As the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire gets under way, with a parallel review of fire and safety regulations, Building was reminded of when it interviewed a fire safety professional who had plenty to say that is only too relevant for 2017. 

Hburch 9 18 2017 12 59 44

As the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire gets under way, with a parallel review of fire and safety regulations, Building was reminded of when it interviewed a fire safety professional who had plenty to say that is only too relevant for 2017. 

Peter Dagger was a fire prevention officer for the West Midlands who had been in the fire brigade for 17 years and well informed on the construction, having built his own house as part of a self-build group (apparently he and a group of firefighters could not afford a house any other way – interesting in terms of the debate on public sector pay). Building followed him through his daily routine of visits and advice.

These ranged from a nursing home with a conscientious matron to a dangerous bingo hall packed with women smoking cigarettes and plastic Jubilee flags hanging from the ceiling. Dagger was certainly a man of action. To demonstrate why the setting was hazardous, “Dagger’s approach was nothing if not direct. He set fire to one of the flags.”

He also states: “The trouble is that in this country we seem to have to have a disaster before people will act responsibly, especially in legislation.” There are those who would say this certainly sums up public opinion in 2017.

To read the full article from 23 September 1977, click on the PDF below.

 

Topics