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We will soon reach a tipping point in the market penetration of electric vehicles - and when that happens, consumers will benefit from lower energy costs as well as lower carbon emissions Under distributed ownership, an enterprise is owned and run jointly by its members, who then share its profits and benefits. A leading social entrepreneur explains how it solve India's ch These three companies show why Africa provides the most fertile ground in which to innovate.

It is where problems are most deeply felt, and are also big enough to motivate investment and Closing this gap will release Europe's vast untapped potential in this sector - here are four ways to kick It's time to banish the myth that saving the planet will hurt economic growth. In fact, the latter depends on the former - and if we do not head off the crisis facing our planet, we will With the technology we have today, it is entirely feasible to decarbonise the global economy, writes Adair Turner.

But do we have the will to do it? Perhaps the biggest challenge of all today is our individual insularity. But by looking inwards, we are missing out on the life-enriching opportunities that caring for other people has to Democracies are more divided than at any time in the postwar era. Tech firms, political leaders and the entertainment industry all need to get on board with bringing us back together. Good design is user-centred and inclusive by definition - and it can open up the world to everyone, as these innovative examples on display at Davos show.

We've come up with six key questions to help us understand the new era of globalization. We want you to answer them. In second video selfie format. Here's how. Iranian muralist Mehdi Ghadyanloo is the artist chosen to present his large-scale artwork at this year's meeting in Davos. He spoke to Mahsa Shamsaei about his work and why artists have a The world is making progress on deforestation - but we are still losing the battle.

Could a new landscape-based approach to protecting our forests be the answer? Instead of addressing causes through philanthropy, a new generation of founders is baking social good into the very fabric of their businesses. A diaspora can share valuable insight on how to prioritize aid when a country is in conflict. More financing, new public private partnerships to tackle brain science and a different dialogue around brain health are critical to tackling mental illness on a global scale.

The rise of robots and artificial intelligence might actually open up further job opportunities — if we learn how to effectively channel our talents for the coming age. Your data is key to all developments in biotech. But first we need to find a way of using it that is both progressive and ethical. A majority of employees in most parts of the world don't take their company's well-being schemes seriously — a sign that employers need to do more. Global instability means is a crossroads year for humanitarian response - and we need a fundamental reorientation of humanitarian action, argues ICRC President Peter Maurer.

A UN agreement, market action and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies together offer a new opportunity to crack the problem of illegal fishing. To get there, we need to recruit multi-skilled employees as ready for tomorrow's challenges as for Our global food system is unsustainable, and under increasing pressure from a growing population. We have the tools and knowhow to build a more inclusive, sustainable, efficient and nutri Often decried as an expensive and unproven fig-leaf for the fossil fuel industry, the reality - that we cannot combat climate change without Carbon capture and storage - is, for many, an In order to prepare for increasingly frequent climate-related extreme weather and natural disasters as we move towards a low-carbon economy, we must become more resilient.

Here's how we s What if we used CO2, instead of continuing to try and contain it on a massive scale? Industry would need fewer raw materials from fossil sources such as petroleum, growing the circular ec Today's younger consumers want companies to make a positive difference in the world - and as many forward-thinking businesses have already realized, it's time to make social impact an int While depression is the condition most will associate with mental health issues, and the leading cause of disability worldwide, it is not the number one mental health concern people face.

Stifled by its political systems and leadership challenges, the West will struggle to address its climate change targets by It is time to ask: how would the developing world do it? A new study polls energy and sustainability professionals from large companies around the world to find out what drives corporate climate action - and what makes the biggest difference. Here's how our cultural institutions can star After years of talking about it, the transition to a low-carbon energy system is finally happening.

Here are some reasons for optimism - and a guide to those areas where we still have muc The transition to a circular economy will do more than save the planet - it will also create vast new economic opportunities, sometimes in the most unexpected places.

With just 12 years to go before the deadline for meeting the SDGs, it is clear that the ocean will play a central role. World leaders much act now, writes the Prime Minister of Norwa Here's how it might work. Education must become less rigid and link up more with employers if the future generation of students — and the world economy — are to benefit.

The digitalization of manufacturing can generate significant benefits - but to make the most of the opportunities it presents, businesses need to empower their people. Globalization 4. Professor Klaus Schwab explains what it means and how it will benefit us all. How meaningful is your work?

How is it that Mexico, a relatively new player in the renewables industry, has managed to attain the lowest subsidy-free price for green power? The answer may be its free-trade public pol But that is starting to change - and in surprising ways. Find out more about the Co-Chairs who will help shape discussions around the Annual Meeting theme of Globalization 4. For humanity to have any hope at all, Globalization 4.

Increasing access to electricity is driving development in the world's poorer regions - and it could have even greater benefits for the world as a whole. Circular packaging solutions are a priority - and they will create value for brands, as these trailblazing examples demonstrate. From creativity to collaboration, the skills that students learn through play can help them thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The global population is set to swell to 10 billion by - and that means producing a lot more protein. Collaboration on a grand scale, harnessed to new technology, could be the answer. Human bias is often developed into AI. To fix this, we need a fundamental rethink of the assumptions underpinning this vital technology. Climate change is not high enough on the agenda of most Arab countries, argues Neeshad Shafi - but the region's young people are about to change that. Updating education, rethinking benefits and greater employee flexibility are just three of the ways we should rethink work for the 21st-century, says the founder of freelancer platform Up But to fulfil its potential, policymakers will need to prepare the way.

Company culture doesn’t need to be “warm and fuzzy” to be effective

Could national CTOs be the answer? From mentoring to community work, your company has the power to close the skills gap and give young people the training they need. Discovering and developing improved clean energy materials, such as solar panels, can accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future and save billions - and now AI is on the case. People with disabilities can be a goldmine of hidden skills. That's why it's no longer economically viable to keep them locked out of the workforce. Seventy years of consistent appreciation in housing values, combined with stagnant real wage growth, has caused a nationwide crisis of affordability in major cities, and an intensificatio These insights into the future of consumption in one of the world's fastest-growing major economies will help businesses and policy leaders envision the India of the future.

Creating a circular economy for plastics will depend on new business models and innovation to transform consumer packaged goods. Here's how that could work. The urban expansion that will accompany this change is a huge opportunity for sustainable development - and for the private inv Women are employed in the majority of AI-threatened roles — while recruitment practices in tech favour men.

To achieve parity in this key industry, we must act now. Brands are embedded into our daily lives - and they can help drive positive social change. When digitalization began to gather pace two decades ago, the political narrative in Europe too often cast it as a threat to jobs - and now Europe lags behind. We must not make the same m Women depend upon the ocean for the livelihoods just as much as men, yet their voices are not heard loudly enough when it comes to solving the crises facing our seas. It's time to change Online retail has changed the way the world does business, and as the sector continues to grow so do its environmental responsibilities.

How can e-commerce companies become more sustainable? While not every organization has issues of sexual harassment, it would be hard for any of us to find a colleague who could say they have never felt vulnerable in a moment, writes Barri Ra For decades, the world economy has grown through a multilateral approach to trade, underpinned by WTO rules holding that if you offer something to one country, then you must offer it to e Air conditioning is everywhere - and it is consuming vast amounts of energy.

But don't despair - with the right innovations, we can find ways to stay cool in a rapidly warming world.

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Shifting the focus from punishment to rehabilitation could increase public safety, reduce crime and cut costs. We all make snap decisions. With lower environmental impact and reduced supply chains, digital manufacturing — including 3D printing — is a progressive force for good. Fast fashion suits the demand for the growing global middle class for choice and value, but it carries a high environmental price. It's time to start moving to a more sustainable business Without urgent action, simple infections that should be easily treated with antibiotics could become lethal.

It is up to us to develop the tools we need to keep the world healthy. Arctic old ice - the ice that stays throughout the summer - is shrinking rapidly. It plays a vital role in regulating the planet's climate, and its loss would be catastrophic. It's time t India has a huge unmet demand for electricity, and at its current rate of economic growth the country will need to double its electricity output by Renewables can do much of the hea Understanding these trends can help state and local governments, global and domestic b The next era of globalization could have explosive and far-reaching implications - both good and bad.

