 21 June 2018 at Excel London alongside the FIREX International exhibition.

Day one will consider design and fire engineering in tall buildings, including fire testing of cladding systems; day two, management and insurance of fire risk in tall buildings, including construction and refurbishment; while the last day will consider firefighting in tall buildings. This will be followed on 22 June by a Tall Building Firefighting Summit . The objective of this Summit is to bring together fire chiefs and firefighters from around the world to discuss and challenge the current state of the art with regard to tall building firefighting. The event will be free to serving firefighters and seek to develop the next generation of firefighting procedures for tall buildings. Meanwhile, the next Institution of Fire Engineers Recognised Tall Building Fire Safety Management Course will take place at The Shard, London, UK between 11-15 Dec 2017. Other dates in the UK: 15-19 January 2018, Birmingham 19-23 February 2018, London 19-23 March 2018, Manchester 21-25 May 2018, London And in Australia: 9-13 October 2017, Perth 16-20 October 2017, Melbourne 23-27 October 2017, Sydney The Tall Building Fire Safety Management Training Course is packed with useful tools and techniques for those tasked with management. Training will address the issues raised by the Grenfell Tower fire. Instructors on the course are experts in their field and come with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Delivered over five days in existing Tall Buildings, the course covers a wide syllabus of relevant topics and case studies including: Prevention, including; case studies, fire risk assessment, management systems Detection and Alarm, cause and effect, maintenance, degraded systems, false alarms Escape, evacuation strategies, lifts, disabled escape, wayfinding, car parks Containment, passive barriers, steel protection, sprinklers, construction work Firefighting, fire statistics, fire growth, firefighting techniques, wind driven fires The course is ideal for anyone who has a responsibility for managing fire safety in a tall building, including high rise residential, hotels, business and office blocks and mixed use.

For further information on the courses or to book, please email Russ Timpson: [email protected]

Review of building regulations and fire safety an important step , says IOSH

Grenfell fallout Dame Judith Hackitt Dame Judith Hackitt s independent review of building regulations and fire safety is an important step towards stopping tragedies like Grenfell Tower, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has claimed. The UK government announced on Monday that former Health and Safety Executive chair, Dame Judith Hackitt was to lead the review with an interim report anticipated before the end of 2017 and a final report due in spring 2018. Hackitt, a chemical engineer who chaired the HSE between 2007 and 2016 is currently the chair of the Engineering Employers Federation.

The review will examine the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety. It will also assess compliance and enforcement issues alongside international regulation. The terms of reference of the review will be published imminently following those of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry. Communities secretary Sajid Javid said it was clear that building regulations and fire safety needed to be urgently reviewed. He said: This independent review will ensure we can swiftly make any necessary improvements. Government is determined to make sure that we learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire, and to ensure nothing like it can happen again. Dame Judith Hackitt said she was honoured to be asked to lead the review. She said: This review will look at what changes can be made for the future to make these more effective. I am keen to engage widely with industry and the public to inform the recommendations from the review.

I want the recommendations to lead to any necessary improvements in the system being made. Review welcomed Richard Jones, head of public affairs at IOSH, said: This is an important step towards ensuring that the adequacy, implementation and enforcement of relevant fire, health and safety and building regulations is reviewed and that international lessons are learned. These are all key areas that IOSH called for in our submission to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Team and we are pleased to see that Government action is being taken. IOSH notes that the Government expects an interim report from this review before the year end, with a final report by spring 2018. And importantly, that it has promised to act swiftly on any recommendations that it makes.

The original article was published on our sister site, SHP Online.

Grenfell: Drip-drip of revelations exposes UK complacency following decades of fire-safety progress

Photo: Brandon Butterworth under CC4.0 Until this year, fire deaths in England and Wales had been falling steadily for three decades. Between 2004 and 2014 fire deaths fell by 40%. Both in its sophistication and implementation, the fire-safety discipline has improved beyond measure since the 1980s.

Rules are now in place that you hardly need a degree in fire engineering to recognise as basic common sense. Their absence 30 years ago betrays a now shocking disregard for fire risk. Just consider that smoking was permitted in train carriages until 1984 and on London underground platforms until 1987, with a trial ban made permanent following the Kings Cross fire that killed 31 people and injured 100. And the circumstances surrounding the fire that killed 56 football supporters at Bradford City s Valley Parade stadium on 11 May 1985 are unbelievable. The stand that caught fire was made of timber and this at a time when supporters were allowed to smoke freely on the terraces. More incomprehensibly still, litter had been allowed to pile up beneath the stand a ready-made bonfire just awaiting ignition. A copy of the Bradford Telegraph and Argus was found, dated 4 November 1968. Such tragedies prompted the authorities to take health and safety and fire safety rather more seriously and fire deaths have been falling ever since. Small wonder that a government committed to slashing the deficit saw the fire service as an obvious target for cuts.

