Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
January 20, 2021

Sign up to free email newsletters


The Video Surveillance Report 2023

Building safety

National construction products regulator established to ‘build homes safer’ following Grenfell revelations

The establishment of a new national construction products regulator was announced by UK Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on 19 January, in response to the revelations from the Grenfell Inquiry that manufacturers were knowingly ignoring safety rules.

The regulator “will have the power to remove any product from the market that presents a significant safety risk and prosecute any companies who flout the rules on product safety”.

In the announcement, the Government directly referenced the fallout of the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry, which “shone a light on the dishonest practice by some manufacturers of construction products”.

The comments relate to the revelations that executives at the manufacturers involved with the cladding refurbishment process (Arconic, Celotex and Kingspan) of the Grenfell Tower “deliberately misled customers about the performance of their products and circumvented regulations with clever marketing”, as reported in The Guardian.

The new national construction products regulator will have “strong enforcement powers”, and will be able to carry out its own product-testing if concerned. The role will operate within the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) which will be given up to £10million in funding to establish the new function – also working in conjunction with the Building Safety Regulator and Trading Standards.

Robert Jenrick

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP

A panel of experts with regulatory, technical and construction industry experience will lead the process and are set to report “later this year” for the first time.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “The Grenfell Inquiry has heard deeply disturbing allegations of malpractice by some construction product manufacturers and their employees, and of the weaknesses of the present product testing regime.

“We are establishing a national regulator to address these concerns and a review into testing to ensure our national approach is fit for purpose. We will continue to listen to the evidence emerging in the Inquiry, and await the judge’s ultimate recommendation – but it is already clear that action is required now and that is what we are doing.”

Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, Dame Judith Hackitt, added: “This is another really important step in delivering the new regulatory system for building safety. The evidence of poor practice and lack of enforcement in the past has been laid bare. As the industry itself starts to address its shortcomings I see a real opportunity to make great progress in conjunction with the national regulator.”

The move has been dismissed as “too late” by campaigners, however. Those who represent the hundreds of thousands of leaseholders trapped in homes that they are not able to sell due to the use of dangerous construction materials in use, believe that while it’s good news for future buildings, “it does literally nothing for the buildings that already have the materials on them”.

Read the announcement in full, here.

2023 Fire Safety eBook – Grab your free copy!

Download the Fire Safety in 2023 eBook, keeping you up to date with the biggest news and prosecution stories from around the industry. Chapters include important updates such as the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and an overview of the new British Standard for the digital management of fire safety information.

Plus, we explore the growing risks of lithium-ion battery fires and hear from experts in disability evacuation and social housing.


Related Topics

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments