Race to ensure that all high-rise flats are safe

The Conservative View with Cllr Duncan Crow SUS-170126-103712001
The Conservative View with Cllr Duncan Crow SUS-170126-103712001

All of us have been shocked and saddened by the horror and tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire in London last week.

As I write at the weekend following the fire, many facts remain unknown and it is absolutely right that a full public inquiry will take place to leave no stone unturned in establishing the facts.

While lessens need to be learnt, it is already clear that something, or more likely a terrible and deadly combination of several things, went badly wrong.

There is potential for criminal charges so I will refrain from speculating as to the causes and why the fire spread so quickly in a way that building designs and safety regulations should never have allowed possible.

Both this tragedy and the horrendous forest fires in Portugal, which have also sadly claimed a large number of lives, show that we cannot underestimate the danger that fires can pose us.

We should recognise that fire safety with a strong emphasis on prevention has advanced dramatically in recent years, with the number of fires needed to be attended by fire and rescue services having halved in the last ten years.

This makes the fact that the Grenfell Tower fire could happen in this day and age even more shocking.

While there is a large amount of work going on to help the survivors and victims’ families of Grenfell Tower and investigations are continuing, it is natural that people living in flats across the country and potentially globally will be very concerned about fire safety following this event.

The government have undertaken to work tirelessly to answer the question of how this has happened and to make sure that it can never happen again.

The Government are acting quickly to reassure people living in similar buildings that they are safe.

Urgent checks are being made with local authorities to ensure that all high-rise buildings in their areas have complied with recent fire orders (any works required following an inspection), as well as conducting fire safety reviews of all buildings similar to Grenfell Tower. This horrific event must never be repeated.