18 April 2019
Fire safety and the residents’ voice.
Dame Judith Hackitt, who led the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety in 2017, discussed the importance of resident engagement on fire safety matters at FirstPort’s Fire Safety and the Residents’ Voice seminar.
Featuring insight from Dame Judith and Nick Coombe, Protection Vice Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, the paper also includes case studies from Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue, The Oakleaf Group, United Living and 4site Consulting.
Mark Varley, Group Head of Health & Safety, FirstPort said:
“Grenfell has changed residential building safety forever. At the heart of Dame Judith’s Review is a greater role for residents, rightly. Trust needs to be rebuilt. Residents must have a greater access to information and a greater involvement in decision making.”
Dame Judith Hackitt, said:
“Despite the fact the Review is complete and the recommendations are being implemented – all of them – I’m delighted to say by the Government, I think it’s really important we keep this dialogue going because the longer we go post-Grenfell, the more concerned I become that we will allow this to fall away and we will not respond appropriately to change this broken system or ours. We must rebuild the trust that residents, and the public more generally, no longer have in us and in the system to provide them with somewhere safe to live.
“Residents have a right to know about the condition of the building they are living in and that will be an integral part of the process of regular reporting, on the condition of the buildings and sharing that information with residents. They need to know what the critical safety features are and there needs to be a system in place for them to raise their concerns and to know that they’re going to get them listened to and acted upon.
“What’s most important is that none of us should be doing it because the law tells us we have to. The reason we should be doing this, and the reason we need to engage and involve residents is because we’ve let them down and we have to rebuild trust and confidence in all of us, and in the whole system so that they not only feel safe, but that they’re really part of the system. Not so that they feel that things are just done to them, or that they’re ignored, or that they’re not valued and don’t matter. They do matter. They matter a lot. We’re talking about their homes and communities. We owe it to them to rebuild confidence and trust and help them to feel safe.”