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Fire Sector Federation calls for change

15 November 2019

THE FIRE Sector Federation (FSF) is calling for a decade of change after a decade of neglect saying it is relieved that the report into the findings from the first phase of the Grenfell Inquiry has been released.

The FSF says that the report has exposed weaknesses and reinforces the need to press harder in the task to make fire safety a priority across the built environment. It goes on to say that after a decade of neglect in fire safety control we must continue what has started into a decade of change to create new controls, competencies and systems that prevent anything like this happening again.

The Federation says it will take time and care to absorb all the findings but is commited to do that to make our built environment a safer place.The threat of fire has always demanded serious attention. This comprehensive document explains why and rightly draws attention to poor performance and failures. It also suggests where responsibilities lie for the loss of life and injury that happened on 14 June 2017. The Federation when considering the detail will continue to reflect that without an appropriate fire strategy and a clear, strong regulatory framework the danger of terrible events like Grenfell Tower will continue to exist.

Firefighting and rescue are the last not first line of defence. The Federation had been shouting in the dark to improve fire safety through better building control before the deaths in the fire at Lakanal House. We will continue to do so until we see the changes proposed by Government to implement the Hackitt Review on building fire safety come fully into practice.

FSF chairman Michael Harper said “The release today of the Grenfell Inquiry Phase 1 report with its extensive criticism and recommendations for action reminds everyone of how far the country had fallen in fire safety. It is a sad and crucial milestone.  One that demands we all energetically continue the work we have started to rebuild public confidence in their homes being safe. The greatest memorial to those who we have lost and hurt is to not just to say ‘never again’ but to put in place the means that make that happen”.