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November 5, 2021

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LFB updates on progress in implementing its Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations

Two years after the Grenfell Tower Inquiry (GTI) published recommendations for London Fire Brigade (LFB) and others, LFB has published an update on its progress in implementing them.

London Fire BrigadeThe Brigade points out that it accepted every recommendation from the inquiry and, over the past two years, has implemented multiple changes to the way it operates, as it continues to learn lessons from the fire and works to keep Londoners safe.

The inquiry report made 46 recommendations in total, of which 29 were aimed either at the London Fire Brigade or at emergency services (including LFB) more widely. A further 11 recommendations were directed at other parties but require some subsequent action by the Brigade.

As of 29 October 2021, the Brigade confirms that it has completed 23 of the 29 recommendations aimed at LFB or emergency services more widely. A further three are scheduled to be completed by December 2021, leaving only three outstanding.

Some of the recommendations already in place include:

  • new, robust ways of collecting operational risk data on high-rise buildings
  • new training and communications protocols for the 999 control room and incident commanders
  • new training for all staff to help them recognise rapid external fire spread, and new and revised policies to help them mitigate that risk
  • the provision of “smoke hoods”, allowing residents to be evacuated from buildings more safely.

The remaining outstanding recommendations are in progress but awaiting the successful procurement of new equipment, such as radios that can be used while wearing both a helmet and breathing apparatus. Additionally, one action is reliant on the setting up of a “Multi Agency Information Transfer” system by the Home Office.

Commenting, London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said: “We accepted every recommendation made to us by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and, while there is still work to do, I am pleased to say that we have a number of new and important pieces of policy, training and practice now in place and protecting Londoners.

“We know that we owe it to the bereaved families, the survivors and the residents – whose lives have been torn apart by what happened that night – to learn, change our service, and improve. I know that the progress we have made following the disaster means that we are now in a better position to protect every Londoner.

“We also continue to have detailed discussions with community representatives, in Kensington and across London, on how we can serve them better as we – and the city – transform.”

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The Grenfell Tower fire was a devastating tragedy and we will always remember the 72 innocent Londoners who lost their lives. We owe it to those who died, those who lost loved ones and those who survived the fire to do everything we can to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

“Two years on from the Phase 1 report from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, London Fire Brigade has been working to put in place all the recommendations made to the fire service as swiftly as possible. I’m pleased that the Brigade has completed the vast majority of the recommendations – including new training for the 999 control room and the introduction of ‘smoke hoods’, allowing residents to be evacuated from buildings more safely – but there is more work to be done to see the changes fully implemented.

“I remain deeply concerned that four years on from the Grenfell tragedy those in high-rise building are still living in fear. That’s why I’m calling on the Government, developers and building owners to act now and make the urgent changes needed to remove flammable cladding and material on balconies that could contribute to the spread of fire, and to fully cover the cost of interim safety measures.

“I am personally committed to continuing to do everything within my power to ensure the Grenfell community gets the justice they deserve, and all Londoners can feel safe again in their homes.”

Safety & Health Podcast

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Gill Kernick about the pressing need to improve building safety culture post-Grenfell.

Fire Safety in 2023 eBook

SHP's sister site, IFSEC Insider has released its annual Fire Safety Report for 2023, keeping you up to date with the biggest news and prosecution stories from around the industry.

Chapters include important updates such as the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and an overview of the new British Standard for the digital management of fire safety information.

Plus, explore the growing risks of lithium-ion battery fires and hear from experts in disability evacuation and social housing.

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