Britain reviews safety regulations in high rise buildings

(VOVWORLD) - Grenfell Tower inferno in London on June 14 has caused at least 58 people dead and dozens injured. Authority said extra fire safety checks are being planned at some high-rise tower blocks following the incident.
Britain reviews safety regulations in high rise buildings - ảnh 1 Grenfell Tower after a massive fire (Photo: AP)

Housing Minister Alok Sharma said local councils and the housing association have cooperated to carry out safety checks at construction sites. Sharma said this was a necessary step to reassure the public about the safety issues of residential building following the Grenfell tragedy.

Hundreds of similar high rise buildings are equipped with similar claddings as used in the Grenfell Tower despite fire warnings against the materials 20 years ago. In 1990, the Home Affairs Ministry ran a survey on condominium’s safety in hundreds of sites but did not call for upgrade or installation of more fire safety utilities. Another report in 1999 appealed for prompt actions to prevent serious fire. MPs have demanded cladding materials must be non-combustive and safe against fire spread.

The Grenfell Tower was built in 1974 when fire regulations were not as rigid as now. Residents are not satisfied with fire safety facilities as there was one single staircase for fire exit. Parliament report following the Lakanal House fire in Camberwell, London, in 2009 called for more sprinkler installations in all towers across the UK. This has not been available in Grenfell. When the tower was refurbished in 2016, residents warned of fire risks due to accumulated wastes during the refurbishment. Plastic claddings are blamed for spreading the fire quickly from storey 4 to 27 despite contractor’s early assurance of safety.

It’s necessary for the British government to review safety regulations in high rise buildings, and more importantly, what should be done to fix the gaps in fire prevention remains a key question.