15 June 2017

London Apartment Fire

The Board and members of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors express sincere sympathy to the families of those who have lost their lives in the devastating Grenfell apartment fire in London.

At this time, there is considerable speculation around the possible causes of the fire and links are already being drawn between this incident and others in Australia involving the use of non-conforming products, including external wall cladding and electrical cabling.

It is the view of AIBS that this speculation is unhelpful while the cause of the fire and the elements that led to its rapid spread are unknown and will remain so until an investigation is undertaken.  

Until the elements that have led to this tragedy are fully identified, AIBS will not be drawn into speculation.

Incidents like this only reinforce the fact that buildings must be safe for people to live and work in and it is the responsibility of governments and all building industry professionals to ensure the safety of the public is protected through effective building regulatory systems and the need to constantly review these systems to ensure that they keep up with modern technology and to be fire safe.

News reports are quoting London-based building surveyors identifying that local building regulations do not require older apartment blocks to be retro-fitted with sprinkler systems and other fire safety measures. While we do not know at this stage if this was a factor in this tragedy, it points to the integral role our profession has in keeping the public safe – both in monitoring existing buildings and advocating to government and industry for future improvements.

AIBS will continue to work with Government to achieve more effective building regulatory systems that provide protection and safety for the public.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Timothy Tuxford
AIBS President