The Hackitt interim report has been widely backed by the fire industry – with caveats around financial hurdles.
Set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017, the interim report highlighted several major shortcomings in regulation and other areas affecting fire safety that will shape the more detailed recommendations set out in the final report, scheduled for release some time in Spring 2018. Several associations and bodies involved in fire safety and the construction industry have responded.
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has endorsed the interim findings of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. ASFP highlights that the interim report identifies a lack of clarity in the roles and responsibilities throughout a building’s lifecycle — from design and construction to maintenance during occupation. It notes widespread deviation from what is originally designed to what is actually built and highlights inadequate means of assessing and ensuring adequate levels of competency throughout the process. The ASFP has long been campaigning for formal competency requirements for fire professionals, mandatory third-party certification of products and installers and a system that more clearly sets out the requirements and responsibilities at each stage of construction.
The Fire Sector Federation has also welcomed the interim findings of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, particularly the recognition that the existing regulatory system is not fit for purpose. The FSF has long expressed concern about the current system of fire safety regulation and enforcement and the clear need to define competency requirements for all professionals involved. It strongly supports the call for clearly defined responsibility throughout a building’s lifecycle and for the establishment of formal accreditation and raised levels of competence for all those engaged in fire prevention within the built environment.
The FSF commends the important work undertaken by Dame Judith and her review team in clearly identifying the failings within the system and fully endorses Dame Judith’s call for significant culture change across the industry. However, it has concerns about how the wider fire and construction sectors can be brought together to implement the recommended change of approach and look forward to discussions at the forthcoming summit in January. President Brian Robinson said: “There is a pressing need for a National Fire Safety Agency to address fragmentation and take into account input from all professionals involved in fire safety”
IFSEC Global has put together a one minute video highlighting the five key observations made by Dame Judith:
Additionally, the Tall Buildings Conference at FIREX International will discuss many of the issues in the spotlight post-Grenfell, including fire engineering, design and fire testing; fire safety management, and insurance and firefighting in tall complexes. FIREX International 2018 will be taking place between 19-21 June at ExCeL London.