APS calls on construction sector to adopt “fresh perspective” on fire safety

Grenfell Tower. Editorial credit: Attphotography / Shutterstock.com

THE Association for Project Safety (APS) has called for specialist construction designers with fire prevention skills to be at the forefront of new UK building projects.

The organisation made the remarks in response to the London Fire Brigade’s recent assertion that another disaster similar to the Grenfell Tower tragedy cannot be discounted unless the construction industry started to take fire safety more seriously.

Bobby Chakravarthy, president of The APS, acknowledged that all projects are different, but every one needs to be designed by people with the right blend of skills, knowledge, and experience for that particular project.

He said, “The Association for Project Safety agrees with the London Fire Service’s submission to the recent review of fire and building regulations. Fire safety should never be considered an ‘off the shelf’ package bolted onto the construction design. Effective design which delivers intrinsic fire safety elements can further limit the risk of fire, not just for the people both living and working in buildings, but for firefighters and other emergency services who may be called out.

“Building and construction companies and their clients need to understand their limits and responsibilities fully.  Not one group of industry professionals has a monopoly on knowledge, which is why all projects need a suitable organisation to oversee all design decisions from a risk management perspective.

“The construction industry needs to collectively examine how it minimises fire risk. Another Grenfell Tower scenario needs to be avoided at all costs and therefore a fresh perspective on embedding fire safety into the design phase is vital. Construction defects and design flaws must be eradicated, so when these buildings are inspected in future years, they get a clean bill of health.”