Stop risking lives: bring in crucial fire safety regs now; make the UK's tower blocks safe
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As someone who lives on one of London's many estates, I recognise those who died in Grenfell as extended neighbours. I happen to work right next to Grenfell, and was haunted by the burnt out tower this morning on my way to a meeting. We cannot let this happen again.
And yet, this is not the first time. A tragic fire at Lakanal House, Camberwell, on 3rd July 2009 cost us six lives. An inquest was held and its findings given in 2013, but only to a limited few, who have sat on the results all this time.
Following the critical findings of the coroner's 2013 report on the earlier Lakanal fire, which highlighted issues that could have prevented Grenfell, we are asking for the immediate implementation of recommendations from that report.
Some recommendations from the report's coroner include:
- use of fire resistant materials
- regular fire assessments
- providing residents with full instructions about what to do in the event of a fire
At Lakanal, exterior panels that were not fire resistant were found to have caused the blaze to spread far quicker. It is becoming apparent that a similar issue may have caused the Grenfell tragedy.
I will never forget the image of that hollowed-out building, now a skeleton on the skyline. Or the wreckage in the nearby children's play area, which I had passed so many times before.
Grenfell is a place like so many across London, full of our neighbours, friends and families. We must demand more of the authorities, to protect us, and not let other people's interests, and financial considerations, cost lives.
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