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The London Fire: What We Know

Had safety issues been raised?

The Grenfell Action Group, a residents’ group, said it had raised alarms for years about the management of the building.

In a post last November, the action group said that, despite a fire at another tower managed by the company, and power surges found to have been caused by faulty wiring at Grenfell Tower in 2013, residents had received no “proper safety instructions.” The group predicted that it would take a “catastrophic event” to spur the management company to action.

The group said the management company had responded to the concerns by posting fire safety instructions — including the “stay put” policy — at the building entrance and outside elevators on every floor.

A fire risk assessment for the tower conducted in November 2012, and cited by the Grenfell Action Group, said that fire extinguishers in the basement boiler room, the elevator monitor room and the ground floor electrical room were out of date. “Some located in the roof level areas had ‘condemned’ written on them in large black writing with a last test date of 2009 or 2010,” the report said. It was not clear if the extinguishers had since been updated.

How has management responded?

The management company declined to comment on safety concerns, and referred reporters to a statement on its website by its chief executive, Robert Black, calling the fire “devastating” and expressing heartbreak at the reports of injury and loss of life.

In a statement, the Rydon Group, the contractor that refurbished Grenfell Tower last year, said its work “met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards.”

“We will cooperate with the relevant authorities and emergency services and fully support their enquiries into the causes of this fire at the appropriate time,” the company added.

Harley Facades Limited, which made the cladding, did not immediately provide a comment.

Source: NYT > World

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