The firefighter s role was also expanded to encompass traffic accidents, terror attacks and major floods. We might have been full of post-Empire, pre-Brexit anxieties about our economic status and cultural identity, but we were good at fire safety and health and safety. While hundreds of workers have died in the construction of facilities for the Qatar World Cup, not a single fatality was recorded in the building of London 2012 venues. When a series of fires broke out in tall buildings dotting the skyline in Dubai in 2015 and 2016, many in the UK might have sneered at the emirate s complacency over fire standards. And yet, despite their frequency, not a single person died in those blazes. By horrific contrast, the death toll from the Grenfell blaze, though still not finalised, will surely represent the worst loss of life in a single fire in living memory. We are as a nation much more humble about our fire safety record since 14 June 2017. If the UK government forgot about the Lakanal disaster all too readily, it will be harder to expunge this one from the collective memory. The harrowing stories of people throwing children out of windows on upper level floors are not easily forgotten.

And the charred remains of Grenfell fire, visible from miles around, stand as a lasting monument to the complacency, incompetence and disregard of so many involved in the protection and management of social housing. But if others had been surprised that such a thing could happen, those in the industry were less so. Many voices in the fire industry had been warning, with increasing exasperation, for years about the multiple deficiencies in the fire-safety situation with high-rise residential blocks. More than a month on from the worst fire disaster in living memory, the shortcomings and instances of neglect continue to mount, dispelling any lingering complacency after decades of falling numbers of fire deaths. Timber frame fears The Grenfell fire has brought into sharp focus the materials favoured by the modern construction industry. As the scale of the cladding problem continues to worsen, fire-engineering experts are now warning that timber frames, which are the most popular building method for social housing, are also problematic. Speaking to the Guardian, Arnold Tarling, a chartered surveyor, said: I worry it will take more losses of life before people take this seriously, because nobody ever learns. With buildings like this, everything has to be perfect with the build to make them safe, and then afterwards, he said. At the moment we ve got a lot of modern materials, and a lot of materials being put together, and the regulations just haven t kept up.

The structural issues that once necessitated a 7-8 storey limit on the height of timber-frame buildings are no longer an issue thanks to innovations in construction methods. One timber-frame building planned for construction in east London will have nine floors, while a proposal for a 300-metre-high wood-framed skyscraper. The US, where timber frames are widespread, specifies height and area restrictions and mandates the installation of sprinklers systems neither of which apply in the UK. Timber frames can be perfectly safe. The problem arises when corners are cut, resulting in gaps in the timber frame, which is encased into a sealed void between external bricks and internal plasterboard walls. Jim Glockling, technical director of the Fire Protection Association, told the Guardian: We shouldn t be scaremongering. A properly put-together timber-frame building should perform well but it s about having the methods and quality assurance in place. There s a difference between what you are allowed to do through building regulations and what you should do. Residents themselves can undermine the effectiveness of compartmentalisation by drilling holes in a wall to mount shelves or a TV.

The problems of timber frames extends beyond the theoretical. One blaze caused by a discarded cigarette at flats in Hounslow, west London, destroyed 16 homes and caused the collapse of the building roof. And a Manchester block of flats was demolished six days after a fire broke out so fire crews could be certain it was fully extinguished. Electricity surges It has also emerged that 25 Grenfell Tower residents had experienced electricity power that caused appliances to malfunction, overheat and even emit smoke. Based on documents it had obtained, the BBC reported that some of the problems, reported several years before, had still not been resolved in the months leading up to the fire. The Grenfell fire is believed to have started when a fridge freezer caught fire on the fourth floor. More cladding revelations Given the rapid spread of the fire up the building s exterior, it was immediately apparent that the cladding on Grenfell Tower was woefully inadequate from a fire protection perspective. Worse still, in the days and weeks that followed, government tests revealed that cladding from a huge proportion of high rise residential buildings was similarly deficient. The latest damaging revelation comes from University of Leeds.

