This month marks four years since the tragic Grenfell Tower disaster. Whilst there has been a heightened awareness of fire safety and an industry-wide call for higher classification and real-life scenario testing regimes for fire-resistant building elements, there’s still much work to be done. What’s more, as time goes on, more tragedies similar to Grenfell are coming to the fore. Take, for instance, The Cube student accommodation in Bolton, where “the fire service report found that the cladding on the seven-storey [block] failed to stop the spread of fire”. Or, more recently, where a blaze broke out in a 19-storey residential block in East London that featured “Grenfell-style” cladding. Elsewhere across the nation, student accommodation in Newcastle, Cardiff and Plymouth have all been reported to have ‘fire-risk’ cladding installed. Much like the Grenfell survivors have recently declared, “enough is enough”.
We must come together as an industry to reform testing and put potential hazards under the spotlight – as Steve Williams, Commercial Manager at Wrexham Mineral Cables, mentions in his article on taking accountability for fire safety. On page 18, Steve tells how Wrexham Mineral Cables has been calling for more stringent testing standards for years and explains how some cables that are classed as ‘fire resistant’ would not be adequate in the event of a real fire. Meanwhile on page 16, Howard Morris, Managing Director at Trade Fabrication Systems, explains the importance of installing products accurately and in line with the tested conditions to ensure regulatory compliance. Lastly, on page 22, Stephen Biggs, Technical Manager at Tamlite Lighting, takes a closer look at emergency lighting and explores the crucial considerations to ensure buildings remain safe and compliant.
ON THE COVER:
KANVA has unveiled the delicate grandeur of the newly-redesigned Biodome in Montreal.