Striving for fire safety

Telegraph: Grenfell tower condolencesXACT Training head Trevor Norwood has given his first reaction to the devastating Grenfell Tower Fire, stressing the company’s commitment to its support for the fire safety industry.

Mr Norwood, who is Operations Manager with the leading provider of fire safety training to the Fire Service, Building Control Officers and Fire Risk Assessors, said: “We at Xact feel absolutely heartbroken about his tragedy.

“Our thoughts are with all those families and the wider community affected as well as the emergency services which fought to save lives.

“I was a fire officer for 30 years before becoming involved with Xact which is all about training fire safety professionals to conduct their roles to a high level of competency to ensure people remain protected from fire in, for example, their homes, schools, hospitals and out and about at festivals, pop concerts, theatres, cinemas, sports grounds and shopping malls.

“We are feeling a deep sense of sorrow and dismay at Xact about the loss of life and what the victims and survivors are going through, especially as our work here is all about striving to prevent exactly what has happened though the training we offer to The Fire Service and other organisations in the fire safety sector.

“This fire should not have been allowed to happen in this century in a country normally perceived as leading and progressing fire safety standards. It is beyond belief that it has.

“Current fire safety guidance documents in the UK are designed to prevent tragedies such as this occurring.

“The recent refurbishment programme at the Tower would have been required to comply with The Building Regulations. Additionally, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) requires that escape routes were available at all times.

“Therefore, it would appear that the fire safety arrangements in this block have failed to protect the occupants. In what way and how is a matter for investigators.

“My colleagues and I at Xact will be following closely all developments flowing from the investigation into this totally avoidable disaster.

“In its wake, we are more committed and determined than ever do absolutely all we can to support the fire safety industry to avoid such tragedies in future.”