A team of researchers has found that burning cladding on Grenfell Tower would have released 14 times more heat than government tests allow. Although contractors who fitted the cladding insist that it passed all regulations, the researchers concluded that the cladding s plastic core would have burned as quickly as petrol . According to data released by French authorities, e cladding would have released 43.2 MJ/kg of heat. The European A2 standard for limited combustibility is 3 MJ/kg. The foam insulation underneath the cladding was, separately, thought to emit around 26 MJ/kg of heat.

Theresa May calls for major national investigation into use of cladding

The use of non-flame retardant cladding on tower blocks will be part of a major national investigation possibly attached to the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry reports have claimed. Prime minister Theresa May made the comments after the cabinet was informed by Communities secretary Sajid Javid that the number of towers which had failed fire safety tests on cladding was now 95 blocks all of those tested so far. The study of cladding has taken place across 32 local authority areas, and as a result of the findings and other fears, hospitals and schools may now also assess their cladding where concerns have arisen, Javid said.

Although May has not detailed the precise scope of the national investigation into cladding, it is believed that the study could form a second phase to the judge-led Grenfell Tower inquiry. A spokesperson for the prime minister said it was clear that everybody is concerned about this and everybody wants to establish what went wrong. The original article was published on our sister site, SHP Online.

Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June

Write your messages on the Grenfell Tower tribute wall

Tribute Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower last week, charity collections and a tribute wall are providing a space for fire and safety professionals to send their messages of support to the victims. Messages have ranged from those offering sympathy to the victims of the tragedy, to thoughts about how as this can be prevented from ever happening again. Charity collections are taking place around the event (please give generously our parent company will be matching all donations) and important panel debate took place with all leading fire associations discussing the way forward.

Here is a selection of tributes from the first day: Please join us in leaving your messages at the Custom House end of ExCeL over the next three days. Visit Europe s leading security event in June 2017 Visit IFSEC International for exclusive access to every security product on the market, live product demonstrations and networking with thousands of security professionals. From access control and video surveillance to smart buildings, cyber, border control and so much more. It is the perfect way to keep up to date, protect your business and enhance your career in the security industry. Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June 2017.

London fire: Councils and social landlords have ignored our warnings for years

GRENFELL TOWER FIRE We have a right to be very angry at the news about Grenfell Tower. I regularly sit in meetings with fire safety professionals, and their fury and frustration at the inaction of local councils and social landlords is palpable. We have been warning about the risks of a fire like this for years.

What we need to get people to take notice is a huge fire in a tower block they say. Well, here it is. There is an endemic fire safety problem in this type of housing stock. I have walked around tower blocks documenting and filming the fire safety breaches. I ve seen flats without fire doors, no emergency lighting or signage on fire doors and escape routes, broken fire rated glass, wedged-open fire doors, poor fire stopping around service hatches that breach compartmentation, no smoke seals in fire doors, rubbish and combustible material left in the common areas, and no information displayed on the specific fire plan of the building. #Grenfell Tower floor plan. “Improved” high density layout means one set of stairs for 24 stories of 120 apartments. #LondonFire pic.twitter.com/MHV3adB5Q7 Mark Ashley (@themarkashley) June 14, 2017 Deaf ears But that information appears to fall on deaf ears. Action must be taken now to address these issues. Our hearts go out to the residents of Grenfell Tower, their neighbours, friends and families, and the extraordinarily brave fire fighters and medics who are continuing to deal with the emergency. And to every local council and housing association I say, you know what to do, take action today. The next one could be tomorrow.

More than half of all tenants (58%) and over 70% of lower income tenants have no idea who the Responsible Person is for the building where they live Research for Fire Door Safety Week last year underlines some of the problems, in particular showing that the poorest in society continue to be at greatest risk from fire, with lower income tenants more concerned about fire safety where they live, less informed about how to protect themselves, and less able to move away from perceived danger. Just a third (35%) of the lowest income households renting flats say they have been given information on the emergency fire plan for the building where they live, compared to 88% of tenants on incomes over 100,000 a year. Those on incomes of 25,000 or less are much less likely to feel completely safe from fire (27%) than those on incomes above 80,000 (44%). But two out of every nine (22%) households with incomes under 25,000 living in rented flats who have concerns over fire safety are unable to move because they can t afford to. More than half of all tenants (58%) and over 70% of lower income tenants have no idea who the Responsible Person is for the building where they live the person to whom they should usually report their fire safety concerns. And worryingly, 15% of all tenants living in blocks of flats who have got fire safety concerns have never reported those concerns to anyone at all. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June