We are once again faced with deaths as a result of a fire in a tower block as James Shears and Alan Bannon tragically died in the fire in Shirley Towers in Southampton

We would like to pass on our sincere condolences to their families and the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Yet again we have a major fire with potentially significant implications for local authorities and the building trade, but how long will it take for the results of the analysis to get into the public domain? There’s already speculation on the cause of the fire and to what extent it spread – and if it could have been prevented. But nobody should be jumping to conclusions. What we lack are the facts that will emerge from the official investigations. 

We are still awaiting the results of the final analysis into last summer’s fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south London, in which six people died. Sir Ken Knight’s initial report came out promptly, but we need to take action now to prevent further tragedies – whether it’s increased use of built-in fire precautions and sprinklers, or better maintenance with stronger policing and enforcement of Building Regulations.

David Sugden, chairman, Passive Fire Protection Federation