08 April 2013

Following the release of the Lakanal House inquest verdicts the Fire Industry Association (FIA) calls for the entire fire sector to take note.

Commenting on the verdicts, FIA CEO Graham Ellicott said “The entire fire community was shocked and saddened by the deaths of six people at Lakanal House; the narrative verdicts make for harrowing reading and we express our deepest condolences to their loved ones.  Needless loss of life occurred at Lakanal House and all possible efforts should be made to ensure that the possibility of this happening again are minimised.”

Experience shows that, in general, high rise blocks of flats in the UK provide a high standard of safety from fire for residents.  Nevertheless, it is absolutely essential that as much as possible can be learned from the findings of the coroner regarding the issues that led to the deaths of those beyond the flat of fire origin at Lakanal House.

In response to the published Rule 43 letters of the coroner, Colin Todd, Chairman of the FIA Fire Risk Assessment Council said “every Council of the FIA, particularly the Fire Risk Assessment Council, will be reviewing all recommendations made, with a view to promulgating appropriate information and advice to FIA members.  Nevertheless, it is clear from an immediate reading of the evidence presented to the Coroner that the competence of those engaged in design, installation, maintenance or refurbishment, and subsequent assessment of, fire precautions, whether active, passive or managerial, is paramount.”

The FIA stands ready to cooperate with other bodies, including regulators and other trade associations, in furtherance of the response of the fire safety profession to the findings and recommendations arising from the tragic circumstances that occurred in Lakanal House in July 2009