Hackitt calls for radical action on fire safety

Six working groups to be established to respond to the six major findings in Dame Judith’s interim report on fire safety

Dame Judith Hackitt

Dame Judith Hackitt has called for radical action to create a new robust and regulatory framework to ensure the safety of residents in complex and high-rise towers.

More than 50 industry leaders attended a summit last month to discuss how industry, regulators and government could work together to respond to the six major findings in Dame Judith’s interim report on fire safety following the Grenfell fire (news, CIBSE Journal, January 2018).

She announced that six working groups would be established. A design, construction and refurbishment workshop will look at embedding building safety during design and construction, while an occupation and maintenance group will identify what owners, landlords and regulators will need to do to ensure safety is prioritised through a building’s life-cycle.

One group will see how product testing and the marketing regime could be improved, while another will look at establishing competency requirements for individuals involved in constructing and managing complex buildings.

A workshop on residents will look at how occupants can be given a statutory route for raising concerns over fire safety.

Finally, one group will look at regulation and guidance, and consider whether central government ownership of technical guidance is the most appropriate model.

At the summit, Dame Judith said: ‘We can now say with confidence that there is widespread agreement that the current system of regulation for high-rise and complex buildings is broken, and that we need a radical overhaul and a change in culture.’