Two years after the Grenfell Tower Inquiry published recommendations for London Fire Brigade and others, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is calling on building managers and owners to ensure they act now to keep residents safe.
With over 1,000 buildings in London now deemed so unsafe they require interim safety measures, the Mayor is calling for all building owners and managers to urgently put in place the building safety changes needed, and not to wait for legislation where improvements can be secured now, including providing Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for residents that require them
The London Fire Brigade has confirmed 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.
But focusing on building owners and managers, Khan has written a letter to remind them of the “importance of urgent progress on its recommendations if we are to safeguard building safety and rebuild trust with residents.”
Calling it “unacceptable” some Londoners are still waiting for lessons to be learnt from Grenfell, Khan set out three recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry that he believes building owners and managers could implement now without legislation:
- Floor numbers to be clearly marked on each landing within the stairways of high-rise buildings and in a prominent place in all lobbies in such a way as to be visible both in normal conditions and in low lighting or smoky conditions.
- The owner and manager of every residential building containing separate dwellings to carry out an urgent inspection of all fire doors to ensure that they comply with applicable legislative standards.
- All buildings to contain a premises information box, the contents of which must include a copy of the up-to-date floor plans and information about the nature of any lift intended for use by the fire and rescue services.
In a wider statement, 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.”