FPA demands further change two years after Grenfell

FPA demands further change two years after Grenfell

THE FIRE Protection Association (FPA) has renewed its comment that the changes to building regulations from the government ‘don’t go far enough’, and that it is ‘time for some immediate change’.

In a press release, the FPA stated that ‘if we want to prevent another Grenfell Tower tragedy, it’s time for some immediate change’, and added that it ‘remains firm’ that two years after Grenfell, the changes to building regulations and the ‘so-called’ ban on combustible cladding ‘do not go far enough in protecting buildings and the people who live in them, from fire’.

It added that the ‘solution’ should be a range of changes, with the first being third party certification. The FPA ‘welcome[s] the acknowledgement of the value of independently verified products’, but believes that ‘this assurance should be mandated and extend to the installers of products and the risk assessors’. It also called for an extension to the ban on combustible materials to ‘all high-risk buildings regardless of height – not just buildings over 18 metres’.

Additionally, it called for a ban on single staircases in buildings over 18m in height ‘to offer both an entrance and exit staircase’, while finally it mentioned a ‘mandatory installation of multi sensor detection for all high-risk occupancies’, with such detectors monitoring a ‘number of potential dangers’ including smoke, heat and carbon monoxide.

Jonathan O’Neill, managing director of the FPA, commented: ‘The Fire Protection Association supports a total ban on combustible building materials, to all high-risk buildings, such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, blocks of flats – not just those buildings over 18 metres. We also want a ban on single staircases in all tall buildings, because in the event of a fire you need at least one staircase for people to be able to evacuate the building, and a second staircase for the fire and rescue services for entry.

‘Our support of third-party certification, to provide independent verification of building regulations services, as well as the mandatory installation of multi sensor detectors (that can detect several sources, such as heat, smoke and carbon monoxide) is also a key consideration. There is clearly much that still needs to be done, so we are keen to see change now - and will help in any way we can to ensure that we never again experience a tragedy on the scale we witnessed at Grenfell.’