A conscious unwillingness to learn… Bolton, Worcester, Barking, Crewe, Grenfell …

There is overwhelming evidence that there is a conscious unwillingness to learn, an unwillingness to implement lessons learned. There is overwhelming evidence that there is no desire to keep people safe in their homes. At this point, it is hard to see how this is anything but a wilful lack of leadership. We have to stop focussing on the technical failings and interrogate this devastating failure of leadership before more people die …

Gill Kernick, 16 November 2019

I have always maintained Grenfell resulted from a failure of leadership and a lack of understanding of the nature of catastrophic risk.

As I watch another fire in student accomodation, I am at a loss… What will it take to actually learn and ensure our building are safe? This is about more than building regulations, this is beyond an issue of cladding, this is beyond fire safety. This is about who we are as a society. This is about whether or not we care.

This is about a lack of leadership, a lack of willingness to change…

I’ve cobbled together some thoughts and facts to help me make sense of those terrifying images that remind me again of Grenfell.

We must look in the mirror…

Link to blog written with Martin Stanley ‘Learning from Grenfell – avoiding the next ‘black swan’ event’

Our failure to learn…

Fire related fatalities are increasing and we’re reducing our funding for firefighting.

Latest Home Office Fire and Rescue Incident Statistics

And the rate we’re dealing with knowingly unsafe building is devastatingly slow. The statistics below only cover ACM systems similar to those on #Grenfell. There are untold number (some estimate thousands) with other types of flammable cladding and materials.

Ministry of Housing and Local Government
Building safety programme monthly release – remediation post Grenfell

Below are recent high potential events… The increasing number are very strong signals that something is terribly wrong and it’s only a matter of time until we have more loss of life.

15 November 2019, student accommodation, 20h30 – 2 minor injuries

You can either take the view that we are ‘post-Grenfell’ or the view that we are ‘pre the next Grenfell’. Are we are witnessing the precursor fires to the next Grenfell?

Gill Kernick, 2019

Worcester Park Residential block, 9 September 2019… 01:30

Crewe Retirement Home Fire; 9 August 2019,16h30…

Barking Residential Flats; 9 June 2019, 15:30 …

Grenfell Tower Residential block, 14 June 2017, 00:54, 72 dead…

And before Grenfell…

We must start to engage with this conscious unwillingness to learn. All the technical solutions in the world will not enable learning. It’s systemic and endemic. This failure is not limited to fire safety. At least 7 of the 9 persistent lessons identified in previous major incidents se were present at Grenfell. Probably all…

Cabinet Office Report into Review of Persistent Lessons Identified Relating to Interoperability from Emergencies and Major Incidents since 1986

How many more lives are we willing to risk?

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