Here's what it means for the world, and how we should prepare. We are living in a time of unprecedented change, both technologically and politically. Businesses must adapt to navigate this new context safely - but there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The traditional linear economy, as typified by single-use disposable plastic items, is unsustainable. Here are five steps we must take towards a circular, waste-free future. The past few years have seen both global corporations and smaller players making serious efforts to eradicate slavery and forced labour from their supply chains - and it's working.

The growing problem of plastic waste in the ocean is hurting marine life and livelihoods around the world - and it's going to take a new, global, circular economy-based approach to solve it. Consumers and enterprises, technology leaders and governments: all of them emphasize the need for global cybersecurity. But while most agree this is an urgent priority, research shows tha Bollywood produces between 1, and 2, films each year, and its global reach is growing - and by reflecting the concerns of modern audiences, it can play a significant role in shaping G4S teams up with the Canadian Mounties on counter terror programme 09 May The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has opened up its counter terrorism workshop to the security industry.

G4S in Canada was the first security company to partner with the RCMP and host a three day workshop with officers and customers from across the country. From the Skies to the Sea: how G4S helps keep holidaymakers safe at Port Zeebrugge When designing a new screening process for cruise ship passengers at a major European port, G4S was able to draw on its significant airport screening expertise to establish the most effective security solution.

Publication of the Integrated Report and Accounts and Notice of Annual General Meeting Further to the preliminary announcement of its results for the year ended 31 December made on 12 March , G4S plc, the global, integrated security solutions provider, announces that it has published its Integrated Report and Accounts for the same period. Read the full announcement. Our History G4S has a heritage of more than years. Our Values Values are the standards we set for ourselves and the culture of the organisation is the way those values are reflected in our behaviours and actions.

Investor Highlights FY Performance. Share Price Tools Share Price. Haydock Customer Care Event Stewards. In January , GAG warned that people might be trapped in the building if a fire broke out, pointing out that the building had only one entrance and exit, and corridors that had been allowed to fill with rubbish, such as old mattresses. GAG frequently cited other fires in tower blocks when it warned of the hazards at Grenfell. GAG suggested that "only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of [KCTMO]", adding, "[We] predict that it won't be long before the words of this blog come back to haunt the KCTMO management and we will do everything in our power to ensure that those in authority know how long and how appallingly our landlord has ignored their responsibility to ensure the heath [sic] and safety of their tenants and leaseholders.

They can't say that they haven't been warned! Meanwhile, in June , an independent assessor had highlighted 40 serious issues with fire safety at Grenfell Tower and recommended action to be taken within weeks. Areas of concern identified included fire doors, the smoke venting system and the firefighters' lift controls. One of the earliest fires that involved cladding materials was the Summerland disaster on the Isle of Man , which caused 50 deaths. Part of the reason why the fire spread rapidly through the leisure centre was the acrylic sheeting on the exterior of the building. In , a non-fatal fire at a Shepherd's Bush tower block spread to six floors via flammable external cladding.

In May , London Fire Brigade warned all 33 London councils to review the use of panels and "take appropriate action to mitigate the fire risk". The flat's resident was awakened by a smoke alarm. He entered the kitchen and discovered the fridge-freezer smoking. Also due to this policy, the building had no central fire alarm. Most of the firefighters entered the building. They set up a bridgehead internal base of operations on the second floor and connected hoses to the dry riser.

They first entered Flat 16 at BST. It was a further seven minutes before they began tackling the kitchen blaze. At approximately , the fire breached the window. Observing this, the incident commander requested another two pumps and an aerial appliance at , which also triggered the dispatch of a more senior fire officer. By the time the firefighters began extinguishing the kitchen fire, a column of flames was quickly advancing up the side of the building. By , 34 of residents had escaped. Some residents of unaffected flats also left around this time, after being alerted by their neighbours.

