Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister was Editor of IFSEC Global from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam is also a former Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
September 14, 2017

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Grenfell inquiry begins: The numbers that lay bare the funding crisis hampering high-rise improvements

As the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire finally begins, the recommendations that emerge will hopefully be heeded more readily than those made following the Lakanal investigation.

It’s the start of a long process, with the interim report not due to be published until Easter.

The inquiry’s remit encompasses the cause and spread of the fire, high-rise regulations, and the actions of the local authority, Kensington and Chelsea Council.

The fire, which killed at least 80 people on 14 June, has pushed the fire-safety debate beyond the fire-safety sector and into the national media. Long frustrated with being stonewalled by councils and central government, suddenly leading fire-safety advocates were suddenly thrust in front of TV cameras to explain to the world how such a thing could have happened.

The debate focused on cladding initially but has widened to almost every aspect of fire safety. So horrendous was the tragedy – and the charred remains of Grenfell will stand as an unavoidable, macabre reminder until a demolition planned for the end of 2018 – that surely this time there’s enough momentum to make substantive action over fire safety deficiencies in social and high-rise housing.

That central and local government are finally taking the issue seriously is no cause to celebrate – it shouldn’t have taken such loss of life to jolt government into action. And where there’s a will there isn’t always a way where money is involved – as our infographic below shows.

Anyone who wishes to publish this infographic on their own website is very welcome to. Email me at [email protected] if you want an embed code or JPG.

The Future of Fire Safety: download the eBook

Is the fire protection industry adapting to the post-Grenfell reality fast enough? At FIREX International 2019, Europe's only dedicated fire safety event, some of the world's leading fire safety experts covered this theme. This eBook covers the key insights from those discussions on the developments shaping the profession, with topics including:

  • Grenfell Inquiry must yield “bedrock change” – and soon
  • After Grenfell: Jonathan O’Neill OBE on how austerity and policy “on the hoof” are hampering progress
  • Hackitt’s Golden Thread: Fire, facilities and building safety
  • Fire safety community has to “get on board” with technological changes

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