Grenfell: First anniversary

THOSE affected by the Grenfell Tower fire have been in our thoughts at Xact as its first anniversary passed (14th June) – and as we absorb the findings about the fire safety systems on the building’s exterior emerging from the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. So far the Chair, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, has heard from the Bereaved, Survivors and Residents groups (BSRs) in a series of commemoration hearings and opening statements from core participants including legal representatives of…

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Trainer backs Hackitt Review

  Xact welcomes the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review Building a Safer Future which has called for a Joint Competent Authority (JCA) to be created to ensure competence in those responsible for building safety. The report has also recognised that a competence framework specifically for higher risk residential buildings (HRRBs) should be developed to ensure safety is not compromised by a lack of skills, knowledge and experience in those engaged in managing any part of a building’s life-cycle….

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Grenfell Tower: Interim Report

Report calls for qualifications Xact has welcomed the Grenfell Tower Interim Report (see below), noting that its initial recommendations place the emphasis on a requirement for suitably qualified practitioners. The report is critical of building regulations guidance, stating: “The current regulatory system for ensuring fire safety in high-rise and complex buildings is not fit for purpose.” Attention is also focused on the competency of those involved in fire safety and its regulation: “There is a need to raise levels of…

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Smoking related fire deaths

Smoking related fire deaths double, warns Brigade on No Smoking Day Twenty-one Londoners died in fires relating to smoking last year, which is more than double the year before. The figures, released to coincide with national No Smoking Day, also show that around three fires a day are linked to smoking, with around two people a week being injured. Fire chiefs are asking people to quit smoking to avoid the risk of dying or being hurt in a fire. Dan Daly, the…

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Historic Building

A 19th century Grade II-listed church in Salford, Greater Manchester has been destroyed by fire. Six fire crews attended the blaze at the Church of the Ascension, which was built in 1869, shortly before midnight on Sunday. The fire destroyed the roof of the church before it was brought under control by firefighters in the early hours of Monday. Greater Manchester Police have confirmed they are now treating the fire as arson and have released CCTV footage of a suspect…

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Student Accommodation

Student accommodation provider given heavy fine and suspended prison sentence for multiple fire-safety breaches. A student accommodation provider has been handed a suspended prison sentence and almost £200,000 in fines and costs after multiple fire safety breaches. Accommodation in Nottingham city centre operated by Nottingham Student Lettings Ltd lacked adequate means of escape, fire detection equipment or emergency lighting, Nottingham Crown Court heard. The operator could not provide a suitable fire-risk assessment and hadn’t provided staff with fire safety training….

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Homes evacuated after garage fire

Abertillery homes evacuated after MoT garage fire. About 25 homes have been evacuated as firefighters tackle a fire at an MoT garage in Blaenau Gwent. Crews were called to the single-storey building at Bournville Road, Blaina, Abertillery, at about 03.30 GMT. A 650ft (200m) cordon has been put in place and the road is shut. Residents have been told to leave their homes because there are gas cylinders inside. The fire service said most people had gone to relatives’ homes…

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