LFB escalated its response during this time period. The number of pumps requested was raised from 6 to 8 at , then to 10 at and 25 at , also triggering the dispatch of an Assistant Commissioner. Due to fire doors not closing and sealing properly, smoke began to spread from affected flats into the lobbies. LFB call handlers collected information from trapped residents and this was relayed to the LFB's command unit that was parked outside. Communicating through radio proved difficult, due to noise, the sheer volume of talk and possibly the concrete building structure.

Instead, details of trapped residents were written on slips of paper and ferried by runners from the command unit to the bridgehead on the second floor. At the bridgehead, incoming firefighters were assigned flats to go to and briefed on whom they would need to rescue. The firefighters encountered thick smoke, zero visibility and extreme heat when they climbed above the fourth floor.

Three firefighters who went to rescue a year old girl on the 20th floor were unable to find her. Unknown to them, she had moved up to a flat on the 23rd floor, was on the phone to a control operator who had no means of knowing what the firefighters were doing, [58] and later died in this location. Witnesses reported seeing people trapped inside the burning building, switching the lights in their flats on and off or waving from windows to attract help, some holding children.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing some people jumping out, and four victims were later found to have died from "injuries consistent with falling from a height". Outside operations were hindered by falling debris, including burning pieces of cladding. Due to this danger, the police moved crowds away from the building as a safety precaution. The MPS Territorial Support Group was present; besides being a specialist unit for public order policing , they provided riot shields to protect firefighters from falling debris.

Shortly after , a major incident was declared and the number of pumps requested was raised from 25 to Assistant Commissioner Andrew Roe assumed direct command of firefighting operations for the next 11 hours, while Commissioner Dany Cotton arrived at am. Rather than command the operations directly, she served as a Monitoring Officer, overseeing Roe and providing moral support to firefighters.

Cotton admitted that LFB had broken their own safety protocols, by entering a large building without knowing whether it was in danger of structural collapse. At BST, the "stay put" policy, advising those residents in areas unaffected by the blaze to remain there, was abandoned in favour of general evacuation. Experts on the subsequent inquiry into the disaster later said that the "stay put" policy should have been discarded an hour and twenty minutes before it eventually was. By sunrise, the firefighters were still busy fighting the fire and attempting rescues on the inside. At , police addressed the large crowd of onlookers and urgently instructed them to contact anyone they knew who was trapped in the building—if they are able to reach them via phone or Twitter —to tell them they must try to self-evacuate and not wait for the fire brigade.

Only two further rescues took place, with one resident being rescued at and the last being rescued at At a news conference in the afternoon of 14 June, LFB reported firefighters had rescued 65 people from the building and reached all 24 floors. The fire continued to burn on the tower's upper floors. It was not brought under control until BST on 15 June and firefighters were still damping down pockets of fire when the Brigade issued an update on 16 June. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, a number of unsubstantiated reports about casualties circulated online, which were to later be debunked, including that the government had covered up details of the fire and babies' miraculous survival stories.

The fire caused 72 deaths, including one who died in hospital a day later and another who died in January Police examined the remains of Grenfell Tower and used "every imaginable source" of information "from government agencies to fast food companies" to identify casualties. Their analysis of CCTV evidence concluded that people of present had escaped. Survivors came from of the tower's flats; eighteen people among the occupants of these flats were reported as dead or missing presumed dead, whereas most of those killed were said to have been in the remaining 23 flats between the 11th and 23rd floors.

The dead included many children, [] five of whom were students at the nearby Kensington Aldridge Academy. One victim died in hospital on 15 June due to inhalation of fire fumes. The first Coroner's Inquests opened on 23 August [] and all other inquests were opened by 23 November In the aftermath of the fire, members of the local community, including a residents group called Grenfell United, [] [] [] stated that the official figures were far short of existing estimates, with some believing that the death toll was "in hundreds".

Beyond physical injury, the fire was a traumatic event which had a psychological impact on residents, emergency service workers and the public at large, as detailed below. On 26 July , at the fourth public meeting of the Grenfell Response Team , a local volunteer reported that there had been at least 20 suicide attempts in north Kensington since the fire, one of which had been successful. LFB Commissioner Dany Cotton defended the heroism of emergency service workers who themselves were affected by trauma.

