I’m sure that like me you will welcome the recommendations from the first stage of the Grenfell public inquiry, these alongside the Government’s wider review of building safety will be our guides and reference points as we evolve our learning, thinking and expertise in managing building safety.
I have lots of discussions with colleagues both within our sector and outside it about what needs to be done and what they and their organisations want to do or are doing to make buildings safer and to protect those who live there. Sometimes there is a little hesitation waiting for more details from Government or specialist trade bodies on specific requirements ranging from the material covering buildings through to fire doors, sprinkler systems and so on…..
It sometimes helps to look across at other sectors to see how they do things and how they have evolved over the years, take the car industry for example: the average car has around 1800 parts, each part is traceable back to where it was made, who made it and what quality checks it passed, all of these come together to make the actual car itself and then all the checks start again to make sure that they have all been put together properly and by who. Finally provided that the new car has passed all safety and quality checks it can then be registered and sold – is our end point much different?
For me almost irrespective of our new era of regulation and standards, it is about asking ourselves two simple questions. Do we know that our buildings are safe? Do our customers who live there also know that?
If we cannot say yes with certainty to either of these questions then we should know what to do.
We will get there but it will take time we are in a period of transition and we are entering a new era – one for the better.