Fire safety guidance ‘leaves Grenfell lessons unlearnt’

RIBA, 66 Portland Place

RIBA warns ministers' clarifications and amendments to approved document B will not be enough

RIBA has told ministers that current fire safety guidance makes assumptions that fly in the face of experience from the Grenfell Tower tragedy and that a “comprehensive, transparent and fundamental reappraisal” is required.

The institution’s response to the government’s just-closed consultation on its technical review of approved document B of the building regulations said existing guidance had been undermined by 2017’s Grenfell Tower fire – which claimed 72 lives – and had to be revisited.

Past president Jane Duncan, who also chairs RIBA’s expert panel on fire safety, said the approved document B guidance had been developed on the assumption that measures to resist the spread of fire would be 100% effective and that the “stay put” policy promoted for residents of taller buildings could be relied on.

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