Following an enquiry which stated that the fire cladding was not up to scratch, the manufacturers have said that the fire cladding was not the sole reason for the disaster at the building.
Furthermore, they also blamed the windows for not protecting residents. Previous evidence heard by the enquiry has also put blame on the ‘stay-put’ fire procedure. Whatever the eventual conclusions and recommendations of the enquiry, the proceedings have illustrated that fire safety should not be down to one factor.
Buildings should be protected with fire cladding and other fire retardant materials, but fire safety is also about efficient evacuation procedures, clear fire exits and safety signs. All staff need to be trained in fire safety and regular fire drills carried out to make sure that they know exactly what to do in case of fire.
If a business is in rented property, fire safety is a joint responsibility between the landlords and the business occupier. The business must appoint a person or persons responsible for fire safety. If a building is extended or renovated, it must be re-assessed to make sure that the alterations comply with fire regulations.
The Grenfell tragedy highlights the disastrous consequences of inadequate fire safety measures in a building. Companies do not have to wait for the outcome of an enquiry to learn the lesson of looking at every factor that affects fire safety to make sure that workers and visitors are not placed at risk.