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Fire service flagged risks at Grenfell a year before blaze

Grenfell Tower

The fire service and an independent risk assessor both flagged fire safety concerns at the Grenfell Tower up to a year before the blaze, according to new documents revealed by ITV.

The documents reportedly show that the owners of the tower, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), were warned on numerous occasions about fire safety failures at the tower block.

A fire deficiency notice from the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), served in November 2016, and a separate independent Fire Risk Assessment carried out in June 2016, both identified multiple failures that required prompt action.

The independent assessor’s report recommended action on more than 40 “high-risk” issues which needed action taking within two to three weeks, according to ITV.

The reports both flagged the need to replace poorly fitted or damaged fire doors and fire doors that did not self-close. Concerns around the building’s smoke ventilation system were also raised by the auditors.

During the inquiry into the tragedy which claimed 72 people’s lives, Arup’s leader of fire safety engineering Dr Barbara Lane flagged “catastrophic” failings including non-compliant fire doors and inadequate ventilation systems.

Last month a former London Fire Brigade safety chief told New Civil Engineer that materials which aided fire spread at the site “would never have been allowed” under previous fire safety and building regulations.

KCTMO, which previously managed Kensington and Chelsea’s housing stock, ceased to exist following the fire.

Residents have repeatedly claimed that the tower’s owners failed to act over years of warnings about fire hazards at the building. 

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