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Grenfell Tower inquiry informed of 'systemic failure' in fire safety

15 September 2017

As the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry begins, following the tragic loss of many lives that resulted when the building caught fire earlier this year, the Fire Sector Federation (FSF) has shared its views on safety standards.

It has written to the inquiry, as well as the Building Regulations and Fire Safety Review to provide details of its concerns and recommendations for the future.

Its statement said the FSF "believes there has been a systemic failure in the current system of fire safety control, regulations and enforcement regime across the built environment".

This now requires a fundamental review, said the FSF.

Within its Grenfell Terms of Reference response, the federation refers to Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd, who suggested that complacency has "crept in" to the compliancy process for building regulation, inspection and risk assessment.

The FSF said it agrees that the Grenfell inquiry should be wide ranging, including considering if the current fire safety control, regulation and enforcement regime is inadequate for the built environment.

Recommendations for the main topics of the inquiry have been provided by the FSF, including:
1. The immediate cause of the fire, the deaths and the casualties;
2. Consideration of product, materials, system specification and testing;
3. Discussion of Building Regulations and guidance;
4. Examination of the construction and enforcement process;
5. Competency levels and the impact of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order;

The above were accompanied by a detailed list of explanatory notes and recommendations.

Further information was also provided by the FSF on questions such as the type of evidence the inquiry should obtain and details to be included within both the interim and main report.

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