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August 7, 2009

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Interim report into Lakanal House tower block fire published


An interim report into last month’s fire at the Lakanal House tower block in London makes a number of wide-ranging recommendations on active and passive fire safety provisions in similar types of building, while stopping short of making any findings as to why the fire spread and developed so quickly.

Emphasising the need not to prejudice the ongoing formal investigation into the fire, the chief fire and rescue adviser, Sir Ken Knight, has identified emerging findings and areas for consideration by the government. While stating that the initial investigations have not yet been able to identify the mechanisms that caused the fire to develop and spread, the report recommends:

–  Reminding specifiers, main contractors and installers and those responsible for building safety management of the need to use industry standards and information when removing, altering or replacing passive fire protection
–  Reviewing the fire safety advice and education given to residents of high rise blocks
–  A variety of suggestions on active measures such as the installation or upgrading of detection and alarms and emergency lighting/signage

Other recommendations include how to ensure that a risk assessment is ‘suitable and sufficient’ with, if appropriate, amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and, subject to further investigation, clarification of some aspects of fire and rescue service national operational guidance. 


Sir Ken’s report in full

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