Around 80 firefighters and Met Police officers were reported to be suffering from their experiences. An extra four full-time counsellors were employed reversing previous staff reductions and 60 volunteer counsellors were brought in. All firefighters who attended Grenfell were given a psychological health check. It is unclear how far this indicates reaction to the fire and how far previously existing psychiatric conditions are being uncovered.

The Metropolitan Police Service assigned detectives to the fire, placing additional workload and personal stress on a force that was also investigating recent terrorist incidents, including the London Bridge and Finsbury Park attacks. Psychologists are working at Kensington Aldridge Academy to support students returning to the original site. Measures have been taken to protect student welfare, such as shielding classroom windows overlooking the tower.

On 21 September , the coroner, Dr Fiona Wilcox, expressed concern for the long term physical health of victims and emergency service workers exposed to smoke and dust inhaled during the fire, and its subsequent clear up. The tower is known to have contained Asbestos and other toxins. In her letter to NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, Dr Wilcox notes that firefighters involved in the September 11 attacks suffered significant health problems from smoke inhalation. She asked for a physical health screening programme to be established to help prevent future deaths.

Public Health England have been monitoring the quality of the air around the derelict tower. In a March report, they stated that "the risk to public health from air pollution remains low. Councils claim the government is not releasing funds to increase fire safety in many other tower blocks after the Grenfell fire although they promised lack of finance would not prevent essential work. The government is not paying to put sprinklers into older tall buildings though sprinklers are required in new buildings over 30 metres tall.

He asked that local authorities without the means to make buildings safe should contact central government. Of the fire he said: "This tragedy should never have happened, and we must ensure that nothing like it ever happens again. On 4 January , BBC News reported the Met Police were asking the Home Office to pay for the investigation, which was one of the largest, most complex and most expensive in its history.

A total of homes were destroyed in the tower and surrounding area. People from surrounding buildings were evacuated due to concerns that the tower might collapse. The Kensington Aldridge Academy , at the base of Grenfell Tower and inside the police cordon, was closed for more than a year after the fire. By 18 September , a temporary school in Scrubs Lane had been built by Portakabin in 12 weeks.

Philip Hammond , the Chancellor of the Exchequer , had been due to address the event, but had said he would not do so following the fire. The fire also severely affected three low-rise " finger blocks " adjoining Grenfell Tower. Their residents were evacuated due to the fire. The blocks, Barandon Walk, Testerton Walk and Hurstway Walk, also lost access to hot water as they shared a boiler beneath Grenfell Tower that was destroyed in the fire.

People in the immediate area and from across London rallied to assist victims of the fire. Nearby Queens Park Rangers F. The Prime Minister, Theresa May, said she was saddened and called for a cross-government meeting, and a meeting with the Civil Contingencies Secretariat. May made a private visit to Grenfell Tower to speak with London Fire Brigade commissioner Dany Cotton and other members of the emergency services, though not with any survivors. May made a visit to some of the victims at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Minor scuffles broke out. This included funds to support people in temporary accommodation, a discretionary fund to help with funeral costs, and funding to help with residents' legal representation. The same day, Theresa May said in the House of Commons that there had been a "failure of the state — local and national — to help people when they needed it most", adding, "As Prime Minister, I apologise for that failure. As Prime Minister I have taken responsibility for doing what we can to put things right. That is why each family whose home was destroyed is receiving a down payment from the emergency fund so they can buy food, clothes and other essentials.

And all those who have lost their homes will be rehoused within three weeks. A national minute's silence was held at On 22 June , Theresa May stated in the House of Commons that anyone affected by the tragedy, regardless of their immigration status, would be entitled to support, including healthcare services and accommodation. May said that further residential buildings with flammable cladding of the type used in Grenfell Tower had been identified. On 18 June the government relieved Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council of responsibility for supporting the survivors, after their supposedly inadequate response to the disaster [] but O'Hagan's investigation contradicts this description.

John Barradell , City of London Corporation chief executive, is leading the response team. Neighbouring councils sent in staff to improve the rehousing response. The government also announced that they would send in a task force to take over some of Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council's functions when the GRT is gradually wound down.


