Tall Buildings Fire Safety Conference 2022
On 18th May, Danielle Gregory and Liz Lowe from Tower Blocks UK attended the 7th International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference at the FIREX2022 event held at the London Excel Centre in Docklands.
Tower Blocks UK had been invited by Russ Timpson, the Conference Director to present on the subject of 'Tenants Perspective'.
After hearing from speakers on issues including evacuation, fire safety failings, fire alarm systems and smoke control, Danielle presented on behalf of Tower Blocks UK highlighting the importance of listening to and engaging with residents and seeing them as an asset to building management. During the speech, Danielle shared her own story of being decanted from her former council home in tower block after it was found to have serious fire and structural safety deficiencies, and the impact this had on her family and neighbours. She urged those working in high rise residential buildings to make a point of talking with residents and not to solely rely on information coming from building managers. Danielle also shared Tower Block's UK resources including the Fire Safety Checklist and the FixMyBlock project.
The conference was attended by fire safety experts from around the world including firefighters from Canada, Australia and Germany.
During the break, there was an opportunity to network with businesses and stall holders in the main arena, sharing thoughts and ideas.
At midday, news broke of a Home Office announcement that they will not be following the recommendations of the Grenfell Inquiry by requiring Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for disabled residents. The news was met with shock and widely criticised by delegates of the conference and during a debate on the 'Stay Put' policy. Professor Ed Galea, Director of Fire Safety Engineering Group and expert on evacuation said it was 'absolutely shameful', Sarah Rennie, a solicitor, co-founder of Clad Dag (a leaseholder disability action group) said she was 'today frankly traumatised to read the government believes that everybody else lives are more valuable.' Phil Murphy - Former firefighter and High Rise fire safety expert branded the governments' decision as 'a mockery of everybody affected by the Grenfell tragedy'.