Four years on from the tragic Grenfell Tower fire there is still much to do to improve the fire safety of buildings, according to the industry.
The fire, which claimed the lives of 72 people in 2017, led to the enactment of many changes in the building safety system but much remains unchanged.
On the fourth anniversary the BAFE Fire Safety Register, the independent register of quality fire safety service providers, said that it “always stresses the significance of verifying all chosen contractors to ensure they hold appropriate and valid UKAS Accredited Third-Party Certification and relevant Qualifications for the services required”. BAFE states that “confirming evidence of competency is part of the responsibility of premises management to exercise full due diligence in keeping occupants safe from any event of fire”.
Earlier this year, James Maxwell-Scott QC, acting for RBKC (Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea), also highlighted that in respect of fire risk assessment “the sector was and remains completely unregulated. No qualifications are required by law. No training is required by law. There was and is no bar whatsoever to anyone seeking to go into business as a fire risk assessor”.
BAFE said it commended the work undertaken by the fire safety and construction sectors following the Grenfell Tower fire but said: “We are fully aware and share frustrations in witnessing the long timeframe it is taking to fully implement stronger measures.”
BAFE added that the requirements for critical life safety work to be performed at a high quality and Third Party Certificated level “should be mandatory” and said they were “confident this is going in the right direction”.
The organisation said: “The fourth anniversary of this tragic event continues to highlight the importance of building safety, including the quality life safety systems and provisions within it (maintained efficiently to ensure they remain ready in the event of fire).”