LKP would like to express our deepest sympathy to all those affected by tragic fire at Grenfell Tower. Residents of flats across the country are now quite naturally also concerned about the saftey of their own blocks.
The press has been speculating on who and what is to blame, but it will take experts some time to work out all the factors that contributed to this disaster. It will take even longer to understand how policies and regulations should change across the social, private and retirement sectors.
LKP patron, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, ex fireman and one time Minister for London, leads the first debate on the issue in the House of Commons on the 26th June.
Jim has just spoken on the BBC Sunday Politics show with a debate at 11:41 along with new Labour MP Emma Dent Coad and conservative MP Bob Neil. As Jim has explained there are many factors to consider, including compliance with the regulations that already exist. The programme can be watched HERE
LKP plans to publish a number of articles looking at some of the wider issues over the next few weeks. As Jim Fizpatrick pointed out today the buck stops with parliament. But there are many more groups who have answers to give.
- Why have the s20 procurement rules, which the CMA recommended should be amended in 2014, not been updated?
- Why do we have problems with compliance with existing building regulations?
- Why have building regulations not moved forward?
- How can we still have these issues when the Health an Safety Executive has been in existence for 40 years?
Although it would not have been relevant in the case of Grenfell Tower leaseholders can make some positive contributions to the saftey of their block by supporting expenditure on saftey issues.
On occasions we have received complaints from leaseholders about their property manager wanting to bring their fire system up to date. Their argument is that there is no obligation for an existing building to meet current fire regulations so why should he have to pay?
Leaseholders can also help with their own fire alarms by adhering to the manufactures advice. These alarms should be replaced after a certain period of time. Here is some useful advice from the London Fire brigade which makes clear fire alarms should be replaced at least every 10 years. http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/SmokeAlarms.asp
Leaseholder resident associations should ask their managing agent for a copy of their site’s most recent fire risk and saftey assessment.