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This move from the government stops short of demands from the London mayor who called for ministers to appoint external commissioners to take over the running of the whole council. The Grenfell Action Group posting a message on its website that highlighted their earlier warnings:. Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC.

The Queen said that her thoughts and prayers were with the affected families. In the afternoon, he spent his time with survivors, and also helped collect charity donations in various churches around his parish. The Queen and Prince William visited the Westway Sports Centre, where a relief centre had been set up to help the victims of the fire.

Jeremy Corbyn visited a nearby community centre and spoke to some of the volunteers who were helping those affected by the fire. During the afternoon of 16 June , hundreds of people protested at Kensington Town Hall , demanding that victims be rehoused within the borough and that funds be made available for those rendered homeless.

On her Official Birthday , the Queen released a statement in which she said it was "difficult to escape a very sombre national mood" following the Grenfell Tower fire, and terrorist attacks in London and Manchester shortly before. Responsibility for managing the aftermath of the fire was removed from Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council. It was transferred to a new body comprising representatives from central and other local London government, the London Fire Brigade, Metropolitan Police and Red Cross.

Some families reportedly returned home after being told that rehoming priorities were aimed at those who had lived in Grenfell Tower, amid confusion and uncertainty over whether their homes were safe. The Glastonbury Festival opened with a minute's silence for the victims of the Grenfell tower fire and the Manchester Arena bombing , led by Peter Hook , co-founder of Manchester band Joy Division. The Football Association announced that proceeds from the FA Community Shield match, between London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea , will be donated to support the victims.

More than fifty artists contributed to the single, which was released under the title Artists for Grenfell on 21 June On 2 September , the Game 4 Grenfell football match took place to raise money for those affected. It was held at Loftus Road , the home ground of Queens Park Rangers and only a mile away from the tower.

It featured a line-up of professional footballers, celebrities, firefighters and survivors. Grenfell Tower had flats but rehousing will require over dwellings. This is due to multiple households asking to be rehoused in more than one dwelling, such as those with grandparents or grown-up children. Of these, 83 are living in a permanent home up from 28 in October Of the who are not in a permanent home, 52 are in temporary accommodation and 68 are in emergency accommodation 42 in hotels, 22 in serviced apartments and 4 with family or friends. The government acquired 68 flats in a newly built development at Kensington Row [] The development is in Kensington, in the same borough as Grenfell Tower, and about 1.

It was initially reported that the fire had been started by a faulty refrigerator. Sixty-four thousand of these models were made between March and July , after which the model was discontinued. It is unknown how many are still in use. Independent experts examined the remains of the appliance recovered from Grenfell and exemplar models of the same type.

They concluded that the design met all legal safety requirements, and there was no need to issue a recall of the model. Consumer group Which? Tenants had repeatedly complained about electrical power surges causing appliances to smoke and such a surge may have set the fridge-freezer on fire. The Local Authority knew about complaints and had paid tenants compensation for damaged appliances. Judith Blakeman, a local Labour councillor, said the surges affected many appliances including fridges. Blakeman maintains that the cause of the surges was never solved. On 27 November , evidence given to the Grenfell Tower inquiry by electrical investigating engineer Dr J.

Duncan Glover suggested that in Flat 16 the fridge-freezer compressor relay wiring was not tightly fitted. In his view this probably created additional electrical resistance leading to overheating and igniting the outer plastic insulation of the wire at 90C. Glover described the state of the fusebox following a short circuit to the compressor. During questioning, he compared US and UK safety standards noting that US regulations require a steel back to the fridge to help contain a fire, whereas UK fridges were allowed to have only a plastic backing.

Both the aluminium-polyethylene cladding and the PIR insulation plates failed fire safety tests conducted after the fire, according to the police. The Guardian saw a certificate from the building inspectors' organisation, Local Authority Building Control LABC , which stated that the chosen insulation for the refit should only be used on tall buildings with fibre cement panels, which do not burn. Combustible panels with polyethylene were put up on top of insulation known as Celotex RS, made from polyisocyanurate , which burns when heated giving off toxic cyanide fumes.

