Grenfell Fire was a huge fire that broke out in Grenfell Tower in Kensington, West London, on 14 June 2017. To emphasise the scale of the tragedy the number of bodies recovered is currently 87 as of today but the death toll is still unknown. There are several theories as to why the fire happened:

  1. Gas explosion - Residents said refurbishment work had recently been carried out with work on the gas supply to the flats.
  2. Faulty fridge - Witnesses described hearing one distressed resident apparently telling neighbours his faulty fridge caused the blaze.
  3. Faulty wiring - One of the safety issues they highlighted was faulty wiring and said a disaster cause by the problem was narrowly averted four years ago.
  4. Cladding on outskirts - Grenfell Tower was fitted with zinc rainscreen cladding and glazed curtain walling after a £10 million refurbishment. Experts have claimed this could have exacerbated the spread of the fire.
  5. Lack of sprinklers/exits - Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick said the Government has resisted calls to install sprinkler systems in high-rise blocks in the wake of the Lakanal House tragedy. The local Action Group also warned that there were not enough entries and exits to cope with a catastrophic event

What actions currently have the UK government taken to try to prevent a tragedy such as this happening again?


TLDR; They have taken various steps, but the most important one is that they have set up an advisory panel whose aim is to focus on future fire and building safety legislation, consider immediate action, consider any changes to any current regulation in regards to materials and safety checks on buildings with cladding similar to Grenfell Tower.

  • They have instigated a police investigation and a public inquiry into the tragedy (this won't prevent future tragedies such as this one happening again, but will be a deterrent for any misconduct).

    There is an ongoing police investigation, and there will be an independent judge-led, public inquiry, to get to the truth about what happened and who was responsible1.

  • The most important action they have taken for any future tragedies is setting up an advisory panel and take any actions necessary to prevent this happening again.

    As an initial step I can inform the House today that I am establishing an independent expert advisory panel who will advise the government on any steps that should immediately be taken on fire safety1.

    The aims of the advisory panel are as follows:

    • focus on providing advice relating to fire and building safety, and in particular how to ensure the public are safe in high rise buildings
    • consider whether there are any immediate additional actions that should be taken to ensure the safety of existing high rise buildings
    • consider whether there are any changes or clarifications required to existing regulations, and provide advice on possible changes, including making recommendations on the use of specific materials
    • consider whether the current processes for checking building safety are fit for purpose, and whether any changes are required. I’d encourage anyone in this room who has expertise or views on this to share it
  • They have also asked private sector landlords, owners etc.. to check their own buildings and have provided a testing facility to do so.

    We have asked other owners, landlords and managers of private sector residential blocks to consider their own buildings and we have made the testing facility freely available to them1.

  • They have also done testing on public sector buildings themselves

    My department is also working with the Government Property Unit to
    oversee checks on wider public sector buildings1.

    With these results from 25 areas. 60 blocks have failed fire tests, including 3 NHS buildings and they have another 500 to be looked at, which leaves them with a £600 million cladding safety bill.

1 - On the The Government's website they have outlined their response to the tragedy to keep the public updated on the situation


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