Fire safety industry reflects on Grenfell tragedy 7 years later

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“Our thoughts remain with the families and loved ones of the 72 people who lost their lives”, says London Fire Commissioner

Today marks seven years since the devastating Grenfell Fire, an event that profoundly affected London and changed many lives forever.

London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe commented: “Our thoughts remain with the families and loved ones of the 72 people who lost their lives, as well as the survivors, their families, and the Grenfell community.”

Roe emphasised the importance of listening to the Grenfell community, which has been essential for the brigade to learn from the tragedy.

He said: “This year, London Fire Brigade completed every recommendation directed specifically to us in the Phase 1 report.

“We have now introduced important new policies, new equipment, implemented improved training and better ways of working, particularly in how we respond to fires in high-rise buildings.”

BAFE and FireQual’s stance on fire safety

BAFE and FireQual have acknowledged the Grenfell Tower Fire on its seventh anniversary, paying respects to all those affected by the tragedy.

They stressed the industry’s responsibility to prevent such an event from happening again.

In 2023, changes began to take effect in fire safety legislation, particularly regarding Fire Risk Assessment requirements.

BAFE has been actively involved with the Fire Risk Assessor Competency Verification Project Board (FRA-CVPB), working on defining competency for Fire Risk Assessors.

BAFE’s ongoing collaboration with UKAS aims to ensure that any UKAS Accredited competency scheme will meet clear criteria to demonstrate the capability of organisations and their employees in delivering life safety work.

Stronger regulations are anticipated to align with these competency requirements.

Importance of regulated qualifications

FireQual supports the need for stronger evidence of competence within the fire safety industry.

Regulated qualifications are being developed to meet this requirement, as highlighted in competence-based documents such as the BSI Flex 8670 and their SKEB rubric.

Dr Justin Maltby-Smith, Group Managing Director of BAFE, stated: “Our Registered Organisations have already demonstrated the correct behaviours by being registered to appropriate BAFE competency Schemes.

The first major step is to mandate UKAS Accredited Third-Party Certification, regulate the industry and remove unsafe workers.”

BAFE’s campaign, “Don’t just specify, verify”, continues to champion UKAS Accredited Third-Party Certification to enhance the fire safety industry’s standards and ensure life safety.

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