Despite the above, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea certified the Grenfell tower building work as allegedly conforming to "the relevant provisions". Council building inspectors visited the site 16 times from August to July Kooltherm, a phenolic insulation, was also used on Grenfell. Kooltherm was never tested with polyethylene core aluminium panels according to the manufacturer. The manufacturer, Kingspan, "would be very surprised if such a system [ Kooltherm's LABC certificate states phenolic products, "do not meet the limited combustibility requirements" of building regulations.

The combustible materials used on Grenfell Tower were considerably cheaper than non-combustible alternatives would have been. There appear to have been intense cost pressures over the Grenfell refurbishment. A building control officer from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea reportedly passed the cladding on Grenfell Tower on 15 May , though there was a nationwide warning that the combustible insulation used should only be used with cladding that does not burn. Fire safety experts have said that the building's new external cladding was a possible cause of the rapid spread of the fire.


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  8. One resident said: "The whole one side of the building was on fire. The cladding went up like a matchstick. Concerns about the dangers of external cladding were raised years before, following a fire in at flats in Knowsley Heights , Merseyside. One of the products used was Arconic 's Reynobond, which is available with different types of core material—polyethylene, as reportedly used in Grenfell Tower Reynobond PE , or a more fire-resistant material Reynobond FR.

    According to Arconic's website and brochure for the mainland European market at the time of the fire, the Reynobond PE cladding used was suitable only for buildings 10 metres or less tall; the fire-retardant Reynobond FR was suitable for buildings up to 30 metres tall; and above the latter height, such as the upper parts of Grenfell Tower, the non-combustible A2 version was supposed to be used "As soon as the building is higher than the firefighters' ladders, it has to be conceived with an incombustible material". Similar cladding containing highly flammable insulation material is believed to have been installed on thousands of other high-rise buildings in countries including Britain, France, the UAE and Australia.

    In September a building regulations notice for the re-cladding work was submitted to the authority, and marked with a status of "Completed—not approved". Building inspector Geoff Wilkinson remarked that this type of application is "wholly inappropriate for large complex buildings and should only be used on small, simple domestic buildings". Judith Blakeman, local Labour councillor questioned the competence of the inspectors.

    Blakeman, representing the Grenfell residents, said, "This raises the question of whether the building regulations officers were sufficiently competent and did they know what they were looking at. It also begs a question about what they were actually shown. Was anything concealed from them? The Department for Communities and Local Government stated that cladding with a polyethylene core "would be non-compliant with current Building Regulations guidance. To perform the test, the entire planned assembly is constructed on a standardised test rig two storeys tall, with a window opening in the middle, and is continuously ignited with gas burners from two different angles for 30 minutes.

    Fire safety experts said the tests the government is doing on cladding only are insufficient, as the whole unit of cladding and insulation should be tested including fire stops. Fire safety experts maintain further that the testing lacks transparency, as the government has not described what tests are being carried out. The refurbishment also used an insulation foam product named Celotex RS, installed behind the cladding.

    According to its datasheet, the polyisocyanurate PIR product—charred pieces of which littered the area around Grenfell Tower after the fire—"will burn if exposed to a fire of sufficient heat and intensity". At least three survivors were treated for cyanide poisoning. It states that any changes from the tested configuration "will need to be considered by the building designer". It has been asserted that cavity barriers intended to prevent the spread of fire in the gap between the facade and the building the chimney effect were of insufficient size and, in some cases, incorrectly installed, facilitating the spread of fire.

    It has been asserted that windows and their surrounds installed as part of the refurbishment were less fire resistant than those they replaced due to the materials used and that the windows were of insufficient size necessitating larger surrounds. This would facilitate the spread of fire between the interior and exterior of the building.

    The fire safety policy for Grenfell Tower was that residents were advised to stay in their flats "stay put" if a fire broke out in the building, [55] unless it was affecting their flat. It relies on the assumption that construction standards such as concrete and fire-resistant doors will allow firefighters to contain a fire within one flat. This was not possible at Grenfell Tower, as the fire spread rapidly via the exterior. There was only a single narrow staircase, and no centrally-activated system of fire alarms that could alert residents.

