The Phase One report of the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry has been published.
The report states that the reason the fire spread so quickly to the whole building was due to Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) cladding.
The Phase One report looked into established exactly what happened in the early hours of 14th June 2017, and Phase two will focus on establishing how the condition of Grenfell Tower allowed the disaster to happen.
The inquiry recommends that the owner and manager of every high-rise residential building be required by law:
- To provide their local fire and rescue service with information about the design of its external walls together with details of the materials of which they are constructed and to inform the fire and rescue service of any material changes made to them.
- To provide their local fire and rescue services with up-to-date plans in both paper and electronic form of every floor of the building identifying the location of key fire safety systems.
- To ensure that the building contains a premises information box, the contents of which must include a copy of the up-to-date floor plans and information about the nature of any lift intended for use by the fire and rescue services.
- To carry out regular inspections of any lifts that are designed to be used by firefighters in an emergency and to report the results of such inspections to their local fire and rescue service at monthly intervals;
- To carry out regular tests of the mechanism which allows firefighters to take control of the lifts and to inform their local fire and rescue service at monthly intervals that they have done so.
- To draw up and keep under regular review evacuation plans, copies of which are to be provided in electronic and paper form to their local fire and rescue service and placed in an information box on the premises.
- To prepare personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for all residents whose ability to self-evacuate may be compromised (such as persons with reduced mobility or cognition).
- To include up-to-date information about persons with reduced mobility and their associated PEEPs in the premises information box.
- To provide fire safety instructions (including instructions for evacuation) in a form that the occupants of the building can reasonably be expected to understand, taking into account the nature of the building and their knowledge of the occupants.
- To carry out checks at not less than three-monthly intervals to ensure that all fire doors are fitted with effective self-closing devices in working order.
Earlier this month the Government published its response to the HCLG Select Committee report-“Building regulations and fire safety-consultation response and connected issues”. This response reiterates that private building owners have until December to apply for funding for ACM removal and replacement.
Building Safety Regulator
This week, the Government announced that Dame Judith Hackitt will provide independent advice to the government on how best to establish the proposed new Building Safety Regulator. Dame Judith carried out an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, following the Grenfell Tower fire. Our policy manager John Stewart gave evidence to the Hackitt enquiry in June 2018.