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Government responds to Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report

28 January 2020

The Government has published a document which sets out its response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s Phase 1 report, which was published on 30 October 2019.

The response sets out the steps the Government is taking to implement the report’s recommendations at pace as well as the wider work it is doing to make buildings safer. 

In 2019, The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report, looked at the events on the night of the fire on 14 June 2017 in which 72 people died. It criticised the response of The London Fire Brigade (LFB) citing ‘serious shortcomings’ and ‘systemic failures’.

The response sets out the actions taken by the Government, in addressing the recommendations made to it and to the Emergency Services, including the London Fire Brigade. It adds that the Government will "continue to ensure that we actively engage with those who have been personally affected by the tragedy and listen to their views on the changes made to building regulations and fire safety".

The 12-page document, ‘Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report: government response’, covers:

  • Use of combustible materials;
  • Recommendations where changes are required by law;
  • ‘Stay put’ and evacuation;
  • Fire doors;
  • Testing and certification;
  • Building regulations;
  • Evacuation alert systems and internal signage;
  • Building Safety Regulator.

The report also provides recommendations for London Fire Brigade (LFB). It says: "LFB has accepted in full the recommendations directed to them, as well as those for the Fire and Rescue Services more broadly. The Home Office welcomes the steps LFB inform us they have already taken to address the Inquiry’s recommendations. These include revisions to policy guidance and advice to ensure personnel are better informed of the risks of fire taking hold in external walls, and the roll out of Fire Survival Guidance refresher training. The Home Office also supports LFB making smoke hoods available as part of breathing apparatus sets on all their fire appliances."

Phase 2 of the Inquiry will investigate the wider context – including the nature and application of building regulations, the way in which local and central government responded to the fire, and the handling of concerns raised by tenants over many years.

The publication of the report follows an announcement by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on 20 January 2020, that the government would begin naming the owners of high-rise buildings who’ve been slow to remove dangerous cladding. He also announced that a new building safety regulator would be established by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in order to raise building safety and performance standards.