    In a July Grenfell Tower regeneration newsletter , the KCTMO instructed residents to stay in their flat in case of a fire "Our longstanding 'stay put' policy stays in force until you are told otherwise" and stated that the front doors for each unit could survive a fire for up to 30 minutes. The smoke detection systems have been upgraded and extended.

    The Fire Brigade has asked us to reinforce the message that, if there is a fire which is not inside your own home, you are generally safest to stay put in your home to begin with; the Fire Brigade will arrive very quickly if a fire is reported. The advice was repeated to residents who called the fire service.

    Multiple survivors argued that they would have died had they followed the "stay put" advice. He added, "These are some of the questions that have to be answered. We have lots of people in London living in tower blocks We can't have people's lives being put at risk because of bad advice or lack of maintenance.

    Dany Cotton said Grenfell was unique in terms of volume and behaviour of fire. She said it was a matter for the inquiry, but defended the general "stay put" policy for most high-rise buildings by reasoning that if residents all evacuate at once, they could block firefighters from entering. Furthermore, smoke and fire could be spread within a building by residents opening doors.

    The initial incident commander Watch Manager Michael Dowden told the Inquiry that he was preoccupied and uncomfortable dealing with "a very, very dynamic situation" that he was not prepared to deal with, and that he did not consider evacuating the building. He added that in hindsight, he did not believe it would have been possible, as there were not enough firefighters present to evacuate 20 floors. Station Manager Andrew Walton, who was incident commander for a short period after, said that as smoke was spreading to the stairwell and many lobbies, residents could not have escaped and he believed they were safer staying in unaffected flats.

    The use of this policy by the Fire Brigade is now under police investigation. There was insufficient mains water pressure for the hoses the fire service used and Thames Water had to be called to increase it. Matt Wrack of the Fire Brigades Union said, " An independent fire expert told the BBC having the ladder earlier could have stopped the fire getting out of control.

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    Firefighters said inside the building they lacked sufficient 'extended duration' breathing apparatus. They had difficulty getting vital radio messages through due to 'overuse of the system' and from the need to get the signal through layers of concrete. At the inquiry one firefighter described the radios as "useless. Another issue raised was the height of the aerial appliances. Commissioner Dany Cotton said that the LFB had already been planning to buy higher ladders, and that the size of LFB's appliances has been limited by their need to fit on narrow London streets.

    Dany Cotton later said having more firefighters may not have helped as there would not have physically been enough room for them in the building. The single stairwell also restricted access. One of the major obstacles to the firefighters was that the tower's only stairwell filled with smoke within an hour of the fire breaking out. Basically you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. It was just thick black smoke. You didn't see anybody else. You literally had to bump into them. In section 19 of her report, Barbara Lane notes that smoke was reported in the lobbies of four floors as early as By , the stairwell and seven lobbies were filled with smoke.

    She suggested that possible causes for this included inadequate fire doors, fire doors being propped open by hoses and problems with the ventilation system. In October the London Fire Brigade announced that it is to use specialist hoods to protect people from smoke and toxic fumes for up to 15 minutes. Kensington and Chelsea Council was warned in that building a new secondary school very near Grenfell Tower could block access by emergency vehicles.

    A blog post by Grenfell Action Group stated, "There is barely adequate room to manoeuvre for fire engines responding to emergency calls, and any obstruction of this emergency access zone could have lethal consequences in the event of a serious fire or similar emergency in Grenfell Tower or the adjacent blocks.

    This added to congestion and parked cars in streets around Grenfell Tower that were already narrow and made it hard for fire engines to get to the fire. Like the vast majority of high-rise buildings in the UK, Grenfell Tower did not have sprinklers. England, Wales and Scotland now require sprinklers to be installed in newly-built tall buildings, but there is no requirement to fit them in existing buildings.

    A few days after the fire, the Conservative leader of the council Nicholas Paget-Brown was asked why sprinklers had not been installed in the tower during the recent renovation. Paget-Brown said that the Grenfell Tower residents did not have a collective view in favour of installing sprinklers during the recent renovations.