The horror of the Grenfell tragedy hopefully marks a turning point in the UK for how we design and manage fire safety in our buildings, whether they are used for business or domestic purposes.
Some attention has been focused of the London Fire Brigade and failings in their response on the night but beyond those these are the 4 key findings:-
A microwave oven caught fire within one of the flats.
Register all new appliances in order to receive safety recall information.
Service and maintain electrical appliances in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Ensure electrical appliances are suitable for the task and located where ventilation cannot be blocked.
Keep combustible materials away from portable appliances.
Ensure users of the appliance are instructed in how to operate it correctly and report defects.
Avoid leaving electrical appliances operating unattended unless you have fully assessed the risks.
External Flammable Cladding Caught Fire and Replacement Windows compromised the Building’s Fire Compartmentalisation.
When adding either external or internal wall/roof/ceiling linings to premises, ensure it is suitably fire resistant to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
Ensure any building alteration plans consider the impact of changes on fire safety.
Evacuation ‘Stay Put’ Procedure Resulted in Loss of Life
Review your evacuation procedures, consider ‘phased evacuation’ for buildings with more than two floors
Avoid the use of ‘stay put’ policies and only use refuge areas if you have fully assessed the risks, and consulted your local fire service.
Fire Spread Rapidly through Escape Routes due to Fire Doors in Poor Condition
Inspect the condition of fire doors regularly, including seals and door closure devices.
Check that fire doors close properly and are not being left propped open. Ensure fire escape routes are kept clear of combustible materials.
The fundamental issue was a lack of fire risk assessment. Undertaking a full and comprehensive fire risk assessment and implementing the controls and actions could have prevented this disaster.
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