The tragic fire in Grenfell Tower which has so far claimed 79 lives is an unprecedented disaster, the impact of which will be felt for many years to come. Nobody can fail to be deeply touched by the many heart breaking stories of the victims. We also owe it to all of those affected to establish the full facts of what occurred, with a thorough and wide-ranging enquiry, to identify and target the appropriate weaknesses and failings.
The PIR and PUR industry is a long established and responsible sector, manufacturing high quality, high performing insulation that has been used successfully in the construction industry for more than 50 years. It is because of this we have a growing concern that misleading claims, supported by selective data are gaining traction and being reported as facts. If this supposition takes hold before the enquiry has established the truth of the matter, there is a danger it will lead to the wrong conclusions and decisions, that will do nothing to improve the future safety of buildings, including high-rise tower blocks. It may also lead to behavioural changes that could be detrimental to the future welfare of the built environment.
It is our duty therefore to challenge and correct misleading allegations and provide information, where appropriate, so that an honest and accurate analysis is carried out. This tragedy is too major and its consequences too important to warrant anything less.
The investigation therefore must establish the cause and spread of the fire as well as any factors that inhibited alerting the residents, or impeding their safe escape or rescue. It must also identify any building alterations or features that reduced the safety of the building in any way or were complicit to this tragedy and compare these to the current and appropriate standards and practices.
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